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ChumpusRex

Legality Of Removing Obstructing Objects (Bicycles)

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There are some railings at work, which lie next to a path which is apparently a fire route. However, it's common practice for people to just chain bikes to them, because they are more convenient than the cycle racks.

Management are now threatening to remove by force any bicycles chained to those railings which may involve cutting the lock, frame and/or wheels.

Obviously, there are signs to that effect, but I was curious what the legal implications of destroying an item (such as a lock) would be. In the same way that it is criminal damage to attempt to remove a wheel clamp from your own vehicle, surely this also would be criminal damage.

I remember this policy being in force when I was at uni. There were bicycles everywhere, and every couple of weeks, I'd see a couple of guys with an oxy-acetylene torch cutting bikes of railings. Apparently, they would then send the owner of the bike a bill for the removal.

I'm just wondering if this is still appropriate practice. Does H&S legislation override criminal damage in this case?

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I presume that th bikes are not on the public highway

I think that the chain passing through the fnce could cnstitute trespas, but if the land on both sides of the fence is the property of yur employer, trespass would be a moot point.

Why not compy with what our emploer demands? Has your relationship with them deteriorated so much?

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Thread on "police specials" forum: http://www.policespecials.com/forum/index.php/topic/129076-removing-bikes-from-railings/

The management appears to be on very dodgy ground WRT criminal damage and potentially theft however judging from that link you might struggle to get plod interested.

One possible defence might be consent, in that by ignoring those signs you consent to any damage caused to the bike or lock, this would be a matter for the courts to decide and would presumably depend upon how prominently the warnings were displayed.

The suggested alternative response is to add an extra lock to the bike.

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The suggested alternative response is to add an extra lock to the bike.

Tempting, but that doesn't aid the fire access. :(

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Tempting, but that doesn't aid the fire access. :(

If they're obstructing fire access then remove them and use that as a "reasonable excuse defence".

If you just don't like the look of them you're on questionable ground.

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Do you get any chained up unicycles, obstructing fire access? :blink: No I thought not! These bicycling hoons with their extravagant second wheel, are a menace! :unsure:

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Why not compy with what our emploer demands? Has your relationship with them deteriorated so much?

Sorry. We're talking at crossed-purposes.

I'm just curious. My current employer is reasonable, and I'm quite happy to follow their rules.

Some of my previous employers have not been, and have been downright abusive, and I would have loved to be able to take them to the cleaners.

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When cars block the pavement, what measures can you take?

What if your frail elderly neighbour who walks only extremely slowly on two sticks[1] is a prisoner in her own flat, because the pavement is usually blocked by parked cars and she can't just go out into the road to walk round them as others do? I'd've thought that kind of situation would up the threshold for reasonable force to something quite a lot higher than just thinking parked bikes look untidy. But all the evidence points the other way: motorists can sue anyone who touches their precious for the most legitimate reasons.

[1] I'm thinking of a former neighbour I knew for the last four years of her life, who was in exactly that situation.

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When cars block the pavement, what measures can you take?

Very little. Its difficult even for councils to tow vehicles away. Cambridge used to have big problems with cars causing obstruction with regular tow-aways, but then all of a sudden, they had to stop for legal reasons.

It's worse on private land. If you've got someone parking on your land and causing an obstruction, there is literally NOTHING that you can do. You can't move the car (an offence under the Protection of Freedoms act Sec 55). You can't clamp it or block it in (Sec 54). Your ONLY option is to block them from entering in the first place; once they're in, you can't do anything.

My nan used to live in a block of flats before she moved into a resi home. However, her private car parking space that was used by myself and my relatives to assist her, was almost always occupied by people parking to get to the nearby train station. We looked into every conceivable option, and there was none, except physically blocking the space with removable, lockable bollards.

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The fire brigade have a drive round and ticket cars that park badly. I assume it's a random thing when they've bored. But one eejit up the road has been ticketed twice cos he parks like a nobhead.

They'd probably rather not have to climb over bikes when they've got kittens to rescue from trees.

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You can't move the car (an offence under the Protection of Freedoms act Sec 55). You can't clamp it or block it in (Sec 54). Your ONLY option is to block them from entering in the first place; once they're in, you can't do anything.

Not quite true IMO. You can't clamp or tow away but I don't think there's a legal impediment to locking your gates whilst the car is in there, you're then within your rights to demand that they come back and collect it at a time convenient for you.

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Not quite true IMO. You can't clamp or tow away but I don't think there's a legal impediment to locking your gates whilst the car is in there, you're then within your rights to demand that they come back and collect it at a time convenient for you.

"Intention

A person will not be guilty of this offence unless he undertakes one of the actions above with the intention of preventing or inhibiting the removal of the vehicle concerned by a person otherwise entitled to remove it.

Thus a landowner is entitled to move a vehicle a short distance where it is obstructing access to his or her property and he or she does not intend to prevent the driver from subsequently retrieving it."

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OK, another question.

If

leave something on your land, you're responsible for disposing of it (dammit, where's embed-from-youtube in the new editor)?

Why is a car any different?

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OK, another question.

If

leave something on your land, you're responsible for disposing of it (dammit, where's embed-from-youtube in the new editor)?

Why is a car any different?

Maybe they drive a FreeVan of the Land.

BTW talking of bedsteads I once saw a fast-moving cast iron bedstead collide with a stationary car (it was Rag Week in Cambridge)

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Management are now threatening to remove by force any bicycles chained to those railings which may involve cutting the lock, frame and/or wheels.

I assume it's like hedges. You can cut the bits off that protrude onto your property, but you have to throw them back onto the other side.

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