PLANK safe – that’s the advice from a Colac police officer in the wake of a peculiar internet craze that has taken the world by storm.
Youth liaison officer Terry Woodcroft said there was a variety of issues associated with planking – the trend which has propelled thousands of people to lie flat in outlandish places and share photos on the internet.
“We have a fad on our hands; it’s official as far as I’m concerned,” Leading Senior Constable Woodcroft said.
A bunch of plankers in action
All pictures from Google Images
“People want to get their picture in all sorts of weird and wonderful places doing this stunt,” he said.
“What people have to keep in mind is that with this type of thing, there is a natural propensity for people to want to outdo each other.
“That in itself is concerning that people will try and outdo each other to a point where they forget about safety, they forget about respect for other people’s property.”
The peculiar obsession led to a tragedy when a 20-year-old man died when he attempted to plank on the seventh-floor balcony rail of a Brisbane apartment building.
Sen Const Woodcroft urged people to use their common sense.
“I see a potential for fun and interesting photo to be taken with this fad but please be safe, that’s the message,” he said.
“Think of issues such as trespass, that’s quite a real legal issue in this.
“There’s also the issue of wilful damage; a lot of structures simply aren’t designed for people to be lying on them and they will break.”
Meanwhile, Colac Secondary College acting principal Simon Dewar said young people should be mindful of the detrimental outcomes of activities such as planking.
“I would just encourage young people to think of the consequences for this type of behaviour before carrying out,” he said.
Colac’s Youth Council vice-chair Lucy Vesey said planking could be “pretty dangerous”.
But Ms Vesey, 19, said the activity was fine within reason.
“To do it within a safe environment is fair enough, to do it on a train track or on the road or on balconies it just taking it a bit too far,” she said.