Police officers have visited the homes of children caught playing with homemade whips in a Sheffield suburb.
Over recent weeks homemade whips used by children in Page Hall have been confiscated over concerns about their use.
But last night South Yorkshire Police revealed that officers have also been carrying out home visits to speak to the parents of children found with the whips.
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The force insists the whips are used as ‘toys’ by most children, but there have been complaints from residents.
Local woman Sharon Hall 54, recently dialled 999 after being ‘whipped’ as she walked through Page Hall.
In an online question and answer session last night, Inspector Chris Lewis, of the Sheffield North East neighbourhood policing team, said: “This issue has featured a lot recently. Many of the children carrying and using the whips are doing so as a toy.
“That said, they are not necessarily appropriate.
“Along with council colleagues we have confiscated a considerable number of them over recent weeks.
“Where possible the children have been taken home and spoken to in the presence of their parents.
“We have spoken to all children who attend local schools, informing them that they are not appropriate and in certain circumstances may be considered an offensive weapon. If any incidents are reported where a whip has been used as a weapon or used to damage anything it will be investigated as any other criminal matter would be.”
Kerryanne Wright, who took part in the online debate about issues of concern in the area, said: “What about the young adults, 20 plus, who were outside my house yesterday - terrified my children cracking them on the road. They saw my children scared and clinging to me so they cracked the whips closer and they weren’t the standard ones the kids make, these were huge really long whips.
“A lady who lives on my road saw my children crying and scared and chased them away. We are like prisoners in are own home.”
Call South Yorkshire Police on 101 to report incidents.