During summertime and the lighter nights we occasionally receive complaints about children playing ball games in the street or in public places. We understand that ball games can disturb people’s peace and quiet, but by law they are not classified as antisocial behaviour.
We encourage residents of all ages to enjoy the borough’s open spaces. Ball games are fun for the people playing them, but can disturb others. Most of the complaints we receive are about the way in which ball games are played. We take a neutral and balanced view on the issue of ball games. We expect residents to take responsibility within their own neighbourhood and work together to reach a compromise about any issues. You could try to agree a time and place when it would be okay to play ball games.
Players and parents - please remember
- Respect other residents right to a peaceful and safe environment - not everyone will enjoy your game as much as you.
- If you’re having a match, why not head to the park instead?
- If you have to play near houses, use a soft ball to prevent damage to your neighbour’s fences, gardens and cars and ask before getting back play equipment.
- Where possible play outside your house not anybody else’s.
- Keep the noise and the ball down and do not let your game become antisocial.
- Don’t use abusive language.
- Beware of your own safety and the safety of other road users.
- Tidy up after yourself and put any litter the bin.
- Small grassed areas outside homes may only be suitable for younger children.
- Respect the “no ball games” and “considerate use” signs.
- Parents, check where your children are playing and make sure other residents are not disturbed.
- Compromise, talk and agree with your neighbours on a time and a place for your games.
- There are plenty of lovely parks around the borough where parents and guardians can supervise safe fun play.
Residents and passers-by - please remember
- Playing ball games is not antisocial behaviour.
- Respect people’s right to play in their own neighbourhood.
- Remember parents and guardians may wish their young children to play nearby.
- Expect, within reason, children to play after school, at weekends and in the evening.
- “No ball games” signs are a request not a bylaw.
- It is not illegal to play football on a grassed verge or open space.
- There may be only one grassed area for children to play safely in their own neighbourhood.
- Sometimes it is better for young people to divert their energies into playing sport rather than doing other things.
- Compromise, create a dialogue, and speak to your neighbours to find an agreeable time and location to play.
- Open spaces are for the use of everyone.
If you are affected by antisocial behaviour it is important that you report it. This can be to the Police, housing association or the council.
101 - In non-emergency situations or report online via the Hampshire Police website.
999 - In emergency situations such as when a crime is in progress or there is an immediate risk to life.
If you would like to discuss a case of antisocial behaviour with the council, complete our contact us form and we will then be able to direct you to the correct department depending on the nature of your antisocial behaviour concern.