Urban Exploring Guidance

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

Often the activity is filmed and promoted on social media. The risk-taking element is a part of the activity and intrinsic to the sub-culture.

City Partnership: Taking Action

CityCo and the Business Crime Reduction Partnership (BCRP) are working with Greater Manchester Police and Manchester City Council on this 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 be 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 may result in further sanctions being sought.


Information about joining Manchester’s Business Crime Reduction Partnership (BCRP)

  • Check the latest risk alerts and intel via the BCRP
  • Make the BCRP ‘DISC’ app part of your security routine – DOWNLOAD and USE IT
  • Monitor social media accounts and share intelligence.

Brief Teams on Signs and Patterns of Behaviour

  • Propped doors
  • 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.


  • Have you left the keys in it?
  • Was it secured as you left?
  • Site uniform controlled?
  • Foreman’s site briefings – report activity
  • Out of hours checks.


  • 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 needs to be clear (stating on private land/building), 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.

If you are a CityCo or Manchester BID member and need to discuss an issue with our Operations Team, please email us or call 0161 838 3250.