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Wednesday, 8 August, 2001, 15:13 GMT 16:13 UK
Council's barbed wire ban
Burt Barber and his mother Ruby
Burt Barber and his mother Ruby want to keep the barbed wire (Picture: Northampton Chronicle & Echo)
A 93-year-old woman who put up barbed wire around her home after repeated burglaries has been ordered to take it down because it could injure intruders.

Ruby Barber's family put up 450 worth of wire following three break-ins at her home in the Ryehill area of Northampton.

But council officials have now ordered them to take it down - because it could injure someone who "foolishly" tries to climb it.


Unfortunately it does look like Colditz but it's been up two years and nobody has been in since

Burt Barber
Mrs Barber told BBC News: "I've been robbed three times and other people have been robbed as well.

"I want to keep this barbed wire."

Mrs Barber's son Burt put up the barbed wire and acknowledges that the council have offered to discuss other security measures.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "It's around the perimeter of the garden and along the back of the bungalow. That stops them totally.

Successful security

"It's been up two years and nobody has been in since.

"Unfortunately, it does look like Colditz but if this is what you have to do this is what you have to do."

The council was unable to comment as staff and councillors are said to be on holiday while telephones in the housing department are not working.


By taking barbed wire down you are giving a health and safety charter to burglars

Burt Barber
Mr Barber added: "I can't see what else can be done unless they have a man standing guard there.

"Burglar alarms go off where I live on a regular basis and nobody pays attention

"Nobody has told the Queen that she has to take down her barbed wire around the back of Buckingham Palace."

Reminded that his mother was not the Queen, Mr Barber replied: "She is to me.

"By taking barbed wire down, and it's approved by law that you shouldn't do this, you are giving a health and safety charter to burglars to allow them to get in without a problem."

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