In recent months, since the back end of 2016, YouTube especially has seen an influx of ‘Urban Exploring’ videos, also known as UrbEx, uploaded to the site.
Many view the kind of activity featured in these videos, as a criminal offence; and in some regards they’re right. Most recently, YouTuber NightScape jumped a security barrier after hours at One Canada Square, climbed a fire escape, and gained access to the peak of the building through an unlocked door at the top.
Not once did he break his way in.
He didn’t have to distract Security, and he wasn’t chased by them.
The worst thing he did was jump a security barrier. But the video showed that if you jump the barrier the right way, you can avoid the alarm.
Whilst I don’t think is is acceptable to gain access to private property without rightful permission, we wouldn’t even be talking about this if Security has done their job.
If I take you back to September 2016, the same YouTuber, NightScape, gained access to the recently refurbished West Ham United football stadium. Again, this was done by going after hours, and finding an entrance that hadn’t been locked by the Security staff.
Is there a common theme here?
I’m not saying that everyone should go out and try to find entrances to buildings and areas that are off limits, but I am saying that I look at this with an open mind, and I can see the benefits of a few people doing this.
After the West Ham ‘break in’ (as it was reported), they reviewed their Security systems that they had in place, upgraded them, and it is now virtually impossible to enter the stadium unless on an event day, or during a stadium tour. The same sort of upgrade has now been implemented at One Canada Square: Security has been increased and it is now well-nigh impossible to gain unauthorised access.
In the comments section of his YouTube video, NightScape himself said: “This building is completely locked off now, please do not try to attempt this.” Again, by discouraging others from doing the same thing, he’s proving that he’s not doing this to cause problems.
What this has done is put a spotlight on the flaws that need fixing, and in my eyes, it isn’t doing a bad thing.
Also, if you look at the footage and pictures that are released when these YouTube videos are uploaded, you get to see one off shots that you’ll never get to see again, and you will have to admit they are incredible.
How often is it that you get to see someone standing at the peak of the iconic building in Canary Wharf?
I don’t think these actions should be encouraged, but I don’t think that NightScape and others should be made out to be criminals when all they’re doing is climbing buildings that have presented them with an opportunity.