10 September 2006


Burglars? Muggers? Car thieves? Fraudsters? Not Devon and Cornwall Police. Apparently they'd rather hassle citizens who have solar-illuminating gnome policemen in their gardens. Okay, between the lines there's obviously been some neighbourly disagreement/animosity but I don't think that gives the cops a right to abuse their authority in order to back up a colleague who has an axe to grind. What I'd now like to see in that garden is a whole army of solar policemen!


(BBC News Website Sept 10th 2006)

Police have taken a dim view of a man's glowing garden gnome and threatened him with arrest unless he removes it.
The solar-powered policeman figure stands sentinel in the garden of Gordon MacKillop's home in Treovis, near Liskeard.
His neighbour, former policeman John McLean, says the gnome is annoying and upsets buyers viewing his home.
Now police have served Mr MacKillop with a notice for "placing a garden gnome with intent to cause harassment".
Mr MacKillop, 46, was woken in the night by two officers who warned him that the gnome was offensive to his neighbours.
The notice, under the Protection From Harassment Act 1997, also accuses Mr MacKillop of intimidating potential buyers of Mr McLean's £209,000 cottage.
Mr McLean has told officers that the garden gnome, which comes complete with police dog and solar light, was in an "annoying position".
Mr MacKillop denied having harassed house-hunters viewing his neighbour's property.
Mr MacKillop, a marine surveyor at Devonport Dockyard, said: "When you hear a knock at the door at quarter to midnight you don't expect to be served with that.
"I was absolutely fuming. I thought there had been an accident in the family."
Mr MacKillop said he bought the gnome to deter criminals, after his motorcycle was stolen from his drive.
"It just happened that it had a police uniform on," he said.
"I'm not having the police telling me what type of garden gnome I can have in my garden.
"This is a standard gnome I bought from a retail store. If they are considered to be harassing they should be withdrawn from sale."
A Devon and Cornwall Police spokeswoman said: "This isn't just a petty issue. This has been ongoing for two or three years."
Mr McLean was unavailable for comment.


  1. Two of the greatest lines ever:-

    "placing a garden gnome with intent to cause harassment".


    "I'm not having the police telling me what type of garden gnome I can have in my garden".

    Oh, wait a minute:-

    "This isn't just a petty issue".

  2. Hmmm... what can I place in my garden with intent to cause harassment? Maybe a statue of Joan of Arc brandishing a night stick? Yes! Where can I find one, now?

  3. What is it with English gardens and gnomes? Why can't you people use plastic flamingos and deer, pointless glass globes and painted jockeys like the rest of us?

  4. do we know how closely the gnome resembles that man's neighbour? If my neighbour put a male model gnome with a rippled torso and chiselled jaw in his garden then I might wonder why has he put a gnome that looks like me in his garden, it must be a case of harassment!

    ok, so who's going to do the 'I arrest you in the gnome of the law' joke then?

  5. MOY - Flamingos? Deer? Glass globes? You must be kidding! A garden is incomplete unless it has a few gnomes in it. We have four and now out of spite I am going to rename one of them The Moy! He used to be Albert.
    ARTHUR - Your neighbours would be better off purchasing an overweight, slack-jawed Little Britain wheelchair-bound gnome. Know the one I mean?

  6. Quite lovely!

    Made me laugh more than anything all weekend.

  7. Whenever I sit in someone's garden, someone calls the police. "There's a gorilla gnome in my garden!" they shriek over the phone.

    "Can you describe the gorilla gnome?" the police ask.

    "He's large, furry and he's eating all of the carrots and lettuce!"

    "Sounds like you've got a rabbit in your garden, ma'am, not a gorilla. Please leave the emergency line open for real emergencies."

  8. Zero tolerance has to begin somewhere; the garden gnome strikes me as a perfectly reasonable place to start. The very instant an amnesty is declared I shall submit the gnome that was left behind by the previous owners (honest) to the appropriate authority.

    BTW thank you with the dishevelled theorising, which co-ordinates so wonderfully with my 'hairstyle'

  9. I have a cement dragon and a Gaia statue in my garden PLUS a gazing ball..

    but alas no glowing gnome.. at least it's not his...... ahem..... Male member that's glowing...


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