We're furious cops sent letter threatening kids playing football in the street after ONE couple complained…it's pathetic | The Sun

LOCALS are furious after cops sent a letter threatening kids who were playing football in the street after just one couple complained.

Those living on a housing estate in Warndon, Worcester, had the "anti-social behaviour" warning put through their post boxes.

The letter from the force advised parents to stop their children having a kick about as it "cannot be accepted".

One resident told The Sun Online it was "bang out of order" and targeting children under the age of 10 for kicking a ball about is unfair.

Darren Baker, 55, said: "It’s what kids do, isn’t it?

“When I was growing up, me and my mates were out in the street kicking a ball around whenever we had the chance.


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“It’s a natural thing for them to do.

“I’d much rather they were playing in the street where we can see them, rather than goodness knows where.

“And it gives them plenty of exercise and a chance to let off a bit of steam.

“The police really ought to have better things to do with their time than harass parents over their children playing innocently in the street. It’s outrageous.”

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He added: “I think the cops have got this one badly wrong.

“I’ve never once seen any of the children behaving badly.

"They’re respectful and polite, and no one has had a smashed window, as far as I know.

“Most of the kids I see playing in the street are under 10 years old. I really am quite surprised the police are so interested.”

Another local, Steve White, 50, said: “I’ve lived here for four years and I have never experienced a problem with kids playing.

“My neighbour has a young lad and I like to see them playing together.

”Personally I don’t think kids playing in the roads round here is at all antisocial.

“It’s a perfectly normal thing for children to want to play near their homes and I don’t mind at all because they don’t cause a problem.

“As you can see, we live on a quiet estate here and when a car comes they get out of the way.

"We’re not on a route to anywhere because it’s all cul-de-sacs here so we don’t get traffic thumping up and down the roads.”

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Another dad, wished to remain anonymous, added: "It's completely ridiculous.

"Why can't they let kids be kids anymore? Whatever happened for jumpers for goalposts? It's better than them being cooped up in their bedrooms surely.

"There's footballers like Phil Foden who said playing street football made them the players they are.

"Let them play, these are just children.

"You just don't see kids playing out anymore and now there's somewhere this is happening, police want to put a stop to it and send them back indoors.

"It's just madness and a sad reflection of the times we live in. I, for one, won't be reporting children playing ball games in the street to police. I'll say good on them."

Many locals who received the letter from West Mercia Police were reluctant to speak out in case their children were targeted by those who put in complaints about the ball games.

A mum to two boys, aged five and seven, said: “My two loved playing football out here with their mates after school and at weekends and it made me and my husband so happy to see them play.

“It was a safe environment and they were getting exercise. What more could you want for them as a parent.

“We even bought a goal for them to put up.

“But this letter from the police has killed it. They are bang out of order with this one.”

Part of the letter said if the kids aren't stopped, action will be taken.

It read: "As you will understand anti-social behaviour cannot be accepted.

"The community has made this quite clear and the Government has responded with powerful legislation which has dramatic effects on the individual offenders."

One resident who admitted to complaining in the past said it creates "nuisance and noise".

He said: “I have complained in the past about children playing ball games and roller blading and skateboarding in the street because if a car comes, it’s dangerous. It also creates nuisance and noise.

“When you ask families to ask them to stop, they refuse.

“There was an accident involving a car and three girls on roller blades so it can be dangerous.

"It’s a shame it’s had to come to the point where it’s got official.

“They don’t need to play in the street though. There’s a park up the road and everyone’s got a back garden.”

A force spokesperson said: “The letter refers to specific concerns raised by residents of Dockeray Avenue.

"These related to numerous reports of anti-social behaviour by a group of unnamed local young people.

“It aimed to bring to the attention of parents the complaints that had been raised so that they could discuss with their children the safety implications of playing in the road and how particular behaviours could be seen as distressing to other residents.

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“We continue to work with the local community on issues that are important to them.

"We have recently heard from some who had initially expressed concerns and they confirm that the original anti-social behaviour has since ceased."

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