When I first saw the headline “Gardener Ordered to Remove Barbed Wire Fence on Grounds It Could ‘Wound Thieves'” on the FoxNews website, I couldn’t believe. I thought to myself, surely this couldn’t be the case in America. This sounds like something that could only happen in Britain.
Well, upon reading the article, it is, in fact, something that could only happen in Britain. Fox picked up the story from the Daily Mail.
For those not familiar with vegetable gardening in a country with over 10 times greater population density than the US, local councils set aside plots of ground called allotments. People can rent an allotment, put a shed on it and grow some veg.
That’s what Bill Malcolm did in Worcestershire. Then over the course of four months, three times thieves wrecked his plants and stole $600 worth of tools. He even caught one of the theives red handed, but as you might suspect, the police did nothing. Bill thought the best thing to do was put up a little bit of barbed wire to discourage the yobs. Just a single strand around his patch.
It would seem a would-be thief complained to Bromsgrove Council that he might hurt himself. They have told Bill to take down the wire, because they are afraid of getting sued by injured theives. That’s right. And there is good reason for this. Thieves, who have very little chance of facing any consequences in the criminal justice system, are more than happy to sue when their victims do not roll out the red carpet and politely hand things over.
Admittedly this accommodation for thieves is not limited to Bromsgrove. Bristol council recently told its allotment holders to stop locking their sheds, as shed were being damaged when they were being broken into.