Michael Joseph contacted us to expose the ludicrous situation of being quizzed by police after trimming his boundary hedge.

This is the same hedge he had trimmed for nearly 30 years.

We arranged for Mr Joseph's story to appear in the Daily Mail newspaper as an exclsuive.

Mr Joseph is delighted that the situation has been brought to the public's attention.

Scroll down to read the full story form the Daily Mail newspaper.

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Quizzed by the police for trimming a hedge (and he'd been doing it for nearly 30 years!)


For nearly 30 years, Michael Joseph lent a green-fingered hand to his elderly neighbours.

As a regular gesture of goodwill, the retired bank manager volunteered to tend to a vigorous hedge between their properties.

But when his grateful neighbours moved away, so did the mutual understanding.

Michael's Joseph's neighbour called the police after a hedge was trimmed

After Mr Joseph, 61, took care of the annual pruning last month, his new neighbour reacted less positively - by calling the police.

Officers turned up at his house, leaving Mr Joseph concerned that he could face being charged with criminal damage.

He told officers he had kept the beech hedge under control by arrangement with his neighbours since he moved into his home in Bishopston, Swansea, in 1979.

However, last year a new neighbour moved in.

Father-of-two Mr Joseph said the nieghbour asked him earlier this year for permission to remove the hedge and put up a new fence.

But the fence never appeared and by last week the hedge had grown to around 10ft - high time for Mr Joseph's annual pruning.

Mr Joseph, who lives with wife Sheila, 55, said: 'Coincidentally, two young men called at our house and offered to lop it for 60 and we decided to take them up on it.

'I must admit that we couldn't contact our neighbour at the time to ask her if she objected, but since she had asked if she could take down the hedge completely, we didn't think she would object.

'The lads cut it down from around 10ft high to 6ft or 7ft. To be honest they did cut it down a bit more than I thought they would, but I thought it would be ok.'

Then came the visit from the police. They advised Mr Joseph to get in touch with the Land Registry and check who the hedge actually belonged to.

Mr Joseph said: 'I told them that I thought that would be a civil matter but they said, "If it's not your hedge, a criminal act may have happened".'

Understandably concerned, Mr Joseph checked the original plans for his property and concluded that the hedge was right on the boundary line and was therefore shared.

He said that after Mrs Jones was unable to prove the hedge belonged to her, the police decided to take no further action.

But he added: 'I am bemused that this has become a police matter. With all the things that police haven't time to deal with, it seems they have time to deal with a complaint about a hedge.'

The neighbour said: 'I have been asked by the police not to discuss this.'

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