Huntingdon roof runner’s scooter jump

Parsley Pot, Huntingdon, have had vandalism, owner Kondje Selim at the shop

Parsley Pot, Huntingdon, have had vandalism, owner Kondje Selim at the shop - Credit: Archant

YOUNGSTERS who are putting themselves in peril by clambering over town centre rooftops reached new heights of danger last week when one was spotted jumping with a scooter.

Police were called to the Parsley Pot in Huntingdon High Street on Wednesday (April 17) morning after staff heard someone crash onto its flat roof.

Owner Kon Selim said the noise sounded like a bomb had gone off.

“My friend, Elaine French, was helping out in the shop and she thought the whole ceiling was going to cave in on her. She came running out of the stock room. She was frightened to death. They had jumped from the highest point of Waitrose – on a scooter.”

Miss Selim went outside to confront them and found two teenage boys. One had climbed down but another was still on the roof on a scooter.

“These two were quite slim but you do get some larger children up there,” she said. “I get very angry. I told them to go and vandalise their mums’ roof. I normally get lip back but these two didn’t.”

She added: “They don’t care. By the time you ring the direct police number we’ve been given, they’ve scarpered. It was 11.30am – they should have been at school.”

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Miss Selim, who has owned the jewellery, fashion and gift shop since 2005, spent £1,000 on repairs in January after young roof runners broke slates, leaving just felt protecting her stock room from the elements.

Barbed wire between Waitrose and her shop had been trodden down, she said, and within a month more damage had been done to the roof.

Unable to afford to keep paying out, Miss Selim investigated improving security and was told it would cost £15,000.

She also fears the problem, worse on a Sunday and after opening hours, will escalate now there are longer daylight hours.

A spokesman for Huntingdonshire Business Against Crime said its main onjective was ensuring the young people involved were deterred from doing it again.

She added: “The damage being caused to some of the oldest buildings in Huntingdon is of real concern. Criminal damage is an offence and anyone looking to partake in this type of activity should bear this in mind. There is an enormous amount of work ongoing in the town and a picture is being built of who is committing these crimes.”

A police spokesman said: “We have been working with town rangers and youth workers to patrol the town and identify anyone who may be involved.

“Work is ongoing and we are encouraging the council and businesses to adapt rooftops and access points to dissuade young people from climbing up and causing damage to buildings.

“This sort of behaviour is not only disruptive but can be very dangerous. It is a criminal offence and should not be mistaken for parkour or free running.”

In February The Hunts Post reported how children, some as young as 12, had also climbed onto the roof of the Commemoration Hall, which stands more than three-storeys high.