A police force has been criticised for sending a letter to families warning children could be punished for playing football in the street.
Officers trying to clamp down on antisocial behaviour sent the letter to people living in Warndon Villages, Worcester, saying ball games would not be tolerated.
Residents have described the letter as ‘ridiculous’ and criticised the ‘aggressive’ tone of the warning which they say is targeting children under ten as they are the only ones who play football outdoors.
‘We live around the corner from a cul-de-sac full of loads of children who regularly play outside. It’s both lovely and quite rare to see now,’ he said. ‘We’ve always encouraged our children to play outside, like we used to, and take all the health, social and mental benefits that come with it.
‘Children are growing up not to consider the police there to protect them, but keeping an eye ready to punish them.
‘But the actions of shouting at children or calling police when you see them is causing them to further pull back from any community feeling themselves, and I think that’s harmful to everybody.’
The letters from West Mercia Police were sent out to residents in the area, where properties fetch as much as £450,000, over claims of antisocial behaviour by young people playing ball games and also riding e-scooters.
It said: ‘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.’
The letter continues: ‘This behaviour has taken the form of ball games in the street, the use of e-scooters, which are not road-legal apart from designated trial areas which Worcester is not, and children in the road causing cars to swerve to avoid an accident.’
Read More: ‘Why can’t they let kids be kids anymore?’: Police force is branded ‘ridiculous’ for warning families that their children could be punished for playing FOOTBALL