The Problem with Anonymous Complaints (And Busybodies)


Great piece in The tsrstethfz
Calgary Sun
 by Michael Platt about the problem with anonymous complaints, like the one that forced a local family to take down its beloved tree swing a week or so ago (boldface mine):

The mind boggles to think of the kind of pucker-lipped sourpuss who’d call the city to squeal on two kids having a little fun outside, using the city’s largely-anonymous 311 application to avoid actually confronting the neighbour in person.

The anonymous caller system was, of course, birthed with the best of intentions: To keep citizens safe. Instead, it has turned into the easiest weapon any busybody — or ex-spouse, crazy cousin, evil neighbor, or chronic killjoy — can wield.

….the city is at the beck and call of all who complain…and the whims of the whiners taken seriously.

Part of the problem is, of course, insurance/litigation knot:

Because the tree is on the far side of the sidewalk, it’s technically city property, and now that the city is aware of the swing, they can’t let it remain because that would constitute an endorsement and that could lead to liability issues if someone is injured.

But the other part of the problem is that we can’t seem to accept the fact that there is a smidgen of discomfort or danger to almost everything in life, even very safe activities, like swinging. Instead, we act as if we can legislate out even the most minor of risk.

Thanks to 311, and a policy of responding to every call made… Calgary, with more than 89,000 bylaw complaints a year — has become a city ruled by cranks and the kind of people society used to mock, as stereotypical curmudgeons shouting “get off my lawn.”

But what can be done?

I was delighted to learn that there really is a way to fight this culture of complaint. Laws got us into this mess, laws can get us out:

Calgary can copy the policies used in other cities across Canada, including Edmonton, in refusing to accept anonymous complaints from the public.

Make the people filing the bylaw report own the grievance, with name, address and phone numbers, and you’re guaranteed to see the more cowardly complainers retreat back into sullen silence.

And then go even further, like Maple Ridge, B.C., where a maximum of three complaints a year can by filed from any one address, effectively neutering the chronic whiners, such as the Calgarian who filed 65 complaints in a matter of hours last July about weeds in neighbouring yards.

Finally, give the bylaw department the right to say no. Whether it’s instinct, logic or an eye for the frivolous, let the men and women who enforce this city’s rules ignore the kind of calls that demand kids take down a tree swing.

Don’t we want our government to be able to ignore the jabbering of a jerk? There is no reason to act as if all complaints are legitimate. Think of the “Suggestion” box at work — if your company complied with every idea, there’d be Coke flowing from the drinking fountain and a kitten in the chair at the head of the conference table. (Or maybe those were just my suggestions…)

When I worked in magazines and newspapers, the brass paid an inordinate amount of attention to the Letters to the Editor. They believed each complaint spoke for hundreds of readers who didn’t bother to churn out a gripe.

But sometimes a gripe is just a gripe from a griping griper. Our cities should be allowed to ignore them. – L.



I love the fact this box is locked. Are so many people stealing suggestions?

Sometimes you gotta think outside the box…and ignore the complaints in there. 

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

47 Responses to The Problem with Anonymous Complaints (And Busybodies)

  1. Stacey Gordon July 6, 2016 at 10:24 am #

    That would imply allowing people to use judgment. This negates the ZERO tolerance mentality of all things scary,, dangerous, offensive, risky, etc. Our PC culture thinks of “judgment” as a negative word, re: judgmental. But one can’t be expected to get through life without having to exercise “good judgment” can we?

  2. Stacey Gordon July 6, 2016 at 10:25 am #

    “If it offends just one person……………”

    Sadly the reverse is never true. Those offended by the complaints.

  3. Vicki Bradley July 6, 2016 at 10:44 am #

    Talk about reinforcing negative behaviour…

  4. Caiti July 6, 2016 at 10:47 am #

    It’s nice to see someone else pushing back against “see something, say something” mindset. Or maybe they don’t have that in Canada, I don’t know.

    The anonymous person who complained about the swing (and more generally, ALL anonymous reporters of minutiae) is simply tattling. I have no patience for tattlers. I don’t know why our culture has changed and suddenly we reward tattling. When I was growing up, being called a tattle tale was the worst insult.

  5. BDK July 6, 2016 at 10:48 am #

    Welcome to Soviet America where neighbor can report neighbor and nobody is safe. I’m suspicious of everyone. What a sad time we are living in. It is sickening!

  6. Crystal Kupper July 6, 2016 at 10:55 am #

    Can you PLEASE run for an office, Lenore? Even if you’re not from the party I usually side with, I just want SOMEONE with a brain making big decisions for the country, and apparently, you are the only one left.

  7. Caiti July 6, 2016 at 11:46 am #

    Lenore has my vote

  8. Vince L July 6, 2016 at 11:53 am #

    They took anonymous comments out of my workplace after a FLOOD of , um, comments. Once people had to attach their name, the complaint, and a suggested solution comments went to a trickle.

  9. John B. July 6, 2016 at 12:30 pm #

    Whiners and criers and chronic complainers have been around for years. It’s extremely difficult working in retail where “the customer is always right” and when you’re obligated to find some way to appease the offended customer no matter how frivolous their complaint is. Otherwise, their whining and crying may take a few more uninformed customers with them.

    Employees, however, are a different matter. I work for the government and within my particular agency, the employees who are the whiners and criers and chronic complainers are usually considered “high maintenance” and their chances for promotion and/or obtaining the job of their preference within the agency is greatly hindered. Word gets around quick and the funny part is that these employees JUST DON’T SEEM TO GET IT!

  10. BL July 6, 2016 at 12:39 pm #

    @John B
    “It’s extremely difficult working in retail where “the customer is always right” and when you’re obligated to find some way to appease the offended customer no matter how frivolous their complaint is. Otherwise, their whining and crying may take a few more uninformed customers with them.”

    Or, they may lose informed customers. Few things more annoying than waiting in line to buy something while an obvious idiot is ahead of me complaining about something frivolous. Meanwhile, I’m wasting my time. I’ve actually left items I intended to buy just sitting on the counter and just walked away.

  11. HKQ451 July 6, 2016 at 12:43 pm #

    The impact of losing anonymity is to make it more difficult for the vulnerable to have their voice heard. I think it would be better if we allowed and expected judgement to be used by our representatives and civil servants.

  12. Vaughan Evans July 6, 2016 at 12:44 pm #

    One reason why children’s games are quickly disappearing, is that crabby old ladies criticize them for being rowdy.
    If when I play “Red Rover” and I exclaim “Red Rover, Red Rover” send Jennifer over, am I being rowdy.
    If I and my fellow players exclaim “What Time Is it, Mr. Wolf, are we being rowdy?
    “Rowdy is NOT a legal term.
    If people complain they should use legal terminology.
    (Law students learn legal jargon-as part of their training-just like botanists-use scientific names-of plants and animals-and extinct plants and animals.
    We have lost our ability to enjoy simple pleasures-and appreciate simple joys.
    -I am sure that an old lady-who suffers from arthritis-would be “cheered up’ to hear childrens’ merry shouts

  13. Workshop July 6, 2016 at 1:56 pm #

    Complaints need to be linked to a person, because the root cause of the complaint probably isn’t what the complaint is about. If I’m grumbling that my neighbor’s lawn isn’t cut, is it really that I’m upset that the lawn isn’t cut? Or is it really that the house is abandoned, or the owners are drug dealers who don’t keep up appearances?

    If your excuse is “I’m vulnerable and no one listens to me,” you have other issues that a complaint system won’t solve. We’re not talking about “the drug dealer next door might kill me if he finds out I narc’ed on him.” We’re talking about annoyances. Big difference.

  14. Theresa July 6, 2016 at 2:25 pm #

    Lenore would be a better choice than what we have now. We have Trump who can’t seem to stop insulting every Tom dick and Harry. Then we have Hillary who has lucky she not in bigger trouble for her email issues. Maybe she could get this country back on track.

  15. VHowells July 6, 2016 at 2:27 pm #

    There is sometimes a story about a tragic situation where people had been asking the city to fix it for years and nothing was done. I guess we want the government to be conscientious and also have common sense. Litigation has been useful for such incidents and harmful for others.

    our culture keeps people in a state of FUD – fear, uncertainty and doubt. As long as people are fearful and anxious they are going to try to control what they can. They lash out in fear and rational thought isn’t going to get through to them. I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theory. All I can do is try to be a force of peace. I don’t always succeed.

  16. lollipoplover July 6, 2016 at 2:39 pm #

    “Calgary, with more than 89,000 bylaw complaints a year — has become a city ruled by cranks and the kind of people society used to mock, as stereotypical curmudgeons shouting “get off my lawn.”

    One problem is evolving technology that makes it easier to complain anonymously or use a smartphone to video what offends. It may be Negative Nancys or Debbie Downers who complains about everything, but increasingly, (my personal observation) it’s someone who genuinely thinks the sight of a child *alone* is cause for serious concern (and anxiety). I also think a lot of people are bored and don’t have relationships with their neighbors.

    My best advise is to make your neighborhood busybodyproof. Get to know potential curmudgeons and make them your allies. It’s not always easy, but it took away some of my *fear* of someone calling the police on my kids for just playing or biking about the neighborhood. It’s also drastically increased the radius for epic games of Manhunt and other childhood pursuits (fishing, playing in woods). It’s amazing how nice neighbors can be to your children when those kids shovel their sidewalks or help them walk their dogs, water their plants, etc. Sending over cookies, homemade goods also goes a long way, trust me.

    When we first moved into our neighborhood, we bought the Munster house. It was the ugliest house on a quiet and tidy street and we did tons of improvements to it. About 3 months after we moved in, we received anonymous, typed complaint letter about doing yard work very early on weekends. My husband does most of it but is usually not out there until 8am so we were both shocked and dismayed that someone had a problem with this. We got to know some of the younger families on the street and one of them also received a similar letter! We asked some others and figured out it was from the retired (and quiet) grandparents who seemed nice but obviously had issues with early morning noise and clearly were not confrontational people. I guess I could have held my ground and not changed, we were within the noise hours of 7 am-11 pm. But it wasn’t hard to do some later morning yard work. So we became friends with this older couple. They are lovely neighbors and look out for our kids, give them old tools and bikes, and always have a kind word.

    Our relationship could have gone in a different direction. I swear, it’s the little things. Be good neighbors. Set good examples and let neighbors know to come to YOU with any issues, big or small. Let them know your kids are responsible and capable but also accountable…those neighbors are your eyes and ears so open up communication to handle these little things before they become big. Not jam up a non-emergency line with 89,000 complaints. Be neighborly!

  17. NY Mom July 6, 2016 at 3:14 pm #

    It could be worse. In the USA, in Baton Rouge LA, only yesterday an anonymous call was accepted by a public call center about a man selling CDs on the street. The anonymous caller claimed the man had a gun. (Everyone in Louisiana has a gun.) The police responded. Apparently there was no gun. But the man is dead. Restrained and killed by two police.
    Who complained? Anonymous!

    So now it falls on the police who look like they were out trolling.

    Where I live, you have to give your name when you call.
    This rules out crank calls. 911. 311. Citizens, identify yourselves.

    When I was a kid in school, we were taught to sign our work. If you are doing the right thing, you need not hide behind anonymity.

  18. fred schueler July 6, 2016 at 3:23 pm #

    …and for another side of Calgary: 16 September 2014 – Alberta: Calgary: 1201 Colgrove Ave NE.51.05730N 114.03427W TIME: 1846-. AIR TEMP: 23C, sunny, calm. HABITAT: large-house residential slope. OBSERVER: Frederick W. Schueler, Aleta Karstad Schueler. 2014/276/h, visit (event)….to deliver painting & , as it proves, for the night. Note on the windshield of the truck: “Your truck and camper are parked in front of a driveway. Can you please move them so equipment and deliveries can get in without damage? Thank you!” (it hadn’t been clear that what looked like a fence was actually a gate into a construction site).

  19. NY Mom July 6, 2016 at 3:23 pm #

    As for Lenore running for office–she has my vote.
    But the pen may truly be mightier than the sword.
    So. Buy the book. Give Free Range Kids The Book to every parent you know.
    Invite her as a speaker to your events.

    Get the word out.

  20. Vicki Bradley July 6, 2016 at 3:28 pm #

    NY Mom makes a great point about not being anonymous and taking responsibility for your actions. If you think your complaint is legitimate, you should not be afraid to give your name when making it. Otherwise, one can only conclude that the complainers who want to stay anonymous know on some level that their complaint is frivolous and not worthy of reporting.

  21. Emily July 6, 2016 at 3:50 pm #

    My first thought was, if an anonymous complaints have so much power, why not try to shut down the anonymous complaint system with an anonymous complaint? But, I’m glad to see that the tide is shifting, and people are realizing that turning life upside down every time an anonymous person complains, is creating an absurd, positively Orwellian society. I mean, the idea of giving people what they want sounds good, until you realize that giving one person what they want, is taking away something that other people want. So, if Joe Schmoe wants quiet at all times, it means the gaggle of neighbourhood kids lose their right to play outside. If Jane Doe wants Coke in the drinking fountain at work, then that’s going to come at the expense of other people there who want water. If Jack Sprat wants the Accounting department to be headed by a kitten, then giving him his way will run roughshod over everyone else’s desire to have a human being as a boss.

    The trouble is, most of people’s complaints are less “out there,” so it’s harder to see the line between “reasonable” and “snowflake.” So, for example, it’s reasonable to want to be able to quietly enjoy one’s own home…….but not to the extent of forcing an entire neighbourhood to live in a state of monk-like silence. It’s reasonable to want to be able to return a malfunctioning toaster to the store, but not if it’s malfunctioning because you set it on fire by sticking a fork in it to retrieve stuck toast while it was still on…..and so on, and so forth. The real problem arises when the powers-that-be jump at every anonymous complaint, because then they’re allowing that one person, who isn’t even willing to be identified, to be the arbiter of what is and isn’t “reasonable,” and they’re forcing everyone around that one person to accommodate him or her. The problem with the “customer is always right” mentality, is that it rapidly devolves into a culture of “throwing a tantrum will get you what you want.” I used to see that all the time at the YMCA–people would complain behind my back if they didn’t like one pose in yoga (always with modifications given), or one song in Aquafit (we’re talking maybe three minutes of a 45-minute playlist), et cetera, et cetera, and I’d get in trouble. I couldn’t help but think of how, when I was a kid attending day camps and other youth programming there, we were taught not to complain over trivial things, not to expect to get our way all the time, not to be tattletales, and so forth, and now the same YMCA is actively REWARDING the same behaviour in adults.

  22. andy July 6, 2016 at 5:10 pm #

    It would be even better to evaluate complains on merit before acting. The stereotypical curmudgeons don’t rule because they can put in complain anonymously, they rule because their complains are successful.The call for names on complains is based on hope that complainers will stop due to fear of social ostracization or some unpleasant encounter. That does not solve the problem of bad administration at all – people who don’t care can still push unfair complains through and people who do care will hold back legitimate complains.

    “If you think your complaint is legitimate, you should not be afraid to give your name when making it.”

    Legitimacy of the complain and fear to put it in are only loosely related. Most people are afraid when there is potential for payback/vengeance from whoever they complained about. My complaint being legitimate does not lower potential for getback action (whether slight or bigger, whether by “soft” social methods or by something more substantial).

    If my complaint is not legitimate, it should not be accepted and should not pass – whether anonymous or with name. At least in an ideal world.

    The optimal solution of the swing problem would be to change the rules so that swing constructions that do not harm trees are allowed – assuming majority think swings are ok. And then reject further complains because “rules says this is allowed”. Yes, there is a political problem of curmudgeons voting more often and being more involved then everybody else, but then again then everybody else should put a bit of blame on themselves too when the rules are suddenly nonsensical if that is the case.

  23. andy July 6, 2016 at 5:23 pm #

    @Vaughan Evans Yeah, because no crabby man ever yelled at children to shut up. Old man are traditionally stereotyped by their tolerance towards noisy children, sure. Is there anything at all that you would not automatically blamed on women?

  24. MichelleB July 6, 2016 at 5:46 pm #

    So if a maximum of three complaints can be filed by one address, what happens when there are more than three legitimate problems? I’m talking about things like trash bags in the ditch with used hypodermic needles spilling out of them. Maybe I should’ve ignored the young teens openly drinking alcohol and blocking my access to my own driveway…. (By the way, none of those calls were anonymous. And the one about the hypodermic needles resulted with officers showing up at OUR house late one evening with a warrant for the homeowners arrest, all because a city employee couldn’t manage to get the right name on the right portion of the form. I can see why people don’t want to give their names.)

  25. Jason July 6, 2016 at 6:01 pm #

    The guy in Baton Rouge had such a nice, friendly smile. If only the store owner had gone out and politely requested that he sell his bootleg CDs somewhere down the street. I’m guessing that someone who tries to fight a couple of cops would understand the concerns of a local merchant, see the error of his ways, apologize, and be on his way without delay.

  26. Warren July 6, 2016 at 6:07 pm #

    Here’s an idea. If your neighborhood is so awful then move.

    If one is not willing to put their name to a complaint and follow up with statements and testifying if required then that person should keep their yap shut.

  27. A reader July 6, 2016 at 7:08 pm #

    Ugh, I recently had to deal with a busybody report. Thank God they just reported my lawn and not my kids. I’m still pissed. I had a premature baby recently who was in the NICU. We have older kids too. As you can imagine, it was extremely stressful for all of us, and certain things just got pushed way down on the list of priorities, lawn care among them. The neighbors KNEW we had a sick baby and were constantly back and forth from the hospital. And yet someone (still don’t know who) called in to report our long grass. They had time to pick up the phone to call, they could have, in the same amount of time, knocked on my door and expressed concern for us- are we ok, the grass is getting a bit long. The municipal worker who came to serve the violation had more compassion than whichever idiot busybody called to report us; I told him I had a premature baby who had just returned home after several weeks in the hospital and it’s really overwhelming, and you know what he did? He apologized and said I should call a landscaping service, and he’ll wait a week before fining me. I was able to call and get them to come before the week was up, so avoided the fine.

  28. Beth July 6, 2016 at 7:10 pm #

    @Jason, in the version I read (and who knows which version is accurate), the storekeeper said he always allowed the guy to sell CDs near his place. If that was true, I doubt he was the anonymous caller.

  29. fred schueler July 6, 2016 at 7:33 pm #

    Let’s all remember that the reason for only acting on by-law violations on the basis of complaints received is to spare the 99% who are violating some by-law or other from the specter of gov’t investigation of their premises. For a while we had a ‘by-law lady’ in our village who would phone in a complaint on any little matter that wigged her mind. Maybe the solution for the anonymous trivial complaints is training for those receiving the calls to try to talk the caller down to see if the suspected violation really is serious, and if the caller feels there’d be real danger in speaking directly with the ‘offender.’ This kind of training seems to work for 911 operators.

  30. BDK July 6, 2016 at 9:10 pm #

    We are all doomed.

  31. K2 July 6, 2016 at 10:07 pm #

    There is a general lack of judgment within the system. The sex offender list has been all but rendered useless because of the lack of judgment used in deciding who is and who is not to be put on it. I can think of several departments of government including CPS that would run more efficiently and effectively by quickly screening out the whiners. Problem is the whiners have written thousands of codes for property and rules to keep children off of lawns and every call out of a million or something like that must be answered immediately because there might be one important one. I applaud the article, but think the overregulation problem is pretty systemic and that it is quickly leading to a lack of freedom in a country that prides itself on just that.

  32. Donald Christensen July 6, 2016 at 11:21 pm #

    Remember the old days? A bully can take away your lunch money. Times have changed. Now a bully can make CPS give you a barbwire enema!

  33. Cinnamon July 6, 2016 at 11:39 pm #

    Take it far enough and you recreate Stasi East Germany ….
    Everyone watching everyone else and an underground army of secret informers
    driven by litigation fears in this case, instead of political ideology.

    Insurance, litigation issues could be handled in a way that does not destroy community or commonsense,
    Though at the moment it is driven by big legal / insurance companies, and their impact on community is collateral damage I guess

  34. James Pollock July 7, 2016 at 12:52 am #

    “There is no reason to act as if all complaints are legitimate.”
    Is there any reason to assume that anyone is actually doing this?

  35. andy July 7, 2016 at 1:45 am #

    @A reader I find it ridiculous that something like a long grass can be reported and that municipal worker will come to deal with it. Aesthetical mini-non-issues on your own property should not be government business at all. It should be government business when there is something unsafe or unsanitary to the point of threatening others (or too smelly etc) on the property, but long grass is really not it.

  36. A Nony Mouse July 7, 2016 at 2:22 am #

    Off-topic for this post, but relevant to the general discussion here about leaving kids in cars…

    SAN JOSE — A 6-year-old boy who was holding his mother’s hand was hit and killed by a car
    Thursday night in the Oakridge Mall parking lot in South San Jose, according to police.

    Undeniably a tragedy, yet it demonstrates that despite every sensible precaution, accidents
    can still happen. (And yet I expect there will be people who will still find some fault with the

  37. David July 7, 2016 at 4:02 am #

    Anonymous reporting should be banned unless it’s a report of child abuse/neglect or an actual crime.

  38. K2 July 7, 2016 at 10:19 am #

    I personally think we should be allowed to let grass reseed itself every so often. Why should everyone have to go buy grass seed and maybe accidentally get the wrong variety? The OCDers on neat whine…

  39. SteveS July 7, 2016 at 10:26 am #

    These are great ideas, but it may be a better idea to look at the source, the municipal code. Most of these are available online. Look through yours. In a lot of places, cities and towns have gone way overboard on what they are trying to regulate. This would make it a lot easier to tell the complainer that their complaint has no merit.

  40. lollipoplover July 7, 2016 at 11:55 am #

    “The neighbors KNEW we had a sick baby and were constantly back and forth from the hospital. And yet someone (still don’t know who) called in to report our long grass. They had time to pick up the phone to call, they could have, in the same amount of time, knocked on my door and expressed concern for us- are we ok, the grass is getting a bit long.”

    @A Reader-
    Better yet, a considerate neighbor who knew your plight might pitch in to mow it as a favor to your family. I’m so sorry about your baby. What a stressful time and the last thing you should be concerned with is grass height. Sheesh.

    Our crotchety neighbors (who complained about our early lawn mowing) are now both sick and their lawn mower broke down last month. My husband has mowed their lawn (with my son weedwacking) these past three weeks (she has been in and out of the hospital with cancer, he had back surgery). It takes them about 45 extra minutes but is the right thing to do. We’ve had neighbors mow our lawn for us when we went away on long vacations (the crotchety guy did it happily for some good whiskey). My husband got a lovely bottle of vodka as a thank you from him these past few weeks. A little kindness instead of an anonymous phone complaint goes a long way.

  41. Yocheved July 7, 2016 at 1:23 pm #

    The first house I ever bought was from an estate auction. It was completely run down, and needed major structural work. You name it, it needed fixing. I had construction, plumbing, electrical, roofing, and foundation workers coming and going all day long, for months on end.

    One of the neighbors called the police, saying that I was running a house of prostitution! She said that I had “strange men” hanging around.

  42. A Reader July 7, 2016 at 2:51 pm #

    Thanks, baby is almost 6 months and doing well. He gets a little physical therapy to help him catch up, but he’s going to be fine in the long run. True, it would have been nice had they actually mowed the lawn, or sent over supper or something, or offered to help with the older kids, but I never would have expected it. But I think at least knocking on my door to tell me my grass is bothering you is a fair expectation. Then I know and can either move it up on the priority list, or upon seeing how stressed we are, feel bad and take care of it for me…

  43. Richard July 8, 2016 at 2:06 pm #

    A lot of municipal liability is conditioned on notice. If the municipality does things to deter complaints, it could lose the ability to defend itself on the basis that it lacked notice of the condition/conduct. As to screening out complaints, it is not as simple as it may seem. The typical call is not “there are children swinging on a rope.” It is more often “OMG, these kids have a ratty rope tied to a tree and are swinging out into traffic. The rope is pulling down a huge branch and someone is going to get crushed or hit by a car.” They can’t respond by noting “report of swing–screened out without action.

  44. andy July 8, 2016 at 3:10 pm #

    @Richard They can respond with “rope is not ratty” and “swing does not go into traffic” if that is indeed true. The reason for approving complaint was that long grass and swing were actually against rules.

  45. Richard July 8, 2016 at 11:22 pm #

    Andy, I was responding to those who believe that complaints should be screened out without an in person response. Many complaints cannot be. However, liability is still an issue, and so is selective enforcement. It is not a simple issue for municipal policy makers. A verdict in a catastrophic injury case can bankrupt small municipalities, and not putting a stop to something which is against the rules is one of those things which juries often find persuasive in determining liability for a particular injury “because someone should have done something” to prevent the injury.

  46. EricS July 11, 2016 at 11:20 am #

    Toronto is in the process of reversing a by-law that prevented kids from playing street hockey or basketball. Apparently it all started some years ago at a neighborhood north of the city. Busy bodies complained that the kids were being disruptive…playing. There will be no shortage of sanctimonious, insecure, and ignorant people. Some people just can’t help themselves but to complain all the time. And with systems in place that will enable them to do it anonymously, it’s no surprise that it’s abused.

  47. Dasy2k1 July 11, 2016 at 2:03 pm #

    I think the forestry commission here in the UK have got the ballance right when I cones to things like rope swings…..

    This is their official guidance

    With a natty flowchart to decide what to do with a swing they find