In Britain, there is a long and honorable tradition of local
councils’ leasing small plots of land, called allotments, to people
without gardens of their own who may grow fruit, vegetables, and
flowers upon them. The tenants also receive small sheds on their plots
for storing tools, fertilizers, garden furniture, and so forth.
Unfortunately, another, less honorable, tradition has recently
developed: stealing from allotments. Seventeen of the 50 allotments in
Bromsgrove, Worcestershire have been robbed recently, for example, and
the shed of one tenant, Bill Malcolm, has been broken into three times.
So Malcolm put a barbed-wire fence around his patch of land to
discourage further depredations. The fence, however, did not meet with
the approval of the local council, which worried about the risk of
injury—to future burglars. Injured burglars might then sue the council.
Another council, in Bristol, told allotment holders not to lock their
sheds, in case burglars damaged them while breaking into them.
Needless to say, I am replacing the glass in the windows of my house
with tissue paper, so that burglars—poor lambs—will not cut themselves
while breaking and entering.