We often receive complaints about children playing on scooters, bicycles and ball games in public places including the roads. This document explains our views and offers advice on how these issues may be tackled if there is a perceived problem in your neighbourhood.
Are young people playing a problem?
Young people playing can become a source of disturbance and frustration for others and can cause friction in neighbourhoods.
Children have a right to play as well as a need to enjoy physical exercise and interaction with other youngsters. Play is crucial to a child’s development, making them more social and increasing their confidence and this should be encouraged.
However, everyone has the right to peaceful enjoyment of their own home, to know that their property is safe and to be treated with respect.
Playing on residential roads needs extreme caution as vehicles pose a great threat.
Playing in areas such as these does not in and-of-itself constitute anti-social behaviour.
It is not the playing that is the problem but the manner in which it is conducted. The key
to tackling this is to find a compromise that satisfies everyone.
Actions that residents can take
Some parents will be concerned that their children may not be as safe when away from the house and unsupervised. One solution is to set up a rota and take turns with other parents to go to the park.
Tips for keeping the peace
- Respect other resident’s right to safe and peaceful environment
- Keep the noise down and scooters/bicycles off other residents properties
- Don’t use foul abusive language
- Be aware of your own safety and the safety of other road users
- Parents – check where your children are playing and make sure others are not disturbed by their games
- Compromise, talk and agree with your neighbours on a time and place for games to take place
Residents and passers-by
- Children playing on scooters or bicycles is not anti-social behaviour
- Respect young peoples right to play in their own neighbourhood
- Remember parents/guardians may want their younger children to play nearby
- Sometimes it is better for young people to divert their energies into riding scooters and bicycles rather than doing other things
- Within reason, expect some noise from children playing after school, at the weekend and in the evening
- Compromise, talk and agree with your neighbours on a time and place for
games to take place
Action that the Council & police can take
They take a neutral, balanced view on the issue of children playing and expect residents to work together to find a compromise. However, in extreme cases of deliberate nuisance they may use their powers to intervene.