Neighbour keeps throwing stuff over

(12 Posts)
goingtosa Wed 02-Jul-14 19:42:38

We are a mixed race family - DH is white non-British and I'm of mixed British-Southeast Asian descent (I look Chinese to most people). Just moved into this area a week ago from a large city. This area however is a small market town, but people here we've met have been nice to us. Not that we really have a choice. DH lost his old job and in desperation took a new one which is in a rural location. I caught the flu bug my kids have been down with all of the past 2 weeks, and I have been up half the night every night coughing my lungs out since Saturday, and my voice has gone so hoarse.

While his job is going fine, our neighbours on one side had been giving us a bit of trouble, even though our whole family moved here only a week ago. They have a few kids, and two or three of them boys aged 7 to 13 love football. Which is fine. They kick their ball over our fence a lot. I don't mind throwing the balls over when I get the time to. I have not had a chance to meet their parents at all. They run a scaffolding business from the logo on their pickup truck parked outside and they bring hone building materials, etc.

Yesterday evening I was busy preparing raw food on the stove and they were playing footie. Kicked the ball over again. I thought I'd go throw it back after I'm done doing dinner, but no. One of the older boys climbed over, picked his ball and then quickly took one of my daughter's big red bouncy ball with him and launched it over. I shouted through my kitchen window at him in the loudest voice I can, asking him to "Excuse me, give my ball back!" He looked at me and then threw it back in my garden.

Today, these next door boys kicked the ball over again. My kids were in the garden and they threw it back pronto. The boys then licked it over again soon after. My kids threw it back, quite amused that it was like a game. But then after a while of doing that, my kids got tired of it and stopped. The boys then asked if they can climb over the fence to pick their ball up. My kids said yes but they shouldn't kick it over again. Then the boys started mocking at my kids for being Chinese.

Anyway, so my kids were upset about that and came back into the house to tell me.

Then an empty bottle of Coke came hurling towards my kitchen window. The boys did it. My kids threw it back to them. They threw it back at us. And threw a small plastic bag of rubbish. I went outside to their fence and shouted over it as loud as I can manage, with my very hoarse voice "Stop it boys, or I'm gonna call the police! This is our garden. You can't keep throwing your things in here."

And I was met with silence. Not even sure if they heard it, but I was getting quite angry.
Our AST lasts 6 months and I'm already planning to move out of here. I dread when the summer holidays come and these neighbours kids will be around all day long. Our garden is very easy for anyone to trespass into. There is just a small old rusty gate slightly lower than the height of my hip. It's an ex-council house too. Just wanted to know if I do call the police if the neighbour's kids damage anything in our garden, will it be much of a solution to our problems? Or what else can we do? I was thinking of maybe knocking on the kids' parents door to introduce ourselves. Perhaps a bit too late now that this has happened?

I've lived in a council estate for about a year briefly, nearly ten years ago, and it was trouble all the time. This just reminds me of it.

I would start with chatting with your neighbours tbh. I think rather than threatening to call the Police I'd have started right then talking to the parents, they may have no idea. These neighbours maybe very different from your experience ten years ago, which sounds like it is effecting your perception of this scenario. You may inflame the situation if you go in all guns blazing over this.

It also sounds like you've judged them for a scaffolding truck, it doesn't seem relevant to me to add that.

goingtosa Wed 02-Jul-14 22:26:01

I will talk to them about the rubbish their boys throw. It's still in our garden. Should I mention the racial slurs as well, or is that sort of inappropriate?

Can you ask the Landlord to make the gate more secure or put up some trellis work or similar by their garden?

I think the boys sounded like they enjoyed winding up your kids and it was unpleasant but it doesn't necessarily mean it'll be like this in the Summer.

If you do go round I'd start with a friendly hi and not go in too hard about the children, as it won't set the best tone for the start of friendly neighbour relations going forward.

I'm sure someone wiser be along soon. I'm not saying you should be a push over but I do think it's better to build good bridges. But maybe I'm wrong. I wasn't there.

Purpleroxy Wed 02-Jul-14 22:54:22

Very difficult. Anyone who lets their dc throw rubbish over the fence and racially abuse their neighbours is not going to be an easy person to deal with.

Maybe they didn't know what was going on?

The mocking for looking Chinese isn't on. And they do need to be pulled up on it, I'm just thinking that it's better to try and start things on the right foot. Than presume the worst, bring in the Police already etc.

It is difficult.

Percephone Wed 02-Jul-14 23:09:22

That is not a nice welcome to the area for you sad. Very difficult to say anything without getting their backs up. I'd probably wait until they do it again then go round and speak to the parents. Try to be friendly in the first instance? And yes I would mention the racial slurs, that is not on. Probably not much point if you've already decided you want to move, but can you do anything to make the garden more private?

goingtosa Wed 02-Jul-14 23:13:52

All that had been going on for an hour and a half. I don't know if their parents were aware or even supervising their children. I certainly was, as I saw everything from the kitchen window. Just didn't want to go in and intervene as my voice is so hoarse and weak and I don't want to aggravate it any further. (But I ended up shouting over the fence for them to stop it, therefore busting my voice for yet an extra day on top of however many days this is going to take to get better)......

I will have a chat, and I am sorry if adding the scaffolding business thing seems totally unnecessary. I actually thought they did a great job of their lovely decking and only wish we owned a house so we could have a nice deck like that to ourselves. That's why I noticed they had a building business.

They seem strict with their kids to a certain degree, as it's all lights off every evening at 8 pm without fail. I feel there is some hope yet.

Ahhh ok.

I would have intervened far sooner. I'm a bit of a helicopter parent though I think.

Hope you get better soon.

goingtosa Thu 03-Jul-14 11:56:47

I just had a chat with the mum next door, with the empty Coke bottle in hand. I haven't even finished asking if that's her's and she cut me off saying "No that's not ours. My boys don't drink Coke." (Even though my kids said they saw the boys drinking it before they tossed it over... no, my kids don't drink Coke unless it was for special occasion meals like at a restaurant where the Coke is served in a glass or cup, so...)

Okay but I introduced myself to her very politely, shook hands, and made sure I got her name. We got chatting for about 5 minutes. It was good. She admits her boys climbing over fences to pick up balls has caused them to have to pay to repair the broken fence on the other neighbour's house. She said she would gladly pay for our fence if her boys broke it. She also explained that the man who used to live in our house told her boys they were allowed to come over to the garden via the short gate and pick up their own balls, so her boys have gotten used to doing it.

I said I understood that they love playing football and the balls will inevitably come over to our side sometimes, so I am happy to throw the ball over whenever I'm free, but I could see that her boys might have been a bit impatient to wait for that, so wanted to climb over to get the ball straight away. But my husband doesn't like that, and not only that but her boys took one of our balls over to their house whilst picking up their own balls up, I told her.

So in the end, she agreed to tell her boys not to climb over the fence to get the ball.

We chatted about some other things too, but in general I thought she seemed okay.

I hope that's it for now.

Well done.

I'd try and maintain friendly relations but it's not easy.

goingtosa Thu 03-Jul-14 12:14:11

Thanks for the help. It spurred me on to do the right thing. I knew it was the right thing to do, but just wanted to avoid speaking in this ridiculous hoarse croaky voice until I have recovered. I realised waiting until I have recovered (god knows when) might be too late. Am so glad I went and did it today, croaky hoarse voice or not.

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