GLOUCESTERSHIRE Fire and Rescue Service is warning youngsters about the dangers of free-running, the latest craze sweeping the county.

Young people are using buildings and landmarks around the county to practise their sport and already accidents have occurred.

Free-running, or Parkour as it is known, originated in France and involves running, jumping or performing acrobatic stunts off buildings.

A spokesman for Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue said: "While the practice is an excellent way of exercising and getting young people active, taken out of a controlled environment such as a gym, it can be very dangerous."

Fire crews were called to an incident in Stroud recently where a teenager had fallen through the roof of a shop, but fortunately the youngster was not seriously injured.

Chief fire officer of GFRS,Terry Standing, said: "While we would always support anything that keeps young people fit and active, free-running on buildings can be very dangerous.

"When this kind of activity involves using public buildings as a playground our primary concern is the risk they pose to both themselves and potential rescuers that need to access them if they injure themselves in a unsafe location.

"I would urge anyone thinking of taking up this sport' to think twice about the location they choose and opt for the safer option of the gym or sports hall."