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Nuisance noise is any loud or persistent noise that causes you ongoing concern or affects your quality of life. Your local council should be your first contact for reporting nuisance noise as this isn’t usually a matter for the police.
Where the noise is from people being inconsiderate in a public space, this is an exception. You can report this as antisocial behaviour.
If the same alarm keeps going off this may qualify as nuisance noise, especially if it goes on for a long time and keeps people up late at night.
Pubs, clubs and other venues can contribute to nuisance noise by playing music too loud or later than their licence permits. This can be made worse by people talking loudly as they leave the venue or keeping the party going by turning up their vehicles’ music systems.
Construction companies and contractors must by law take all reasonable steps to control noise and work within certain times, usually from 7.30am to 6pm. If they want to work outside these times they must apply for a special permit from the local council.
Having to tolerate either constant or intermittent nuisance noise can be exhausting, especially if it happens through the night.
It can also make people feel isolated and helpless, unable to relax in their own homes.
If a building or car alarm is going off and there’s clear evidence of criminal activity, such as a broken window or someone acting suspiciously nearby, call 999 immediately.
If you have a hearing or speech impairment, use our textphone service 18000 or text us on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergencySMS service.
If there’s no evidence of criminal activity, we would always suggest trying to talk peacefully to the person responsible for the noise. They may already be trying to fix it. Unbelievable as it may seem, they may not even be aware of the problem.
If the person doesn’t want to stop the noise completely, try to reach an amicable compromise, such as no music after 11pm.
If you feel you can’t talk to the people involved, or they won’t listen, contact the Environmental Health team at your local council; they’ll be able to give you advice.