Antisocial Behaviour and Noise
For sufferers of noise nuisance the new anti-social behaviour powers is a mixed bag. Generally speaking the range of new (and amended) mechanisms are likely to be applied in cases that involve anti-social behaviour in a wider sense. However, there are some potential benefits for sufferers and enforcers of noise, including:
- The potential for the use of Community Protection Notices on party-patrols or ongoing disturbances.
- The power to close a property for 24-48 hours (extendable) where nuisance is caused to neighbours.
- The ability for social landlords to apply for civil injunctions for noise related nuisance or annoyance.
- Breach of injunction, criminal behaviour order, conviction for a serious criminal offence or conviction for breach of noise abatement notice can all lead to a rented or tenanted property being re-possessed by landlords.
The Community Trigger and Noise
It will take some time for these powers to be understood and applied. In the meantime, there is one other measure that we would like to mention briefly – the Community Trigger. This was introduced to provide a voice to victims who feel that their issue(s) are/were not being dealt with effectively by the agency investigating their concerns. If their application qualifies and meets the minimum threshold it requires the Police and Local Authority (and perhaps housing associations) to review your case and propose an action plan to address the issue(s) you have raised.
For victims it enables their case to be prioritised and reviewed by the relevant enforcement agencies (who are expected to work together rather than in isolation).
You must have made three complaints to any one agency within the last 6 months. The behaviour complained of must have caused “harassment, alarm or distress”, so it is important that you emphasise how the problem has affected you within that context. If you are particularly sensitive for whatever reason or, for example, have health issues these may also be taken into account.
Make sure that you follow through on instructions provided by the investigating agency before applying for the Trigger. Allow them to conduct their investigations fully first; being too premature may cause delays or result in a lack of suitable evidence being available at the review.