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Coming home alone at night, what time is too late?

(8 Posts)
wineoclockthanks Fri 16-Sep-16 17:49:10

DS just 14 has started a new sports activity which is meant to run from 7.30-8.15pm but often runs on (last time finished at 9pm)
It takes him about 45 mins to get home. It's in a grotty part of SE London. He does travel some of the way with a friend (also 14).
Now it's dark at that time I'm really not happy and have suggested he looks to see if he can do it closer to home - apparently I'm totally over protective and "HE'S 14!!)

Am I? WHat do, or would you do?

titchy Fri 16-Sep-16 17:56:36

How does he get home? Walk through gang-infested estate or bus to right outside your home?

wineoclockthanks Fri 16-Sep-16 18:11:30

They walk to the train station (as I said pretty grotty area, not through an estate but it's pretty ropey).
Then depending on the time, wait for up to 29 minutes on a unmanned station.
Once he gets off the train at this end he's ok (we live in a naice area grin)

wineoclockthanks Fri 16-Sep-16 18:12:09

It's about 10 minutes walk grotty end and 5 minutes our end.

wineoclockthanks Fri 16-Sep-16 18:13:22

The club is in Swanley if anyone knows the area.

Viewofthegarden Fri 16-Sep-16 23:51:29

I suspect that the reason you haven't had many replies is because this is a hard one to answer in the abstract without actually seeing the route. Is it possible that you could for one evening arrange to travel the route with your son at the time that he normally travels it? That might either (a) confirm in your mind that your concerns are valid; or (b) cause you to realise that you've built up the risk to be bigger than it actually is.

If there are gangs of teenagers roaming the streets in the grotty area, that would concern me because I think gangs of teenage boys who are up to no good are most likely to pick on other teenage boys.

Could you specify a train which your DS has to catch and insist that if necessary he leaves the activity before the end if it is running past the scheduled finishing time? (Though I can see an argument that if that leads to your DS leaving before his friend, that could possibly make him less safe.) The waiting for up to half an hour at an unmanned station seems to me to unnecessarily increase the risk.

I think I would be more nervous of my DS walking through an area that was grotty and quiet than grotty but actually a busy high street with loads of people about.

I am assuming that driving to collect your DS is not a possibility.

wineoclockthanks Sat 17-Sep-16 08:49:08

Thank for reply,Ing view, you're right, unless you know the area (and the child!) it's always a tricky one to comment on.

I am going to go and watch the boys training next week and so will have a better idea of exactly what it's like.

We're looking at the logistics of picking them up, problem is Ds2 has footy training in the opposite direction just beforehand so the timing will be very tight! (I'm sure having sporty children is meant to have the kids running around, not the parents smile (other parent can't pick up as she is a single mum with 2 littlies in bed at that point)

JustDanceAddict Sat 17-Sep-16 16:29:45

DD walked from her bff's house to ours at 8pm the other night and I was surprised. Only a 5 min walk, but she'd never done it in dark before at that time. Also 14. I think if your DS is confident to do it, he should, but I don't know the area. Can you pick up at some point in the route? From a bus stop/station? His friend's? Agree if it's busy area then prob ok, but quieter it would be less safe. Does he know people who live en route incase he got scared? There are so many variables.

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