Woman faces bill for fence destroyed as police chased burglary suspect
ANGRY Marie Poole faces having to foot the bill to replace a garden fence which was destroyed as the police pursued a suspected burglar.
The 32-year-old has fallen victim to a council's new fencing rules and may now have to pay for repairs.
The trouble began when dozens of officers were chasing a man as he tried to escape through residents' back gardens in Tunstall late at night.
The pursuit left Marie's fence in tatters before officers finally found the wanted man hiding in a hedge.
****Best Deals**** Van Insurance for 17-24 Yr Old Drivers - Contact Insure365 on 01782 898188 for a quotation, Free Legal Protection Included Valued at £25.00!
Terms: 1 Voucher Per Customer
Contact: 01782 898188
Valid until: Tuesday, June 25 2013
The mother-of-two, who cares for her disabled mother, says because her neighbours own a dog she can no longer let her children play in the garden.
Marie, of Furlong Road, Tunstall, said: "I didn't even know what had happened at first.
"I just woke up and my fence was destroyed. I spoke to some of the neighbours and they said around 20 police officers were out with sniffer dogs chasing this bloke.
"But the council has refused to replace the fence. Someone came and said it doesn't fit the criteria.
"The neighbours have a massive dog and there's no way I can let the kids play outside.
"The police gave me an incident number but they said it was the council's responsibility."
Stoke-on-Trent City Council announced a new policy on fence repairs in April. It will now only fix a fence which it has installed if it is dangerous, adjoins a public footpath, playing field or garage or is next to a drop of at least two feet.
A spokesman said: "Under our new repairs policy we will remove, but not replace, old or damaged fencing. However, we're working to establish how this particular damage occurred, before we decide on an appropriate way forward."
Police confirmed they have arrested a 20-year-old man and charged him with assault by beating, criminal damage to property, harassment and obstructing or resisting a constable in the execution of his duty. He has been remanded in custody to appear at North Staffordshire Magistrates Court.
The force said anyone who has property damaged as part of an investigation can submit a claim to its civil claims department.
Sergeant Karl Breen said: "Officers arrested a man in Hoskins Road on Wednesday, June 27. He was also wanted in connection with an aggravated burglary.
"Officers pursued the man on foot as he ran off when he saw them.
"Police have received a report of damage to a fence panel at a property in Furlong Road.
"Officers are now liaising with colleagues at Stoke-on-Trent City Council with a view to resolving the replacement of the fence panel."