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Old 07-01-2008, 17:31
Distoney
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Hi

I have a query here and wonder if anyone can give me any guidance.

Here's the story.

My son is out playing a game of football with his friend in a cul de sac. We live in an open plan area and I have told him to keep the ball out of neighbours' gardens. However, they do have a few slip ups from time to time. I dont have a problem with neighbours chasing him as they have a right to keep their properties nice. What I have a problem with is that my neighbour is using verbal abuse and clinching his fists at them. My son came into us terrorised. My OH was going to confront him but I told him that they could make a bad situation worse because they were both angry and could act in the heat of the moment. My son and his friend are 11 and 9 and they are both well mannered children who have even apologied to this guy. They dont give anybody any cheek back.

I'm wondering if our neighbour continues with the verbal abuse if it is possible to threaten legal action against him.
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Old 07-01-2008, 17:41
poppypinkie
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Some people have no joy in their hearts and no soul. What a grumpy old sod! Can he remember being 9?


I have no advice for you unfortunately, just some sympathy.
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Old 07-01-2008, 17:43
KeiranW
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I dont know where the legal side could stand. As if he has on previous occasions been OK with it and passed the balls back, Then I guess he could claim he has had enough with it.

The only grounds it would stand on, Is if he actually comes out from his property onto the/a public path swearing as that can be classed under the Public Order Act 1986. Under;
A person is guilty of an offence if, with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress, he—

(a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or

(b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting.

Isnt it possible for the kids to play on the other side? Directly away from the neighbour?
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Old 07-01-2008, 17:45
TommyGavin76
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Playing football in the street is actually illegal so I'm not sure where you stand.
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Old 07-01-2008, 17:47
A-Friend
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Are there cars parked near there? I guess my main concern would be that a mis-hit pass hits someone's car damaging it. Or worse, someone pulls out in their car without seeing your son and he gets hit. Playing in the street was great years ago when there were less cars, but now I think it's a dying tradition (which is a shame, as I'm only 28 and can remember playing at the end of a cul-de-sac which a friend of mine lived on when i was around 8, 9 or 10!).

Silly question, but can he not play in the garden (if you have one?).
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Old 07-01-2008, 17:49
KeiranW
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Playing football in the street is actually illegal so I'm not sure where you stand.
Is that for the whole of the UK? I thought it was upto Individual Councils to set the bans?

If it is for everyone, Then wow! I learned something new!
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Old 07-01-2008, 17:50
TommyGavin76
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Is that for the whole of the UK? I thought it was upto Individual Councils to set the bans?

If it is for everyone, Then wow! I learned something new!
The Highways Act Section 161...

If a person plays at football or any other game on a highway to the annoyance of a user of the highway he is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level 1 on the standard scale.
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Old 07-01-2008, 17:59
paulyoung666
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we had a right problem a while ago with a gang of chavs 17-18 year olds that should have known better , they were literally booting a heavy leather ball all over the place breaking windows and denting cars , they seem to have gone now , mind you it did take the local beat bobby and his loony sidekick the pcso to sort them , maybe the op's neighbour has been on the end of something similar and has had enough , or he could just be a ******** , i would go and try and talk the situation out amicably , if possible
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Old 07-01-2008, 18:00
Distoney
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Thank you for your replies. I am aware of the Highways Act and would be first to comply to it. My son's friend does have a large front garden and they mostly play there. My son does keep the ball down but his friend does have the tendency to kick it up high. I have since told my son not to play football anywhere near his friend's garden which is opposite this man's house. I make him play at the other side of our house now where I can keep a closer eye on him as I dont want to have any conversation with this man.

We only moved here a year and a half ago and apparently he has had similar run ins with other children in the area. He has even cut some of their footballs with a knife and used bad language to them. He is one of these people who is always out cleaning and polishing his car and cleaning the outside of his house. I dont condemn him for having this pride. In fact, it is nice to see but I think he is just plain neurotic and obsessive about his possessions.
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Old 07-01-2008, 18:03
Distoney
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we had a right problem a while ago with a gang of chavs 17-18 year olds that should have known better , they were literally booting a heavy leather ball all over the place breaking windows and denting cars , they seem to have gone now , mind you it did take the local beat bobby and his loony sidekick the pcso to sort them , maybe the op's neighbour has been on the end of something similar and has had enough , or he could just be a ******** , i would go and try and talk the situation out amicably , if possible
I can understand that problem as well and if these children were as threatening as older chav teenagers, I could maybe understand his outburst more. My concern with this man's behaviour is that he could invite trouble around his door in future years because a lot of these kids now will be teenagers in a few years time and will not even pay any attention to him. I love my house but fear that I will have to move because of this.
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Old 07-01-2008, 19:12
paulyoung666
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I dont condemn him for having this pride. In fact, it is nice to see but I think he is just plain neurotic and obsessive about his possessions.

you cant have it both ways unfortunately , and how would you feel if a window was smashed or you had a nasty dent in your car , i hope you understand i am not being funny in any way
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Old 07-01-2008, 19:15
missgonzohehehe
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Hi

I have a query here and wonder if anyone can give me any guidance.

Here's the story.

My son is out playing a game of football with his friend in a cul de sac. We live in an open plan area and I have told him to keep the ball out of neighbours' gardens. However, they do have a few slip ups from time to time. I dont have a problem with neighbours chasing him as they have a right to keep their properties nice. What I have a problem with is that my neighbour is using verbal abuse and clinching his fists at them. My son came into us terrorised. My OH was going to confront him but I told him that they could make a bad situation worse because they were both angry and could act in the heat of the moment. My son and his friend are 11 and 9 and they are both well mannered children who have even apologied to this guy. They dont give anybody any cheek back.

I'm wondering if our neighbour continues with the verbal abuse if it is possible to threaten legal action against him.
I understand that you are upset and your neighbour has behaved an dreadful way towards two children but would threatening legal action really be a solution.

This may end up causing more problems with your neighbour.
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Old 07-01-2008, 19:21
Distoney
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you cant have it both ways unfortunately , and how would you feel if a window was smashed or you had a nasty dent in your car , i hope you understand i am not being funny in any way
I obviously would not be very happy if my property was damaged. The thing is, the balls that they play with are not heavy balls and he has not had any damage done to his property. If it were proven that my son did do any damage, of course, I would accept liability. I am not against my neighbour chasing my son or him having to raise his voice if they are persistently playing and annoying him. I am against this man acting in a threatening way to young children who are of no threat to him. He hasn't even had the guts to approach us as parents.
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Old 07-01-2008, 19:28
Saigo
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Hi

I have a query here and wonder if anyone can give me any guidance.

Here's the story.

My son is out playing a game of football with his friend in a cul de sac. We live in an open plan area and I have told him to keep the ball out of neighbours' gardens. However, they do have a few slip ups from time to time. I dont have a problem with neighbours chasing him as they have a right to keep their properties nice. What I have a problem with is that my neighbour is using verbal abuse and clinching his fists at them. My son came into us terrorised. My OH was going to confront him but I told him that they could make a bad situation worse because they were both angry and could act in the heat of the moment. My son and his friend are 11 and 9 and they are both well mannered children who have even apologied to this guy. They dont give anybody any cheek back.

I'm wondering if our neighbour continues with the verbal abuse if it is possible to threaten legal action against him.
Every parent thinks their kid is an angel. The kids round my way get away with anything - they hurl abuse at everyone but then tell their parents how polite they are. The parents think the kids can do no wrong. Trust me, that is not the case. Sometimes you need to take off the rose-tinted parent goggles and take an objective view. Not saying your kids are bad, but have you witnessed any of this?


I hate kids playing football in the street.

We have had it in our road and, apart from the damage to my car, the obstruction they cause and the ball coming onto our property...

...it is so bloody noisy! The thump of the football, the innane screeching at the top of their voices.

I pay hundreds of thousands of pounds for a house and can't get a minute of peace - and there is an amazing park around the corner!


My advice is: What makes you think other residents should have to put up with YOUR children? Send them to the park. The public highway is not for football and residents are entitled to some peace and security.

How is inflicting this on others fair?
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Old 07-01-2008, 19:30
Saigo
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He hasn't even had the guts to approach us as parents.
Probably because of the violent culture we live in these days. Neighbour disputes escalate fast.
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Old 07-01-2008, 19:37
Collette
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To be fair I have a football mad 7 year old but he's not allowed to play footie out in the street - if he wants to play he does so in the back garden or at the park. I get annoyed with kids playing ball around our cars and with constantly being asked if they can get their ball back off my garden
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Old 07-01-2008, 19:46
Distoney
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Hi

I have a query here and wonder if anyone can give me any guidance.

Here's the story.



Every parent thinks their kid is an angel. The kids round my way get away with anything - they hurl abuse at everyone but then tell their parents how polite they are. The parents think the kids can do no wrong. Trust me, that is not the case. Sometimes you need to take off the rose-tinted parent goggles and take an objective view. Not saying your kids are bad, but have you witnessed any of this?


I hate kids playing football in the street.

We have had it in our road and, apart from the damage to my car, the obstruction they cause and the ball coming onto our property...

...it is so bloody noisy! The thump of the football, the innane screeching at the top of their voices.

I pay hundreds of thousands of pounds for a house and can't get a minute of peace - and there is an amazing park around the corner!


My advice is: What makes you think other residents should have to put up with YOUR children? Send them to the park. The public highway is not for football and residents are entitled to some peace and security.

How is inflicting this on others fair?
I understand where you are coming from but this is not happening every minute of the day outside his door. We do take him out to the park and he goes to the leisure centre a few times a week. During the week he is at school and spends a few hours after doing his homework. He goes to music lessons on Saturdays and we take him out on Sundays. We have other ways of keeping them occupied as they play indoors a lot of the times as well. If you read what I have posted, I did state that my neighbour does have the right to chase my son if he is annoying them but he does not have the right to verbally abuse him with an implicit threat of violence.

Kids get excited outside no matter what games they play, whether or not it is football. We were once kids ourselves and in the world we live in now, is it not nice to see children having their childhood as long as possible instead of drinking and being on drugs as young as 10 years of age. The fields we used to have when we were young no longer exist. They have either been built on or taken over by yobs so it is not just as easy to take them to places like this. Also, we paid a lot of money for our house to help our child get a better life, not to listen to somebody who has obviously been brought up in a low life environment.
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Old 07-01-2008, 19:59
Distoney
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Probably because of the violent culture we live in these days. Neighbour disputes escalate fast.

I agree with you. We didn't approach our neighbour about his language given the temper he displayed to the children as we thought we would make the situation worse. That is not what I want. I dont want my neighbours being inconvenienced with ball playing all the time. I honestly would stop him playing if a lot of people were upset by it. That is not the case. The rest of the neighbours are pretty tolerant as they have kids/dogs themselves. He is the only one kicking up such a racket about it and I dont have a problem with his issue, it is just how he enforces it.
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Old 07-01-2008, 20:01
Distoney
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To be fair I have a football mad 7 year old but he's not allowed to play footie out in the street - if he wants to play he does so in the back garden or at the park. I get annoyed with kids playing ball around our cars and with constantly being asked if they can get their ball back off my garden
Unfortunately, I cant even let my son play in the back garden as his back garden is adjacent to ours. That would cause an absolute uproar altogether if the ball went into his back.
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Old 07-01-2008, 20:08
stumblebum
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Sorry but I have a certain degree of sympathy with your neighbour.
TBH kids playing football in the road is always a recipe for disaster

It is bloody annoying to other residents for a start.
It is dangerous.
Peoples property gets damaged - however careful... and lets face it how careful are 7-11 year olds

Whether it is a cul de sac or not, a road is not an appropriate place for children to play.

It causes more neighbour disputes than I would care to mention and TBh by sending your kids out to annoy other residents rather than having them in your own garden, smacks of nimbyism
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Old 07-01-2008, 20:12
thedoguk
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My advise is as its a one off, LEAVE WELL ALONE. This is how domestic disputes, and violence begins. Just leave it. If it continues then fair enough.
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Old 07-01-2008, 20:12
lalaland
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The only grounds it would stand on, Is if he actually comes out from his property onto the/a public path swearing as that can be classed under the Public Order Act 1986. Under;
A person is guilty of an offence if, with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress, heó

(a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or

(b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting.

Isnt it possible for the kids to play on the other side? Directly away from the neighbour?
The male doesn't have to be on the public pavement to commit this offence. As his abuse is directed at individuals who are in the public domain he still commits a public order offence despite him being on private property.

If he's threatening the boys it's section 4 of the public order act, if it's abuse directed at them it's section 4a and if it's abuse in general it's section 5. As I wasn't there, I don't know which is more applicable at this time.
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Old 07-01-2008, 20:16
Distoney
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Sorry but I have a certain degree of sympathy with your neighbour.
TBH kids playing football in the road is always a recipe for disaster

It is bloody annoying to other residents for a start.
It is dangerous.
Peoples property gets damaged - however careful... and lets face it how careful are 7-11 year olds

Whether it is a cul de sac or not, a road is not an appropriate place for children to play.

It causes more neighbour disputes than I would care to mention and TBh by sending your kids out to annoy other residents rather than having them in your own garden, smacks of nimbyism

They are not sent out to annoy other residents. Were you never a child yourself at one time? How did you play? Did you stay in the house all day or walk around the street whispering in case you would disturb somebody? Are you saying then that children should stay in their houses all day watching the telly and playing playstations etc and not get fresh air? As I say, it is not happening all the time. They only play the football on rare occasions.
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Old 07-01-2008, 20:16
lalaland
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Unfortunately, I cant even let my son play in the back garden as his back garden is adjacent to ours. That would cause an absolute uproar altogether if the ball went into his back.
That's ridiculous, if it's a genuine mistake what's the problem?

We have the neighbouring kid's ball in our garden quite often at weekends, but it never causes any damage and they are always polite when asking if they can retrieve their ball so I don't mind.

If you neighbour is preventing your child enjoying his own home's garden then there's a problem that should possibly be addressed. Have you considered looking in to putting up netting when he's playing football? You could take them down after if they are a problem, but it may resolve the situation.

Kids being outside exercising is great and if he's got a garden to play in, all the better. It's a shame that you have neighbours intent on spoiling your child's exercise and enjoyment
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Old 07-01-2008, 20:20
Distoney
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My advise is as its a one off, LEAVE WELL ALONE. This is how domestic disputes, and violence begins. Just leave it. If it continues then fair enough.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that it is a one off as I have banned my son from playing anywhere near him. I wont be doing anything at this stage as his behaviour would have to be a lot more often but I am keeping records of events in case I have to take action in future. I do think there will be further events with other parents though but I would prefer to stay out of it.
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