A gardener who fenced off his allotment with barbed wire after being targeted by thieves has been ordered to take it down – in case intruders scratch themselves.
Bill Malcolm erected the 3ft fence after thieves struck three times in just four months, stealing tools worth around £300 from his shed and ransacking his vegetable patch.
But Bromsgrove district council has ordered the 61-year-old to remove the waist-high fence on health and safety grounds.
Mr Malcolm, who has grown potatoes, onions, beetroot and asparagus on two patches at the Round Hill allotments in Marlbrook, Worcestershire, for the past eight years, said: ‘It’s an absolutely ridiculous situation.
‘All I wanted was to protect my property but the wire had to go in case a thief scratched himself.
‘The fence was just a single strand and ringing my property. It was only 3ft high – it wasn’t as though I’d dug a moat filled with piranha fish and erected 6ft iron railings.
‘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.
‘They shouldn’t be trespassing in the first place but the council apologised and said they didn’t want to be sued by a wounded thief.
‘I told them to let the thief sue me so at least that way I would know who was breaking into my allotment but everything I said fell on deaf ears. It seems as though they are so wrapped up in red tape, they are unable to help me.
My favorite comment:
Should they also leave their shed doors open in case a thief should break a fingernail on the lock?
– John Salkeld, Sheffield, England, 9/10/2008 17:08
Seriously. Maybe he should erect some slippery when wet signs too.
HT: (Mark Steyn)