Whistle-stop tour

REFEREE-style red and yellow cards will be handed out if youngsters start playing football in the street. Three women will be touring the make-shift football pitches of Huntingdonshire giving yellow cards to the young footballers – and red advice cards to

REFEREE-style red and yellow cards will be handed out if youngsters start playing football in the street.

Three women will be touring the make-shift football pitches of Huntingdonshire giving yellow cards to the young footballers - and red advice cards to residents who complain about the matches.

Ahead of the lighter evenings, Huntingdonshire District Council has come up with a novel way of heading off complaints from residents.

The community safety team - Tracey Guinea, Barbara Gowing and Amanda Stash, who work for HDC - will be on patrol to tackle the problem of ball games near homes.


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Their goal is to blow the whistle on bad behaviour, and even up the score between residents and players by handing out the cards.

One side of the card, in red, contains information for residents on how to deal with football nuisance, and the other, in yellow, asks youngsters to be considerate.

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An HDC spokesman said: "We want to stop people calling the council about football games and find a new way to keep the streets safer.

"We want to remind young people to be considerate and remind residents that playing a game of football is not anti-social behaviour. We hope this will encourage communities to come together harmoniously.

"We get a lot of complaints about football games, especially when games are played on greens near housing. We want to encourage residents and young people to be more considerate of each other.

"If the whole community works together, everyone can enjoy the benefits of their local green spaces.

"More serious action can be taken if people are found to be committing a deliberate anti-social behaviour offence such as verbal abuse or causing damage."

Claudia Water, community safety team leader, added: "Very few children and young people playing football or other ball games are being anti-social or causing trouble. Most are simply burning off energy and socialising.

"These cards ask both residents and players to be more considerate of each other and develop good community relations so everyone can live happily together."

INFORMATION: For advice on managing the issues caused by football and other ball games, see www.huntingdonshire.gov.uk

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