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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 May 2006, 11:54 GMT 12:54 UK
Police red card street football
Children playing football
Children could be fined up to 50 for playing football in the street
Football-loving children in a Blackpool street have been warned to stop their kickabouts or face fines of 50.

Letters have been sent out to homes in the Bloomfield area of the town, near Blackpool Football Club, warning that playing football in the street is illegal.

The Police said the action was taken following complaints about criminal damage to residents' homes and cars.

Officers have issued the warning under section 161 of the Highways Act 1980.

Police decided to take action after the issue was raised at a monthly Police and Communities Together (PACT) meeting.

Residents' concerns

A spokeswoman for Lancashire Police said the letters were intended as a warning to parents to raise awareness about the problem.

"On the whole we wouldn't really want to enforce this," she said.

"But we have a responsibility to respond to the concerns of all residents of the area.

"Residents have raised concerns about damage being caused to property, vehicles and flower beds etc - criminal damage essentially."

Section 161 (3) of the Act states: "If a person plays at football or any other game on a highway to the annoyance of a user of the highway he is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine".

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