Leavesden parents have expressed their outrage after youngsters were barred from playing football as part of a police anti-social behaviour crackdown.

Letters have been sent to homes in Stud Green asking parents to stop their children playing ball games on the green and warning they faced "robust action" for defying the ban.

The move comes after police received reports of anti-social behaviour in the area.

However it has been met with anger from some parents who say their children are being denied the opportunity to play sport in a safe environment.

Daren Norris, who has lived on Stud Green for 19 years, said he was is outraged that his 11-year-old son Alfie, an aspiring goalkeeper, can’t play football outside their home.

He said younger children were being penalised for the actions of older ones who were causing the trouble.

Mr Norris said: "It is absolutely outrageous that youngsters are being denied the freedom to go out and play on the green.

"It’s the older kids who don’t even live on the green that cause the problems and now my son is being threatened with anti-social behaviour orders which is an absolute outrage.

"It would have been nice to have had some warning from the police that they were going to be putting these orders in place, so we could make any objections."

Police officers turned up in Stud Green on Sunday, July 15, and moved all of the children playing on the green off. Only days before, letters were hand delivered from PC James Irlen from North Watford Police and PCSO Nikki Peatey, local community support officer warning children not to play ball games on the green.

This was in response to other residents of the green complaining of balls hitting their cars and threatening behaviour.

The letter read: "Parents must remind their children that abuse given to others outside is a public order offence that the police will make enquiries into alongside taking the appropriate action."

Alfie’s mum, Abbie Norris, said she was concerned the police letter would force children to play in the road and away from where their parents can see them.

She said: "This is all very silly. The summer holidays are coming soon and Alfie is going to be bored inside if he is not allowed to go out on the green.
"They are now going to have to go to Woodside to have a kick-about, which worries me because I like to keep a watchful eye on him and his friends when they are playing out.

"The youngsters will also start to play in the roads, which again concerns me. The safety of our children is more important."

The Watford Observer spoke other residents in the cul de sac about the anti-social behaviour who asked not to be name for fear of repercussions.
They list some of the problems that led to the police letter as youths from other estates causing disruption with foul language, moped driving around the green and reports of drug use.

One elderly resident complained of the rude and aggressive manner of some of the young adults out on the green.

She said: "I don’t have anything against the little ones playing outside because we were all young once. But some of the older children can be very rude sometimes and they can make living here a nightmare.

"Only last week I had a stone come flying into my garden which hit my door canopy. I was very lucky it didn’t hit my window and crack it. 

"The parents have a responsibility to take control of their children’s behaviour."