29/08/2012 18:03 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Housing Bosses Confiscate Toddler's Bike

Housing bosses confiscate toddler's bike Solent Sad Christopher in the large hall

A toddler has had his tiny bike confiscated by housing bosses who claim it was causing a fire hazard outside his home.

Christopher Rawson, two, was in tears after his red bike disappeared from outside the door of the ground floor flat in Southampton.

It turned out housing association First Wessex had confiscated the toy from the apartment block foyer because it posed a 'potential hazard'.

Christopher's mother Rebekah Rawson, 27, has been told she will have to pay £50 to get the £40 bike back.

Mum-of-three Rebekah said she received a letter asking her to move the bike, then noticed three days later that it was gone.

"When I saw the letter I thought it was ridiculous so I just ignored it," she said.

"It's a tiny little balance bike. It's not blocking anything, no one else has to go past it, there are two doors to get out of the flats and the foyer is huge.

"No one knocked on my door. They just took it and didn't even leave a letter to say it had been taken.

"Meanwhile you have a little boy in tears who can't understand why he can't ride his bike."

Housing bosses confiscate toddler's bike Solent A bike just like Christopher's

First Wessex says it operates a 'zero tolerance' policy when it comes to obstacles that may prevent residents escaping in the event of a fire.

The company says the family had been warned that the bike was a 'potential hazard' and not to store it in the communal area.

Carol Williams, operations director at First Wessex, said all their residents are warned not to leave personal items in communal areas and regular inspections are carried out to make sure they are clear.

An immediate removal notice was issued during a visit on August 8, followed by a first class letter warning the bike would be taken away, she said.

She added: "When we visited the block again and the bike was still stored in a communal area, it was removed and placed into storage to ensure the safety of all residents living in the block."

What do you think? Health and safety gone too far yet again or a genuine hazard?

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