A couple have been told that their stolen caravan cannot be returned to them, because it would invalidate the human rights of the gypsy family now living in it.
Police discovered the £30,000 caravan, owned by Kathleen McClelland and her partner Michael Curry, on a traveller site in Surrey 18 months after it was stolen.
Yet, telegraph.co.uk reports that they have no legal powers to return it to its original owners because there is no evidence that the current occupiers knew it was stolen.
The couple, who are still making monthly payments for the caravan, will now have to go through the civil courts in an effort to get it back. Such a scenario could potentially be avoided by fellow caravan owners by heightening security on the vehicle; for example, by installing a caravan tracking device.
In an interview with dailymail.co.uk, Mrs McClelland was understandably upset at the news.
She said: "Why should we have to pay for someone else to live in our brand new caravan? That was for our pleasure in our older years. The police said that removing the family would breach their human rights and that they would have to be rehoused before it could be seized.
"We spent all our retirement money on that caravan because we thought it would last us a lifetime. We're absolutely devastated. It seems as though no-one cares about our human rights."