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Bid to tackle fly-tipping and free-running in Cambridge approved

A multi-million pound scheme to improve parts of Cambridge in a bid to crack down on free-running and fly-tipping in "havens" of criminal activity has been given the green light.

Free running athlete in the streets and beach of Barcelona. Parkour (7762239)
Free running athlete in the streets and beach of Barcelona. Parkour (7762239)

Parts of Cambridge are "really overdue" for improvement, leaving them vulnerable to criminal activity and incidents of free-running, where athletes use rooftops, stairwells, and other urban features as obstacles from which to launch gymnastic moves.

Many free-runners risk trespassing or causing damage when taking part in the activity. On Wednesdayyyyy (March 12), Cambridge City Council's housing scrutiny committee agreed a £5million package of improvements to parts of Cambridge like the East Road estate.

Yesterday, Cambridge City Council's housing scrutiny committee voted to endorse the council's Estates Improvements Scheme 2019-2024. The scheme will see an allocation of £1 million a year for five years. These funds are available from April 1.

According to a report which went before the committee: "Notable problems on the (East Road) estate are fly-tipping, vandalism and free-running".

The city council now plans to restrict access to areas where fly-tipping is taking place and to install security measures to the bin store areas. They also plan to enclose the area between the stairwell and the garages to deter people from free-running there.

Abbey councillor Nicky Massey said she is pleased the council is working with the police to tackle problems in Cambridge. She said a £750,000 street lighting programme which is also planned will go a long way to reducing crime.

Cllr Massey said: "I am especially pleased we are working alongside the police to design out crime. It is really dark at night time and I know there are crime hot spots in Petersfield because it is so dark there. I am really pleased we are also working with rough sleepers to make sure they are safe as well."

Cllr Colin McGerty, who represents Queen Edith's ward, said he "warmly welcomed" the scheme.

"It has been made clear by this committee the repairs are really overdue," said Cllr McGerty. "I look forward to seeing them delivered."

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