Police Tell Surrey Children Not To Play On The Street

Parents in Thames Ditton have criticised Surrey Police after a leaflet from the neighbourhood policing team warned them not to let their children play outside.

The leaflet, which was delivered to households around recently-refurbished Southville Road, said that playing sports such as football in the street is a criminal offence, especially when the sports lead to accidents, distress, alarm or annoyance.

“Please, for your own safety, do not play sports in the road,” the letter finished.

Parents said that their children were now afraid to play on the street and worried they might be arrested.

After the first letter was criticised, the police issued another flyer apologising for the way the message was interpreted. Inspector David Hollingworth said that while playing football on public highways might be unlawful in certain instances, it would not be criminal behaviour.

While the risk of motor vehicle accidents could dissuade some parents from letting their children play out on the street, Play England programme development manager Steven Chown pointed out that children ought to play outside and be physically active.

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