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Thread: Torpoint, Cornwall

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    38

    Default Torpoint, Cornwall

    In the UK Groundspeak forum is a thread in which I asked for advice to request permission from the council to place a couple of caches in a park in Torpoint, Cornwall. It's topic 236187 - sorry, but the board won't let me post the proper URL until I've made 5 posts! The council have responded giving permission, but asking whether Public Liability insurance is in place. Here's the text:
    Dear {Pajaholic},

    Geocaching, {name of park}, Torpoint

    Thank you for your letter dated 24th November relating to the above.

    I am happy to give you permission to undertake the activity as described in your letter.

    Can you confirm though that you have public liability insurance in place to cover any accident that might occur as a result of the geocaching activity? Not doubt your parent organisation can advise on this.

    Yours sincere,
    {signed}
    Charlie David
    Operations Manager
    For info, I've added the council response to the tread on the Groundspeak forum.

    Permission doesn't seem dependent on PL insurance, but I suspect the council might withdraw permission if PL isn't in place. Does GAGB have PL insurance?

    TIA for any help,

    Geoff

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
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    2,142

    Default

    Geoff,

    No we don't. We asked for quotes for this but they were ridiculous.

    The issue is the definition of the risk for an insurer. Anyone could search at any time of day approaching the cache by any route without anyone on site to monitor accidents etc.

    In practice we all know the risk is little different to the average walker and this is the approach I take when negotiating. Landowners have people walking across their land anyway, sometimes on defined routes and sometimes not. In the case of geocaching, the usual difference is that someone retrieves and opens a box. Providing the box isn't somewhere inherently hazardous then there is little extra risk.

    In addition, there are disclaimers on geocaching.com regarding people searching at their own risk. Obviously this doesn't necessarily transfer the risk but it is a useful thing to point out.

  3. #3
    nobbynobbs Guest

    Default

    Take them out on a hunt so that they can see what it's all about as they have probably misunderstood.
    They will retain the liability of the location unless they can prove you've done something to alter it.

    This has been discussed many times and thankfully no one has ever been successfully sued though i think there was one attempt which failed.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Default

    Thanks guys, I suspected that GAGB wouldn't have PL insurance - but it was worth asking.

    While I suspect that I might be able to convince the council rep that geocachers do it at their own risk (quoting the GC disclaimer), I have a feeling that the council have albeit minor concerns about what might happen if a non-geocacher gets injured by or because of a cache. For example, who's liable if an ammo can falls out of a tree and injures someone. Since both caches I plan for this park are somewhat out of the way (over two metres from the nearest path or place the public would generally go), it might be worth mentioning this to the guy to support that these caches would not endanger the public.

    Nobbynobs: Thanks for the suggestion. However, the guy's offices are over thirty miles from my home, so I doubt he's got the time or inclination to visit the site in person. It might be worthwhile taking him to hunt for a cache or two near his offices - although as he's likely to be responsible for the land on which they'd be placed and I'd need to be sure that permission had formally been requested for any cache I took him to!

    Geoff

  5. #5
    nobbynobbs Guest

    Default

    Get him top meet you at the desired cache location. You want to be there as does he if he's responsible for it.

    Take him on the hunt for your cache ( location) have the container in your hand but the co-ords in your GPS.
    That way if he's happy you get to place the cache then and there without worry that he'll not agree and he's happy as he's seen where it'll go and that there's no risk.

    At the end of the day I can understand their concern. In today's society if they agree to allow anything they open themselves up to some petty individuals who don't understand that accidents happen and that there's not always someone to blame.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    38

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nobbynobbs View Post
    Get him top meet you at the desired cache location. You want to be there as does he if he's responsible for it.
    His office is over thirty miles from GZ, so I have to ask whether it's reasonable to expect a busy council official to give up over half his morning to visit the location when he has no obligation to do so. While I can offer to show him the locations, and show him something of what the activity entails by letting him do the navigation with my GPSr, I suspect that offer won't be taken up. Thus I need to put together something to assure him that the presence of a cache will not increase the council's liability.

    Geoff

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Below is my proposed response to the council's question. I guess that I've only got one shot at this, and it could set a precedent for this part of Cornwall, so I'd appreciate any suggestions on how this could be improved.
    Dear {council officer},

    Thank you for your letter of 3 December in which you gave permission for me to place two geocaches in {Park}, Torpoint.

    Further to your question regarding public liability insurance, neither Groundspeak Inc. nor The Geocaching Association of Great Britain provides this. It is not seen as necessary since every geocacher participates at his or her own risk and must agree to a disclaimer to this effect before obtaining access to geocache coordinates. A reminder of this and a link to the disclaimer is prominently displayed on each cache page. Thus the council carries little or no risk specifically in respect of the geocaching activity.

    If you wish, I am happy to meet with you or your representative at the park to show you the proposed locations. Hopefully, this will allay any residual concerns you might have.

    I hope this answers your question, but please do not hesitate to contact me again should you require further information.

    Yours sincerely, ...
    Thanks in advance,

    Geoff

  8. #8
    nobbynobbs Guest

    Default

    looks fine

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