The below briefing was produced by the Metropolitan Police for sharing;
What is Urban Exploring ?
Urban Exploring, also referred to as Urbex, is the exploration of unseen or off-limit places or buildings.
In London, individuals and groups have entered buildings as trespassers (mainly at night) to get to the roof and take photos of the London skyline.
In the words of one Urban Explorer:
“We do it because we love London and want to see it from a different perspective. We don’t break anything or damage property, so we don’t see what the problem is. We are just going in to have a look, that’s all”.
Why is it a problem?
Although they may not think they are doing anything wrong, the places they are entering are ‘restricted’ or ‘off limits’ for a good reason.
Not only are many of the buildings or locations private places and the owners do not want trespassers, there are also significant safety and security risks.
Urban Explorers are gaining access to high locations, often without protective equipment and with a significant risk of falling. These locations also have a variety of other risks such as unstable roofs and dangerous hazards (especially on buildings still under construction).
For the building owners there is always the risk that damage will be caused (whether it is intentional or not). There are also significant security concerns.
The main security concern regarding the activities of Urban Exploring is:
“If they can do it, so can others”
Many of the locations already have security in place to prevent criminal activity such as burglary, or in the case of more sensitive locations, terrorism.
The activities of Urban Explorers have shown that on occasion these security measures can be breached.
Furthermore, many urban explorer websites detail how they gained access, which is an unintentional benefit to others who may wish to gain access for criminal purposes.
What can you do about it ?
Many of the buildings and locations targeted by Urban Explorers already have reasonable security measures in place.
Urban Explorers have admitted that before gaining access to a building a substantial amount of planning and research takes place. This means that they are visiting the locations and conducting reconnaissance.
By making you aware of this problem and by remaining vigilant whilst challenging any suspicious behaviour, it will help to disrupt and discourage Urban Exploring.
It is believed that there are currently only a small group of people in London taking part in these activities.