Reporting children to the police for minor offenses, such as stealing a football, can have negative consequences, and should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.

An internet user asked, “Am I a jerk (26F) for reporting my neighbor’s (38F + 39M) son (11M) to the police for trespassing?”. Let us know what you think in the comments section!


swimming pool and decking in garden of luxury home
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The Original Poster (OP) (26F) lives in England. OP owns her home and understands she is fortunate, but OP also worked hard for it. Any money OP received or earned while working part-time till graduation went into her savings account.

OP’s Neighborhood In General

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Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

Most people on OP’s street are social housing tenants; OP’s still determining what that is, but they’ve explained that you’re eligible for the scheme if you’re on a low income.

It’s more secure than the private sector as you mostly get assured tenancy even though there are different tenancy types.

OP’s Relationship With Her Next-Door Neighbors

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For a while, OP got on well with her next-door neighbors “Emily” and “Ben”. They also have three kids (13M, 9F, 4F), but soon OP started experiencing a lot of problems from next door.

“I work from home often, and I could hear shouting next door constantly; Ben is 5″11, 145kg and quite loud and intimidating, and I could hear their kids screaming and crying. I had to ask them to lower their voices daily, and I even explained that I work from home.”, says OP.

The Other Set Of Problems

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The next set of problems revolved around the 13-year-old son. OP spotted their son climbing over a wall to get into OP’s garden to get his football back which at first, she ignored.

Then after it happened ten times, OP finally decided to speak with his parents, and she can’t remember what she said entirely.

Still, it was something like, “Hey, I just wanted to have a word as I have seen your son, <insert name here>, trespass 11 times to get his ball from my garden. I would appreciate it if you could get him to stop as he is trespassing, and if he just came round to the front and knocked on my front door and asked for his ball back I would happily collect it for him.”

The neighbors apologized and said they would make sure their son didn’t do it and knock.

A Few Days Later

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A few days later, their son did it again while OP was in her lounge. OP walked into her garden, which made him jump and speak with him. OP told him she’d seen him trespass to collect his ball on various occasions.

OP told him she had talked with his parents and that trespassing is a crime, and she would appreciate it if he could just come to the front and knock in the future. He didn’t say anything and just went back into his garden. OP informed his parents, and they apologized, but it continued.

What Did OP Do Finally?

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I got fed up with it and finally decided to invest in CCTV.

OP wrote a letter to residents on her road to give them a week’s notice that CCTV is being installed at OP’s address, and it will cover her entire garden and it will also cover her doorway. OP also wrote that she’s getting a ring doorbell camera.

Police Get Involved

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After installing CCTV, OP thought it would stop the kids from trespassing. It continued. OP saved the footage, filed a police report against the son for trespassing, and sent all her evidence to the police.

OP knew there was a strong chance that nothing was going to happen but she just wanted the son to have some responsibility.

“When my neighbors found out, they were mad as hell with me and since then, our relationship soured. My siblings found out about this and think I am a total jerk for this. Am I a jerk?”, asks OP.

You’ve Got To Chill Out!

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“You’re the jerk for the way you wrote this post screams ‘Jerk’. The way you used the term scheme might as well tattoo JERK on your forehead.

It’s a kid getting his ball back. Chill out. If he’s not causing damage in doing so you’re overreacting.

If he knocked on your door every time he needed the ball back you’d just complain about that too since it would be interrupting your work from home.”

It’s Hardly A Big Deal!

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“You’re the jerk. He’s a kid playing. Balls go over fences. Kids go retrieve them. It’s hardly a big deal and going to the police about it is insane.

But you’re mainly a jerk because this whole post screams that you’re mainly upset to live around poor people who only own a home because of a ‘scheme’.”

Everyone’s In The Wrong

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“Everyone’s in the wrong. The parents of that kid should try to make sure the kid doesn’t come into your garden but you literally filed a police report against a 13-year-old for getting his ball back?

Also, I understand that you work from home but obviously, kids are going to be loud and you’re not going to get complete silence living next to kids.”

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