…Stephen West was astonished to find himself on the wrong side of the law after he pruned a honeysuckle overhanging from next door and threw away the cuttings.Incredibly, this time, the PCSO was correct:
The 54-year-old electrician received a police caution - and a criminal record - after a Police Community Support Officer came to question him about the ‘theft’ when his neighbour complained.
He was told it was perfectly legal to snip the parts of plant on his side of the boundary wall behind his flat in Bridlington, East Yorkshire, but that he had broken the law by disposing of them in his bin instead of returning them to the owner.But a reminder of this wouldn’t suffice, oh no. Not in the days of target-driven insanity…
The PCSO then told him he faced prosecution unless he accepted a caution.At this point, anyone with a shred of nous (or who had read the late lamented Nightjack’s code of conduct for dealing with the police) would have laughed and slammed the door in the officious little twerp’s face.
Mr West - who was also told he would have to give fingerprints - reluctantly signed the documentation and now has a criminal record for the first time in his life.It's his own fault, though:
He said he agreed to the caution ‘because I’ve got better things to do with my time than take on the law’.I can sort of understand this. But, sadly, he's wrong.
'I want people to realise the absurdity of the law, the waste of police time and the stupidity of my neighbour.’They might do, they might do indeed. They might just look at you as a complete fool for accepting your fate so meekly...
The incident followed a long-running row with neighbour Michael Lawrence over access to the back of their properties.Well, that's no surprise, is it? More and more, it seems that the police get tied up in these sort of things by people who have refused to grow up and sort out their own lives , preferring instead to call the authorities to sort it out.
Once, this would fall to the police. Now, it falls to their second-class replacements...
Mr West said he had received eight visits from PCSOs in the past year over ‘trivial’ complaints.*sigh*