Last week the Ipswich Star ran a story about the latest person taken to court by Ipswich Borough Council for noise nuisance, writes David Ellesmere, Leader of Ipswich Borough Council.
He was fined £2,000, ordered to pay £300 costs and a victims’ surcharge of £50.
On top of this the court ordered a forfeiture order for the music equipment that was making the noise.
We believe this is the highest fine ever awarded for noise nuisance in Ipswich.
It highlights our determination to crack down on those inconsiderate people who make their neighbours’ lives a misery by persistently making loud noises late into the night.
It also shows that our investment in a permanent out-of-hours service – the only one in Suffolk – is paying off.
Up until two years ago, Ipswich’s noise nuisance service wasn’t good enough. We only had a late-night service Friday and Saturday nights.
On those two days, if a complaint came through the officer on duty could come out, visit you, witness the nuisance, visit the person causing the noise and take enforcement action if appropriate.
However, on the other five days, if you had a problem in the evening then nothing could be done at the time. Someone would get in contact with you the next day and take down the details. If it was a persistent problem, you would be asked to keep a noise log over a period of weeks. Only when enough evidence was gathered could action be taken.
Needless to say, this didn’t make for a very satisfactory service.
Councillors frequently received complaints from residents suffering terrible noise problems with the council seemingly taking no action other than to get them to keep filling in logs.
So last year we set up a permanent out-of-hours service which runs until 2am on Thursday to Sunday and until midnight Monday to Wednesday.
We are now getting more successful prosecutions, have much greater satisfaction in the service and fewer complaints.
You can’t put a price on a good night’s sleep but, as we have now seen, the price could be £2,350 and the loss of your sound system if you disturb some else’s.
Wishing all of you a Happy Christmas and a very PEACEFUL New Year!