St.Helens Community Safety Partnership (CSP) acknowledge that
street games and associated noise and nuisance can have a
detrimental effect on the quality of life of residents. On occasion
this needs to be balanced by a child's right to play in a safe
environment. However street games (including ball games)
deliberately and persistently played recklessly and leading to
property damage may on occasions be classed as anti-social
or criminal behaviour, which is something we take
seriously. In these circumstances, Merseyside Police should
be made aware.
We have received enquiries from residents about the application of
the Highways 1980 Act to deal with street games:
Section 161(3) of the Act states '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'. This law
is a national law and as such enforceable by the Police. The
Council has no power to enforce it.
You will note the term 'user of the highway', this does
not include annoyance to any person living nearby, e.g.
annoyance to you whilst you are in your property.
We advise the following;
- Children are allowed to play on green open spaces, which are
available for everyone to use;
- Parent/Guardians should ensure that their children are playing
in a safe environment;
- Use a soft ball if you are playing in the street around
- Respect any "no ball games" signs;
- If playing in the street make sure it is safe and respect
- Ask permission before entering people's gardens to collect
- Do not play near parked cars;
- Parents/Guardians should check where your children are playing
and consider talking to neighbours about appropriate times if
playing in the street; and
- Residents within reason should expect some noise from children
playing at weekends, after school and in the evenings
St.Helens Council are committed to working with
Merseyside Police to keep your area safe.
If you need to report anti-social behaviour you
can do this using the Police
online reporting facility or via non-emergency number of
101. The free Crimestoppers number can also be used - 0800