Urban Exploring

Urban Exploring/Urbex/Roof Topping are forms of civic or criminal trespassing onto private land and tall buildings, without the occupier’s permission.

Often the activity is filmed, including by drones, and promoted on social media. The risk-taking element is a part of the activity and intrinsic to the sub-culture and has recently included base jumping from the top of tall buildings.

CityCo, BID and Business Crime Reduction Partnership (BCRP) work with Greater Manchester Police and Manchester City Council on the issue.

Manchester has a defined exclusion criteria in place to deter individuals found on rooftops.

  • The exclusion definition is under ‘Reduction of Risk’/’Harm to self or others’
  • The exclusion is for Adults (18 and over) and is for 2 years
  • Offenders are being managed through the joint partnership to reduce the risk of repeat incidents
  • Offenders are required to commit to an ABC (Acceptable Behaviour Contract). Failure to comply may result in further sanctions being sought


Information about joining Manchester’s BCRP

  • Check the latest risk alerts and intel
  • Download the BCRP ‘DISC’ app as part of your security routine
  • Proactive social media monitoring and sharing intelligence

Brief Teams on Signs and Patterns of Behaviour

  • Propped doors or pried fire exits
  • Failed attempts to access
  • Clothing e.g. business suits, high vis, dressed as delivery drivers, emergency services, hard hats
  • Odd phone enquiries, asking for suite addresses, flat numbers
  • Unusual behaviours


  • Where are they keys
  • Is the key in a secure place
  • Site uniform controlled?
  • Foreman’s site briefings – report activity
  • Out of hours checks
  • Security patrols


  • Any walls or fences around the top or sides of buildings need to comply with planning rules
  • Permission is needed for the erection of a wall, fence or gate over 1m
  • Permission is needed for he erection of a wall, fence or gate next to a highway used by vehicles or a footpath


  • All signage to deter trespassers needs to be clear, legible and positioned in a location that can be seen and noticed


  • Install CCTV cameras or incorporate as part of the security patrol route around the roof top area
  • Ensure entry, exits points and Fire Exits are secure