Gardener Ordered to Remove Barbed Wire Fence on Grounds It Could 'Wound Thieves'
Thursday, October 09, 2008
A British gardener’s local council has ordered him to remove a 3-foot high barbed wire fence around his property in case thieves hurt themselves on it, the Daily Mail reported Thursday.
Bill Malcolm, 61, installed the wire at his Worcester property after burglars robbed his tool shed and vegetable plots three times in four months, stealing more than $500 worth of hardware.
But Malcolm’s local council told him the wire was a health and safety hazard and warned him they would remove it by force if he did not do it himself, the Mail reported.
“The council said they were unhappy about the precautions I had made but my response was to tell them that only someone climbing over on to my allotment could possibly hurt themselves,” Malcolm told the Mail. “They shouldn't be trespassing in the first place but the council apologized and said they didn't want to be sued by a wounded thief.”
The council said that a fence on the property must be a post or rail fence, not barbed wire.
“With regard to the barbed wire, when this is identified on site, we are obliged to request its removal or remove it on health and safety grounds to the general public as this is a liability issue,” a council spokeswoman told the Mail.