Grandmother complains after police visit urging return of garden footballs

A grandmother-of-four has complained to her chief constable after police visited to say she should return children's footballs that were kicked into her garden.

Friday, 14th April 2017, 6:01 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:28 pm
"Does this require such a huge waste of public resources and time to resolve?"

Penny Freeman, 73, said she was fed up of balls crashing into her plants and waiting for the owners to come round to apologise.

The pensioner claims she was warned she could be accused of theft if she did not return the balls to the boys next door, believed to be aged around eight and 11.

Ms Freeman, who lives with her brother James Fudge in a Victorian semi in Bridlington, East Yorkshire, said she thought the officers had come to investigate a report of suspicious activity he had made.

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She said: "They said 'We understand you have been having problems with the footballs from next door'.

"I thought 'Oh, this is not really happening'."

Ms Freeman said she was "absolutely shocked", insisted she was not keeping the footballs and merely wanted someone to come round and ask for them back.

She said: "I was so angry that after the police had gone I complained to the chief constable."

The brother and sister moved in to the property five years ago and, though she said her garden was not "Chelsea Flower Show, it's ours and we love it".

She said police advised her neighbour to put up nets to stop balls flying over.

Her letter to the chief asked: "Does this require such a huge waste of public resources and time to resolve?"

A Humberside Police spokeswoman said: "A police community support officer has visited both parties involved in a neighbour dispute in the Vernon Road area of Bridlington.

"Words of advice have been offered to take steps to resolve the matter."

The brother and sister made headlines in 2013 when they reported they feared leaving their home due to seagulls.

Aggressive gulls protecting their chicks had led them to feel they were captive, and Ms Freeman said it was still happening.

She said: "We came here for a quiet retirement and what do we get?

"Seagulls imprisoning us and harassed by footballs."