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Football and ball games complaints

During summertime and the lighter nights we receive complaints about children playing ball games in the street or in public places. This web page offers advice as to how this issue may be addressed in your area.

Normally, football and other ball games are not classed as anti-social behaviour. However, we do recognise that although they are fun for the people playing them, they can be a disturbance for others.

Green spaces may seem ideal for ball games, but in some residential areas they are often only a small distance away from residents' gardens, walls and garages. This is why complaints can arise. Most complaints we receive are not about the playing of ball games, but the way in which they are played.

Outdoor play code - for children and young people, parents and residents

If you're being bothered by an issue such as this, we ask that you consider both sides in seeking a solution, and before making a formal complaint. Children have a right to play; it is crucial to a child's development as a social, confident member of your community and should be encouraged. However, people also have a right to enjoy their home and know that their property is safe, and to be treated respectfully.

Children playing ball games in your area are almost certainly the children of neighbours in your community. Some parents who are concerned for their children's safety might want them to play close to their houses. Please speak to parents to seek a resolution - especially before making an official complaint, discussion and compromise can be the best way to resolve disputes.

Please download our Outdoor Play code leaflet which provides simple tips and advice.

What is classed as anti-social behaviour?

If ball games are deliberately and persistently played recklessly leading to property damage they can be classed as anti-social behaviour, something that our anti-social behaviour team take very seriously.


Contact us
Customer Services
03000 26 0000
Our address is:
  • Durham County Council
  • County Hall
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UQ
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