‘We can beat the cheats too’ warn contest bosses

Beat The Street launch in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire with Maple Grove School
Beat The Street launch in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire with Maple Grove School

A fun challenge that encourages people to leave the car at home and walk, cycle or run to their destination with points and prizes up for grabs along the way has been tainted by cheaters.

Beat The Street sees people collecting points by swiping special ID cards at check points along their route but some parents who drive their children to school have been spotted stopping off en route to swipe their cards.

One mother was outed on Facebook after being seen stopping at Hemel Hempstead’s Magic Roundabout to swipe her children’s cards before continuing their journey behind the wheel.

County Councillor Teresa Heritage, who oversees public health, said: “It would be disappointing if anyone was cheating, as it wouldn’t be in the spirit of an initiative aimed at getting people more active.

“We monitor all the boxes and swipes on them and if we notice a pattern of cards being used to cheat, we will wipe the points from these cards and all the points will also be lost from the team tall - so we can ‘beat the cheats’ too.”

The challenge is funded by Herts County Council and encourages young and old to get out and about.

Ms Heritage said: “While it does target children it isn’t aimed solely at them, instead hoping to get their parents and grandparents more active along with them, together as a family.”

People score points and can win prizes through the challenge, which tasks people with travelling 500,000 miles over the six week period of the contest, ending on July 15. 9,650 people are taking part in Hemel.