Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Britain Beset by Athletic Burglars, Housing Council Ban Trampolines

As soon as I saw the headline, I knew they were British: Family told to remove trampoline 'because it could be used by burglars'

It was a headline and URL sent to me by someone on Twitter. I read it and said, "Bet they're British." I clicked the link, and saw that sure enough, I was right.

Matthew Nice, who lives in a social housing block in Wicklow, Essex, has been asked to move his daughter's 12 inch high trampoline. But Nice refuses, because his 8-year-old daughter, Yasmin, plays on it every day.

"It's complete rubbish anyone would use it to help them break in," Nice told the London Daily Telegraph. "There are wheelie bins around here and they are much taller than that. It would be a dumb burglar who would try to use a tiny trampoline to jump in a window. The housing association is not making any allowances and this is just taking things too far. It's the only area children have got to play in."

All I can say is "God, please bless the British bureaucrat, that they may continue to provide me fodder for my humor blogs."

Ironically, Nice is a health and safety inspector (regular readers of the Laughing Stalk blog know my feelings about British health and safety).

A spokesman for London and Quadrant, the housing association, told the Daily Telegraph they had received a complaint about the trampoline by a neighbor, but said the risk of burglary was not the issue.

"The trampoline is in a communal area on our land and our only concern was that when it is left unattended other children could use it and may hurt themselves," backtracked the spokesman. "We have absolutely no problem with Mr Nice's daughter using it. We simply asked him if he could bring it inside when she has finished playing on it and it is not being supervised."

I'm rather surprised that health and safety inspector Nice hasn't put up a fence around the trampoline so no one can play with it, or tried to ban children from the housing block, which seems to be the reaction of most health and safety wonks in England.

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