Eugene Volokh is taken in by a story in the Daily Mail:
So reports the Daily Mail (UK) reports:
Residents in Surrey and Kent villages have been ordered by police to remove wire mesh from their windows as burglars could be injured….
Locals had reinforced their windows with wire mesh after a series of shed thefts but were told by community police officers that the wire was â€˜dangerousâ€™ and could lead to criminals claiming compensation if they â€˜hurt themselvesâ€™….
something appalling is going on, either in English tort law, or in English police practices, or both.
Something appalling is going on, but it’s English tabloid reporting.
Don Arthur did some basic fact checking:
But it turns out that the Surrey police donâ€™t actually have a problem with wire mesh. On their web site they advise home owners to “Use a window lock on opening windows and a strong grille or heavy wire mesh.” When I emailed them to ask about the news story they told me that wire mesh should be fitted on the inside of the window so that burglars canâ€™t remove it.
While wire mesh gets the thumbs up from police, there are some things they donâ€™t recommend. For example, they generally advise homeowners not to use razor wire or broken glass because they could be sued if someone injured themselves â€” even if that person was injured while committing a burglary.