Neighbourhood Watch stickers deemed a fire hazard

Caroline Cassidy

Following the recent survey that revealed that a quarter of British people feel suspicious of their neighbours, the behaviour of an Essex council seems to be contributing towards the demise of communities in the UK.

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Kevin Coombes, from South Ockendon, Essex, had been putting up Neighbourhood Watch stickers on his door to act as a deterrent to opportunistic criminals, but her regularly found his stickers being torn down.

When Mr Coombes called his council to complain, he learned that it was not local troublemakers stealing his stickers but the caretaker of his flat who was responsible since the stickers were viewed as a "health and safety risk".

In response, Mr Coombes quizzed his local firemen about the safety of his stickers and they stated that there was no real risk of fire from the stickers.

But despite having a professional opinion to back him up, Thurrock Council would not budge on their no-sticker policy, claiming that if they allowed Mr Coombes to put up his stickers then other residents may also be encouraged to put up posters.

Mr Coombes declared the council "ridiculous" since they had never been so stringent in their dealing with graffiti and flytipping.

Thurrock Council, said: "We do not have a policy in place on stickers/notices in communal areas but there is a general presumption against stickers in communal areas due to fire hazards.

"Mr Coombes is at liberty to place the sticker in his own window and the council is happy to meet with Mr Coombes to discuss this face to face."

Do you think that councils should be encouraging a sense of community through schemes such as Neighbourhood Watch rather than focusing on such trivial matters? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.