Council Bans Parents From Playing With Their Kids

29 October 2009

This is unbelievable and a sign of just how stupid some of the regulations and over-protective measures councils and the UK government as forcing onto it's citizens...

Watford Borough Council has taken the lead as probably the stupidest council in the world by banning parents from supervising their own kids in public playgrounds, "because they have not undergone criminal record checks.".

Two points here quickly: 1. How do they know they haven't been checked already? But more importantly 2. Why do they need to be checked before they can supervise their own kids?

Anyway, back to the story... the only adults allowed to monitor the kids are council-vetted "play rangers." Everyone else, including the child's parents, must watch from outside the perimeter fence.

A council notice to parents explains that: "Safeguarding the children and young people who use the site is one of our top priorities."

"Due to Ofsted regulations we have a responsibility to ensure that every authorised adult who enters our site is properly vetted and given a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check by Watford Borough Council."

Council Mayor Dorothy Thornhill argued they are merely enforcing government policy at the play areas, in Vicarage Road and Leggatts Way.

She said: "Sadly, in today's climate, you can't have adults walking around unchecked in a children's playground and the adventure playground is not a meeting place for adults."

(src: telegraph.co.uk)

As for the "enforcing government policy" part - they just enforcing the goverment's new guidelines that disallow adults to walk around playgrounds "unchecked" - yes, including those on the side of sports fields and parks where adults regularly take their dogs for a walk.

How bloody stupid!!!!

What has happened to common sense? Why is everyone suddenly a paedophile until proven otherwise? What about those paedophiles who haven't got a record yet? What happened to teaching kids not to be so trusting of adults - we've got the Stranger Danger campaign after all?

I can understand the government's "need" to be seen to do something, but this just strikes me as taking things too far and this kind of over-protectionism really winds me up. What they are effectively saying is "hand over your kids to OUR vetted strangers and go away. We know what's best for your kids." The government doesn't have the best of records for looking after children's best interests, so why should we start trusting them to this extent now?

This only leaves one more question: when can we expect the government to start picking up the kids from the hospital on the day they're born and taking care of them until they're 18 "just in case something bad happens"?

My views may change when our own little one arrives next year, but I doubt it. This is just taking things too far.

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