The Crime Prevention Website

I just had to post up this forum topic on Mumsnet, where our website has been cited as a place to go for advice (38 referrals yesterday and still coming in).  That in itself is great, but even though the contributors to this topic have been given a reliable source of information, which more than answers the original question, there will always be somebody who knows better.  Not only that, but topics like these usually wonder around a bit and then you start to get silly observations being made, which can mislead others.

The topic I’m referring to concerns whether you can use carpet gripper on your fence to keep burglars away. The comment below comes after the link to The Crime Prevention Website’s page about fence toppings and the law

A’posted It is actually legal as long as it is higher than 6ft off the ground. We had the police give us advice after a nasty burglary when we were at home and they said it is ok. We weren't specifically asking about carpet grippers but topping a wall with something sharp.

The police, it seems, didn’t tell this person about the Highways Act 1980, section 164 (if their fence adjoined a highway), the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1984 and the fact the 2.4m has been deemed about the right height for the safe use of injurious wall and fence toppings, and that anything over 2m will require planning permission anyway – I don’t know what 6 feet has got to do with it!

And here’s one of those nonsense comments:

‘B’ Posted I have to say I often wonder if burglars are more drawn to houses that have made extra effort to prevent access with cameras, and high fences with spikes etc as it might imply the house has something very valuable inside. Carpet grips are very easy to outwit with thick gloves and a folded mat or something.

The last sentence is true, but the rest of it is wholly not true!!  Study after study has found that homes with the highest level of security are the least likely ones to get broken into – period! 

It sort of reminds me of something said to me when I was manning the police crime prevention caravan many years ago in Ealing...

This man said to me “Yeh, I can see all these door locks and alarms and things, but they can still break in, so I don’t bother.”  “How many times have you been burgled?” I enquired. “Six times” came the reply.

The problem with B’s comment is that it will read by some who will hold the same view, which will now be reinforced.  Others, who may not have thought about this before, will go round telling their friends that more security will attract burglars.

The internet is a fantastic resource, but please be careful about where you get your advice.

I’m glad I got that off my chest! I think I shall go and lie down

Mumsnet Talk

Fences and the law:

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