We Have Got To Get A Playground

, , , , , , | Legal | November 21, 2020

I have been noticing a lot of minor and odd occurrences in the car park that my garden backs up to. It’s little things, like my valve cap covers going missing, toys left in the road, my bin disappearing, drinks and rubbish left all over and on the cars, etc.

It’s annoying but nothing major, so I chalk it up to the new family that just moved in and hope it will sort itself out.

Eventually, I set up a couple of cameras and unsurprisingly see the new family’s kids messing with cars, throwing rubbish around, etc.

One day, I find a football in my garden. I check the cameras and see that the kids have been kicking the ball against my fence and actually other people’s cars! The ball goes over my fence, and then they actually try to come into my garden — thankfully it’s locked — and give up. I’m pretty annoyed, so a few days later when their father arrives at my door, I am ready for him.

Father: “I’m very sorry, but my kids kicked their ball into your garden. Could I have it back?”

Me: “No.”

Father: “Please, I am asking as they did it only by accident. It was their present.”

Me: “No. You see, I put up cameras. And what do I see? Your children damaging cars, throwing rubbish around, and then trying to get into my garden. You can have your ball back when you promise to actually supervise your children and they apologise.”

He disappeared without saying a word.

On reflection, it occurred to me that I had no right to keep the ball, and I felt pretty bad. I figured I would throw it back over the fence after a day or two.

It was a surprise to see the police at my door the next day. I let them in and confirmed that I would return the ball, but I also showed them the camera footage. They took particular interest in the cars the kids were interfering with and they visited each of the houses.

It turned out that no one wanted to take the issue further, but they did speak with the father to inform him of what could have happened, and how he would be responsible for any damage his children caused.

In the end, he stopped letting the kids play unsupervised in the car park. Hopefully, he didn’t just set them loose on another neighbourhood.

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