A SELF-proclaimed spiritual ninja from Weymouth has spoken of his crusade to keep the streets of Weymouth safe at night.
Ken Andre, 35, has been practising ancient martial arts for 24 years and walks the streets of Weymouth four times a week on the look-out for criminals and people in distress.
Dressed head-to-toe in black, Mr Andre stalks the streets for up to three hours a night before going to nearby countryside to meditate as well as practice Tengujutsu and Ninjutsu.
Talking about his exploits, Mr Andre, who is a self-employed security guard, said: “On my walks, I come across people who are really distressed or in distress and I will help in any way I can. It has taken me many years to learn these skills but I assess every situation from a distance before going to deal with it.
“I look out for any anti-social behaviour and fights. If I come across someone being beaten up I step in, break it up and then call the police anonymously.
“It can be a terrifying experience but because of my training I can handle it.
“I have had some weird experiences as well. I once found a very distressed woman who was about to abandon her baby in the woods and I diverted that by talking to her.
“A lot of people do see me as a vigilante because I am a ninja.
“People say I am a real-life superhero but I don’t think I am. I walk in the shadows and help people but I always tell people I am just a ninja.”
Inspector Pete Browning, of Weymouth Police, warned that Mr Andre’s night-time walks could cause fear within the community.
Insp Browning said: “While we recognise the public’s different views on how to support their community, the force advises against dressing up all in black like a ninja and walking around the streets at night.
“The intentions may be good but this does present a risk of causing unnecessary public fear.
“Local people could be alarmed seeing a man in dark clothing hiding in the shadows appearing to carry a sword, and could mistake him for a burglar or someone out to cause harm.
“This may result in the unnecessary call out of officers and divert them from attending a genuine incident.”
The news of Mr Andre’s patrols came as a surprise to two managers of nightclubs in Weymouth, who are normally open during his walks.
Chris Dredge, manager of the Aura Cafe cocktail bar on the seafront, said: “I have heard of other people doing it in other places in the country but I haven’t seen anyone or heard of anyone doing it in Weymouth.
“As long as he is not doing anything wrong or causing any harm I can’t see a problem with it. I am sure his intentions are alright but he’s doing it in a bit of an extreme way. I don’t think I would be scared if he approached me.”
Keith Treggiden, manager of Rendezvous Bar and Club, said: “I haven’t heard of anything like this before.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea and I don’t think other people should be encouraged in to doing it.
“If I spotted him in the street or he came up to me I would suggest he put his skills to use by helping out with the street pastors or another organisation rather than put himself at risk.”
DOCUMENTARY ON TELEVISION TONIGHT
A television documentary on Mr Andre will be shown on the National Geographic channel tonight.
He will star in the documentary Outsiders with Darren McMullen, in which presenter Darren McMullen joins him on his patrols.