Mum says police called for 'vandalism' because kids were playing hopscotch with chalk

By Tom Bevan & Graeme Murray

A mum claims the police were called out for vandalism because were using chalk to play hopscotch.

Sarah Goodwin said her three children and friends had used chalk to create outlines for the traditional game on the walkaway.

The marks were later washed away but Sarah was shocked when police and her local housing association were called by an "unhappy neighbour" complaining about the "vandalism"

She wrote about the episode on Facebook and couldn't believe someone took offence to a group of children innocently enjoying the last days of summer

Posting on the group, Family Lockdown Tips and Ideas, Sarah, of Newport Pagnell, Bucks, wrote: "How do you feel about children chalking on the pavement? Nothing offensive.

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The chalk marks outside Sarah Goodwin's home (James Linsell-Clark / SWNS.com)
Freya Goodwin was playing with sister Lyra Goodwin outside their home in Newport before the police came (SWNS.com)

"My children are 6, 9, and 13, plus their friends. Hopscotch, tracks for scooters, drawing around themselves and it completely washed away a few days later.

"Had complaints made about it to housing and police. I thought kids playing outside was better than sat in, in front of screens."

She received hundreds of supportive comments, revealed her kids and others in her neighbourhood had been back out with the chalk since the anonymous complaints were made.

The road in Newport Pagnell, Bucks where police were called after chalk was used to play hopscotch (James Linsell-Clark / SWNS.com)

She added: 'After their first day back at school and playing at the park, they went out and chalked some more yesterday.

She added: "They laughed lots and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Loved the community spirit it brought.

'I'm sorry but anyone who thinks this needs to be complained about has a serious problem."

After posting about the negative reaction she received hundreds of comments from people offering their support.

Sarah Goodwin outside her home in Newport where the chalk marks were made (James Linsell-Clark / SWNS.com)

Gemma Collins wrote: "Shame on you for letting your kids enjoy themselves out in the fresh air with a bit of innocent chalking. Seriously though, I actually can't believe somebody complained about this. Don't let some idiot spoil your fun."

Su Gooderham wrote: "Some people need to get a grip, children chalking soon washes away."

Victoria Louise added: "Kids can't do anything anymore. Can't believe the police have been involved over a natural material.

Clare Warnes agreed that children need to have fun as they did when they were younger.

"As long as its not offensive I don't see the problem as the rain washes it away.

"Let the kids have fun we used to do it when we were younger."

The chalk marks were used by children to play hopscotch (James Linsell-Clark / SWNS.com)

The PCSO apparently told Sarah that her children chalking games such hopscotch and 'What Time is it Mr Wolf' onto the road could be considered criminal damage - but took no further action.

Sarah believes that a neighbour reported her two daughters - Lyra, 6 and Freya, 13 - and son Eli, 9 - to police for the alleged "graffiti".

A spokesperson for Thames Valley Police said there was no record of any logs for Sarah's specific address.


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