Cut Noise

Crack down on noise offenders!


Around 6 million people are extremely bothered by neighbour noise in the UK.  According to Government figures, 11% of people are extremely disturbed by neighbour noise in the UK, with 54% bothered to some extent (1).

And the least well-off can suffer the most. Just 7% of people living in a detached house or bungalow are annoyed by noise from their neighbours. This rises to 23% of those living in a medium/high rise flat.

Although there is legislation in place that there wasn't 30 years ago, its implementation is still patchy, resulting in far too many people living with a neighbour noise problem.

It’s time to get consistently tough on noise offenders.  It is time for the Government, the Police and all local authorities to find the resources and the willpower to deal effectively with neighbour noise.

The legislation exists (2):

The Environmental Protection Act 1980

The Noise Act 1996

The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014

There has been a clampdown in smoking in most public venues so we don't inhale other people's smoke.  The same tough attitude needs to be taken towards other people's noise.

An Independent Appeals Panel needs to be set up for noise sufferers who believe the authorities haven't done their job effectively.

Homes need to be properly insulated.  Exact figures are hard to come by but research carried out some years ago by the UK Noise Association estimated that at least 2.5 million people live in homes with poor sound insulation (3).  

For assistance with individual noise problems:

Noise Abatement Society: provides a noise helpline: 01273 823850  

Noise Nuisance:   Assists people with neighbour and neighbourhood noise problems


(1).National Noise Attitude Survey 2012 

(2). Go to where Emeritus Professor Francis McManus, a leading expert on noise law, outlines key legal judgements

(3). A Sound Solution, UK Noise Association, (2002)

Next blog: why all noise officers should be over 60!  Read on....


Why all noise officers should be over 60!


Over 60s only need apply!  Now, don’t get me wrong, I like young people. They are fitter, better looking and more energetic than me. But they shouldn’t be noise enforcement officers. They don’t ‘get’ noise. Some of them might but I’m not willing to take the risk. It’s a blanket ban! It’s a job that should be reserved for us over-60s.

How many youngsters really understand that noise can be a torment? Noise they don’t even notice or, indeed, can cause. We were privileged to grow up in an era when pubs, shops and cafes didn’t play background music….at all; when the rare busker just strummed her guitar; when the streets were for playing on and an aircraft in the sky was as rare as Haleys Comet; when there were no announcements on buses, tubes or trains – that’s right, none at all; when the pubs shut at 11pm and the night economy was a midnight burger at Wimpeys; when we turned on transistors, not sound systems; and when Lulu’s Boom-Bang-a-Bang rarely registered a noise complaint.

Now don’t me wrong. We realize – sometimes regretfully, I admit it – that world has gone. And most of us have had children who have grown up in a very different world. And we love our grandchildren – particularly when they fix our smart phones and sort out our computers! My point is this. We understand the world they grew up in. There’s no reason for them to understand the world we grew up in. And, without that understanding, I’m not sure they really can appreciate how utterly traumatic noise can be. And for those of you that do, I apologise. My job can be yours when you reach 60!

'The Whisperer'