Laws in Finland (English)
The following will guide you through the legal rights relating to the typical reasons given by security guards/landowners.
Always train with respect for others and your surroundings. Do not run away or act suspiciously if police or others approach you. If you are asked to move on, then you should explain what Parkour is, be respectful and move on. It is better to be on good terms with landowners and/or the police if you, or other practitioners, want to return another day.
“This is a private property”
In Finland, there is the “everyman’s right” under the Nature Conservation Act that gives you the right to move everywhere you feel like. However, everyman’s right does not include closed areas (e.g. factories and institutions) and areas covered by domestic peace (e.g. backyards, courtyards, stairwells, terraces and balconies). Otherwise, the practitioner can practice anywhere as long as the activities do not disturb the domestic peace or otherwise cause disturbance or injury to others.
“We are responsible if you hurt yourself”
The property owner has an increased duty of care, as they may have to compensate for injury that has occurred in the area of the property. This duty includes taking care of the proper installation and maintenance of the structures in the area and the notification of possible dangerous matters. When practicing Parkour, a practitioner voluntarily accepts the risk of injury. As a result, the property owner cannot be held liable for any personal injury.
However, the practitioner can be held liable if they cause damage to the property.
“We have recordable video surveillance”
The purpose of surveillance cameras in most situations is to facilitate criminal investigations and to monitor who has been on the property. In practice, the camera records what you are doing and the recording shows that you have not committed a crime. You can politely express that you are not doing anything illegal.
“We’ll call the cops”
Sometimes you may be threatened by calling the police to the scene. The police should not be called to the scene if no crime has occurred. In this situation, there is no reason to suspect a crime if you do not cause damage to the environment or anyone’s property or endanger the safety of others. If the police arrive at the scene and ask you to leave, then you should do so. You can politely tell them what you are doing.
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