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  • Dream House, Nightmare football

    Hello everyone,



    Finally I seem to have found a site where people will listen to my ranting and perhaps understand.



    I bought this house about eighteen months ago with my then fiance (now my husband of six weeks). We thought we'd found the perfect home. We did all the "right" things, visited at different times of the day, chatted to the next door neighbours etc, but we didn't encounter the kids and their footballs.



    We live opposite an open public green space with a sub station on the land - a perfect football goal, and directly opposite our house. The kids - some of them up to about twenty years of age kick the football against the sub station. The ball then rebounds and hits my car parked on the road or the front of the house.



    Between our front garden and the substation is at least twenty feet so they really belt the ball. I have been in the living room as the ball banged on the living room window.



    Because the cars are hit as the ball rebounds we now find ourselves jumping up to look out of the window every time we hear a bang.



    We do have a drive but it only has space for my husbands car (we decided to park his on it as there is less chance of it being hit and it is newer than mine).



    I've tried everything I can think of:

    [B]The police [/B]- We can't do anything as the damage is unintentional

    The local authority - We suggested a fence or trees to seperate the green area from the road, but we were told that as we live on a private estate they can't help us.

    Local Councillors - They've all been looking into it and will get back to us (for the last six months)



    Our estate has about 300 houses, none of the kids live directly near us, but we think they do live on the estate. We don't know where they live so can't talk to the parents.

    We've tried talking to the kids but have varying degrees of success. Sometimes they'll play elsewhere for an hour but they always come back. I've cried at them, screamed and shouted, and tried being nice.



    We pray for rain, we feel sick as we turn the corner into our road incase they are out again, we sometimes avoid going home.



    Our immediate neighbours don't seem bothered- some don't have cars, others have said "just ignore it, you never know what they'll do to retaliate if you ask them to stop". Our neighbourhood is not very friendly anyway - it's an achievment if a neighbour replies to a hello.



    Sometimes I find myself just looking out of an upstairs window for hours on end watching them hit my car and knowing there's nothing I can do.



    We've put our perfect house up for sale but who'd want to live in a house where up to twenty kids play football directly opposite.



    Feel surprisingly better now that I've had this moan - but seriously, any suggestions on what to do next.

  • #2
    Wow, this brings back some miserable memories. This is almost a mirror of the beginnings of our abuse. 5 kids (their numbers don`t matter, one is enough) playing football against the back wall of a garage right outside our back gate (our bedrooms and living room face the back). I absolutely dreaded coming home at nights from wherever, every single bang against that wall was...well, a hammer into my soul. Two noises actually, the actual kick of the ball, and the ball hitting the wall. Ugh. Makes me wanna scream just thinking about it. I understand the praying for rain. Completely.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Lizzie and welcome to the forum



      Kids and footballs!!!! Bane of my life!!! How can the police say the damage was unintentional? The kids know they shouldn't be playing there so any damage they cause is because they are doing wrong in the first place! If they know they are causing damage and continue to cause damage then it is INTENTIONAL!



      I'd suggest you do all sorts of things, keep a diary, report incidents to the police, approach MP's, councillors etc. But to be perfectly honest, as you have found out, not much, if anything, gets done about it.



      Basically, what you have are a bunch of antisocial yobs making your life hell and there's no guarantee that when you do move you find find it happening all over again because it seems its a very common problem. I'm sorry if sound really pessimistic but I've got similar problems myself and have been trying for nearly 20 years to get something done



      We've put our perfect house up for sale but who'd want to live in a house where up to twenty kids play football directly opposite[/b]
      Well, you bought it so who's to say someone else won't buy it You might feel guilty about selling and not saying anything but you need to think of yourself and your needs first.



      In the meantime maybe you could have a word with our local Neighbourhood Police officer who may be able to give you some advice. Ask him about their policy on antisocial behaviour. One piece of advice I was given by our local Police Inspector was to report EVERY incident. That way the police build up a picture of what is going on and might eventually do something about it. Despite what I said earlier, do keep a diary. If you don't know the names of the youths involved note down their descriptions.



      We pray for rain, we feel sick as we turn the corner into our road incase they are out again, we sometimes avoid going home...........Sometimes I find myself just looking out of an upstairs window for hours on end watching them hit my car and knowing there's nothing I can do.[/b]


      I know these feelings quite well You really must try and do something to take your mind off the problem. It's very difficult, I know, almost impossible sometimes but if you don't it will just eat away at you. Try some relaxation exercises, watch a film, read a book, play some music.



      I wish I could be more helpful because I think I know exactly what you are going through.



      If you want to rant or need a shoulder to cry on, come back, often Good luck with the sale of your house



      Misty
      "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi

      Comment


      • #4
        every single bang against that wall was...well, a hammer into my soul.[/b]


        Reinen I didn't see your post until after I'd posted but what you say above is the perfect description of what this kind of behaviour does to someone. I only have to hear the first kick and I feel that stabbing feeling in the stomach, the heart starting to race, the breathing becoming more rapid and the desperate need to block out the next 'thump'.



        Misty

        "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Lizzie



          sorry to hear about the problem with the "kids"



          I think like Sue has said it's about how much of a fight you want to take on, as many people here know it can be such a long drawn out process.



          you do need to contact your local bobby to see if they can offer you any advice.



          I dont know about protecting your car but you could add some trellis to your garden to protect your windows, stop the balls before thy reach your house.



          come and visit often

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Lizzie,



            Welcome to the board, and its good to know you feel better for venting your spleen!



            Others here suffer in exactly the same manner, one or two are selling to avoid this (myself included), so please don't feel you've failed in some way, just retrenched!!



            A tip for the future, I've asked loads on the board how to avoid this - the answer is you can't but can minimize, eg. live on a main road, built up areas etc. thats what i'm goin for next time!



            Unfortunately, "perfect" areas attract all sorts, particularly irresponsible parents, children and barking dogs!(sorry, gang, if you have kids, know you're all ok!) but kids will congregate on a green area or in my case, my front driveway! (4 kids yesterday, not one from next door NFH!)



            Try not to be stressed about selling, it will happen, others have pointed out that what you like about the house will attract others, so don't worry.



            Keep posting on your progress.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Lizzie and welcome to the Forum



              I'm really sorry to hear about the problems you're having with these youths and their football, I know from reading other members posts that it can really grate on you after hearing the thuds day in day out.



              About selling your house, I wouldn't get too disheartened. Like Misty said, you bought your house - someone will buy yours. It may be the ideal location for a family who have children who like to play football (if the kids are playing on a viewing day) - so they may not be put off at all.



              Like others have said, I would definitiely follow the Police issue up with your local Community "Beat" Bobby, they may be able to offer you some very valuable advice.



              Inventive planting in your garden can help, advice on the board has already been given regarding specific bushes and their benefits. I can't remember what the plant was called, so hopefully someone will help me out on that.



              Living in an awful situation can really take its toll on you, and I can fully appreciate why you stand looking out of the window - it can really get to you like that. Please make sure you get plenty of "me" time, doing nice things away from where you are experiencing the problem: be that music, shopping, relaxation, going to the cinema.



              Welcome again, and please come back to let us know how you are getting on.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks everyone, it's actually lovely to know that I am not a nutter! When I've spoken to friends about the situation I am left feeling as though I've made a mountain from a molehill. You do get fed up of being told not to let them win, or just ignore it.

                I'm now hopeful of a family viewing with a budding David Beckham.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sorry made a mistake again Jim
                  Don't look a grizzly bear in the eye when you're eating fish 'n' chips.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Lizzie,

                    I’m sorry to hear of your problems with the yobs on your estate. I don’t know if this will help but I am Chairperson of our Estate Tenants & Residents Group, and we invite our local councillors to our monthly meetings to hear our tales of woe, and over time we eventually turn thing round to our mutual satifaction but believe me it’s a slow process.



                    Sometimes the local beat bobby attends and he told us, when we report incidents to the police always ask for a reference number or the incident will not be recorded and therefore will not count as a crime.



                    The police have been doing this for years to make it seem that crime is falling when in fact it is rising and only the police and politicians refuse to see what is going on under their noses. Paradoxically if all crimes were recorded the police would have a good case to demand more resources but that’s another story.



                    I have had a rant on here before about the general decriminalisation of yobbish behaviour and it seems that society is willing to put up with it so that council tax does not have to rise, but we will all have to pay a higher price in the end.



                    I would make all MP's and Chief Police Officers live on the worst estates in the country until they got their act together and sorted this mess out.



                    Thanks I feel better now, Jim.
                    Don't look a grizzly bear in the eye when you're eating fish 'n' chips.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi again Lizzie



                      It is nice to know you're not alone isn't it? We found that too, we'd speak to friends and family and they would think that we were blowing things out of proportion.



                      You know yourself, when you are feeling really low about the whole situation (staring out of the window/ ears to the wall/ waiting for thud/ waiting for stares/ looking out to see what's going on). I don't know about you, but sometimes I get really exasperated with myself. It is great to be able to come here and feel that there are people who not only believe you but have lived/ are living through the same hell as you.



                      You know where we all are and when things get bad, you can always rant in "Ranter's Corner"! Also try the new chat if you haven't already.



                      Wishing you all the best!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi

                        So sorry to haer of your 'situation'.

                        I have a similar problem going on...'Ball Games' and so far have tried every angle except sueing the local council.

                        We have met with the council and the police, who were very sympathetic to our plight, but felt powerless to act.

                        It is interesting to note that trawling through some local council websites they have anti social behaviour policies, and who to contact etc. maybe this might be worth a try for you. I have tried it myself for my own council, and guess what.....they do not list such a thing...typical.

                        Keep on at them though, council,police and local councillor, it almost seems to be like a battle of wills, who will give up first.

                        Take care and don't let them get you down

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I thought it was probably time for an update!

                          We've moved away from the nightmare house (I'll put those feelings of guilt about the people we sold to to one side).

                          The irony of the new house is that we appear to have saved our new neighbours from the neighbours from Hell. The people we bought from were by all accounts a bit difficult to live near. He was a mobile mechanic (ie worked from home surrounded by a front lawn and drive full of scrapped cars and parts - they obviously tidied up a bit before putting it on the market). They had loads of unruly kids, they parked a caravan so it blocked all the light to next doors window, they hung out of windows screaming abuse at anyone who crossed them......the list goes on.

                          The next door neighbour told us that had he known which day the people we had bought from were moving out, he would have booked a day off work and stood on the driveway clapping before organising a street party!

                          So just a thank you for the site and the encouraging comments (both here and on other parts of the site).



                          As I was reading my original post all those feelings of anxiety came flooding back to me. I should feel as though I lost or copped out by just selling up and moving on, but I'd encourage anyone to do the same. All the work we did on the last house can be done again to the new one and we are better at DIY now!

                          I look forward to going home at the end of the day now.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Lizzie, thanks for the update



                            It must be great to be away from all the hassle. And to think, your new neighbours will be delighted to have you there instead of their NFH Sounds like good times all around



                            Hope things stay peaceful for you and you have a long and happy stay in your new home



                            Misty
                            "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hi Lizzie



                              Congrats on making your escape. :thumbs:



                              I really hope that the new place will be all you wish for.



                              Bit worried that the neighbours had NFH's in before you got there, hope they don't act too paranoid still as this could affect you, but let's hope it is all in the past for them all.



                              Best wishes



                              Mazza



                              :ban:

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