The "good old days" for kids have gone forever in Britain
It's now illegal to play in the street near their homes -- something kids did for generations
Police were accused today of being 'heavy handed' after three officers were dispatched to issue a ticking off to two boys - for playing football in the street.
Henry Worthington, 12, and his brother Alex, 11, were told their kick-abouts in a cul-de-sac outside their home after school were illegal and could result in them getting anti-social behaviour orders. Their father Anthony, 43, of Timperley, Greater Manchester, was also sent a letter from officials at Trafford Council warning him his two sons could be in breach of the 1980 Highways Act which outlaws ball games.
The incident comes after Greater Manchester Police revealed it was preparing to cut more than 3,000 jobs due to the government's anticipated 25 per cent cut in spending.
Today, Mr Worthington, an engineer, said: 'Sending three officers over simply to give a warning about kids playing football in the street is like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
'My boys are not hooligans. They are good lads who cause no trouble and I prefer them to play outside the house so I know they are safe. They haven't interfered with a car or any pedestrians so I don't see what the problem is.
'They play for a local football club on the weekend and they just want to practise their skills outside their house with their friends. It's not as if they're out all hours 24/7, it's just half an hour after school.
'I'm absolutely appalled that the police are not out there catching real criminals. I feel like my family is being persecuted. 'When I was a lad the police were not out persecuting children for playing football. Now you get three policemen coming to my door to tell us off for it.