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28DL and UE in the News - Hull Daily Mail - 15/02/07 | 28DL and Urban Exploring in the News... |

28DL and UE in the News Hull Daily Mail - 15/02/07

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Oxygen Thief

Staff member

08:00 - 15 February 2007
Urban explorers have sneaked their way back into some of the city's most striking buildings.

In August, the Mail revealed how a daredevil photographer known only as Turkey scaled one of the 100ft tower cranes at the St Stephen's development for a bird's-eye view of the city.

Despite the publicity, Turkey managed to get back into the site just weeks later to take more spectacular pictures.

A search on 28 Days Later and other similar websites reveals many other buildings in Hull have already been targeted by urban explorers.

Urban explorers enter unused or derelict buildings to take photographs of what they find.

Budding explorers on the 28 Days Later site have also suggested new potential sites for exploring in Hull.

Turkey took pictures inside St Stephen's in September, featuring work on the distinctive covered shopping street and the nose cone projecting over Ferensway.

The photographer also clambered on to the train station roof and the remains of Paragon House to take evocative night-time pictures of the city.

Turkey is now advising urban explorers they should leave St Stephen's well alone - and even urges security staff to "beef up" their patrols.

He said: "It offers brilliant opportunities for photography, but I don't recommend anyone else going there.

"I quite enjoyed documenting the place before it is finished."

Later, on a forum discussing the pictures, Turkey said: "The security is pitiful.

"I really wish they would beef it up, because some muppet will try it and hurt themselves."

Urban explorers warn against trying to follow in their footsteps. The author of the site Lighting The Darkness said: "I must advise against visiting any of the buildings documented on this site. Urban exploration is dangerous and can be classed as trespass."

Urban explorers have been criticised by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

Its occupational safety adviser Roger Bibbings said: "This is obviously reckless and irresponsible behaviour. The city environment is not some kind of extended adventure playground.

"Businesses have to go to great lengths to ensure security. The Health and Safety Executive and the construction industry have put massive efforts into preventing trespass on construction and demolition sites.

"Young children are particularly at risk from trespassing on such sites as several tragic accidents have shown.

"Security and emergency service staff can also be put at risk when trying to sort things out after something has gone wrong.

"If these people want adventure, they need to get out of town and into the countryside so they can learn the real thrills to be had from climbing not just hundreds of feet, but thousands.

"To the extent that this sort of craze is attracting young thrill-seekers in our cities, it is probably a sign we need to put more effort into providing the opportunities for outdoor education and recreation activities they really need."

Richard Smedley, project manager for St Stephen's contractor Mace, said: "Health and safety on site is always our primary concern. Unauthorised access to the site is illegal and also poses a significant danger.

"While we operate a stringent security policy, it appears some people are willing to break the law in pursuit of this irresponsible activity.

"I would like to stress the St Stephen's site is now fully operational and is a dangerous place for members of the public."

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