Sunday, August 26, 2007

A conversation with my 'local' Police

This morning I had a rather interesting conversation with my local Police station. Well I say local Police station, it was actually just a local number but the call was routed through to a call centre of some sort which "looks after" the calls for the southern London Borough's apparently.

Anyway, at 6.30 this morning I went out the front of my little terrace house for a quick ciggy - the boy was up at 6.15. We don't smoke in the house because of the kids and the smell it makes, whilst outside I heard some of the most thumping techno I'd heard for... oh about 12 hours. I went to SW4 yesterday you see.

The music this morning was loud and constant and I'm pretty sure it was at least 250 yards or more away from my house. It had a muffled sound to it. At first I thought it was someone in a car but it never got louder or quieter and was just stable in volume.

Purely as an aside it was actually a really good tune, but that is by the by, it's 6.30am on a Sunday in residential area, not exactly neighbourly is it? So, I finshed the ciggy and popped in the house and called the local Bill. The conversation went (approximately) like this:
Me: I live in XXXX Road and somewhere down the road someone is having one hell of a party. I can almost feel the bass from the techno, I imagine the neighbours are not very happy about it.
Police: We have no power to do anything about noise, that's a matter for the local Council.
Me: Errr, surely this is some sort of breach of the peace?
Police: Only if they're having a party in the street. Otherwise it's a noise issue and you have to speak to the local Council, do you want the number?
Me: Are they likely to be there at this time on a Sunday morning?
Police: Every Council is different.
Me: Look, you do realise that if you go to this house it's gonna be full of people off their heads on pills and you'll probably find all sort of drugs there, right?*
Police: You can't make a sweeping generalisation like that.
Me: I can. It's 6.30am on a Sunday morning, do you think they've just woken up and decided to play techno really loudly?
Police: It's really a matter for the Council.
Me: OK, just give me their number and I'll call them.
Needless to say when I called the Council there was no answer. So basically, if you live where I live and your neighbours decide to whack up the volume on their 10K sound system and it's the weekend, the Police won't do anything and the Council aren't available.

* It's worth noting that whilst I remain someone who would rather just see drugs legalised and taxed, I was trying to appeal to the "anything for a collar" nature that The Bill has taught me exists in the Police Force. I will of course be writing a letter to ITV to complain about the way they misrepresent the Police to the nation - quite possible in CAPS and green ink.


Chris Paul said...

If you were in City Centre Manchester I could give you their mobile number. Not sure it's 24/7 yet but it's not office hours that's for sure. But we've got a good Labour council here see. Anyway, you liked the tune? and you couldn't hear it inside your house? Might be wasting police and your own time that Mr D?

dizzy said...

I've got a Labour council too. In fact it's been Labour for 35 years.

As for wasting police time, come off it.

Unknown said...

Ha. You're lucky if you can get the police out for real crimes like trying to bash someone's back door down nevermind making too much noise these days.

jailhouselawyer said...

The photo of you on Iain Dale's Diary, advertising this site as a must read, was it taken on a bad hair day?

dizzy said...

Hmmm there are two possibilities here, so I will start by asking, and don't take this the wrong way, what year did you get out? I ask because the picture is of the character Jesse from a BBC comedy show called the Fast Show, and relates to Iain's comment about "This weekend I have mostly been....", it's a catchphrase from the show which you may have not seen because you were doing bird.

The second possibility is that you do know and you thought it would be highly amusing to suggest it was meant to be me. In which case, you;ve done far better insults towards me in the past so I know you can do better,

The Druid said...

So much for Tone's Respect agenda. Of course had they being playing Nazi rock one suspects the response would have been rather different. Or am I being cynical?

That said the MPS are right. Its down to the local People's Soviet to sort:

Anonymous said...

"'s a catchphrase from the show which you may have not seen because you were doing bird."

No TV in prisons...? Sounds like you are out of touch, Dizzy!

Oh, mind you, it was a long while ago the axe murderer was behind bars (but not long enough), so maybe you are right.

dizzy said...

I won't lie, I was making assumptions about what they might be watching, it was on BBC2 after all.

dizzy said...

P.S. Can we call him an "axe killer" please if it must be referred too? It will stop him whinging on about libel.

Anonymous said...

Or axe-manslaughterer. That's his title of choice.

Gareth said...

HIS title if choice?? So a killer can tell us what to call him out of his choice?? How very new Labour! When's your conviction spent KILLER?

Anonymous said...

Gareth - why aren't you playing rugby instead of wasting your time commenting about Chris Paul's best friend?

And anyway didn't you know that he's done his time and is a reformed person?

I'll have to have a word with your mother.

Anonymous said...

Would you prefer the police to operate beyond their powers?

And if your Council is rubbish then that is what democracy is there to sort out - make sure the incumbents fear defeat if they do not address this and/or encourage challengers to champion action on noise nuisance.

Clearly a great many people will have been annoyed by this, get a petition together and send it to both the sitting councillors and the opposition parties.

Anonymous said...

Come on dizzy why were you complaining about something that wasn't even bothering you? That males no sense.

And why didn't you just go ask them to turn it down first?


dizzy said...

First up, I don't think it should be beyond the Police to go round to a house party when they receive complaints.

Murphy, it was bothering me. It was really loud. The reason I didn't ask them to turn it down myself is because I didn't know where they were and I wasn't going to leave my two year old on his own whilst I went for a wander.

The fact that I didn't know where they were and yet I could still hear it clearly is an indication of exactly how loud it was.

Anonymous said...

"It will stop him whinging on about libel."

Since whinging is all he can do.....let him cary on! ;)

"...I wasn't going to leave my two year old on his own whilst I went for a wander."

Wait 'til he's four. Then it'll be perfectly all right to leave him for hours while you have a meal with friends.

After all, the media were keen to tell us everyone does it after the McCann disappearance...

dizzy said...

In fairness to your last point. If I decide to sit out in my back garden with my wife and friends for a meal and my boy is in bed in his bedroom, it is entirely possible that someone could break in through the front door and abduct him from under our noses.

For me that's not very much different to what the McCann's did the night their daughter disappeared. Although I do acknowledge that they're awareness and understanding of risk may have been a little looser than it ought to have been.

Anonymous said...

"If I decide to sit out in my back garden...."

Is your back garden around the corner from your house, across the street, totally out of view & hearing....?

And do you leave your door unocked...?

dizzy said...

Julia I think you're missing the point. I said that the McCann's idea of risk was obviously weak. What I'm trying to point out is that in many circumstances it is not that different.

I mean, of course, I assume that my house is a secure and safe place. But if I'm sitting in my garden eating with friends I am far enough away from the house that if someone did enter it I wouldn't know.

And in fact, I wouldn't even be worrying about the potential of it happening. In answer to your specific question, being round the corner is irrelevant really to the point. However, yes, knowing if someone had broken in would be 2out of view", as too would hearing them. As to my door, whether it is locked or not is irrelevant as well, if someone wants to break in they're going to break in.

Anonymous said...

"I think you're missing the point. I said that the McCann's idea of risk was obviously weak. What I'm trying to point out is that in many circumstances it is not that different."

I'm afraid I don't think so. There is an expectation that our homes are safe, yes. But when in a strange place, you take more precautions, not less.

dizzy said...

Julia, you are missing the point because you seem to be ignoring the fact that twice I have essentially said "when in a strange place, you take more precautions, not less." by acknowledging that the McCann's notion of risk seems to have skewed.

My point though was that whilst you expectations of your own home being more safe than that in a foreign land, it remains the case that a child could just as easily be taken when parents are in the garden without their knowledge. In fact, I believe it happens when someone snatched a three year old out of her bath.

I can imagine that the McCann's will regret, for the rest of their lives, that they assessed risk incorrectly. But they will have done so based on their experience of their holiday in general. It sucks immensely, but damning them for making the wrong decision doesn't seem sensible to me, especially as one does it very much with the benefit of hindsight.

Anonymous said...

To revert to the original subject. If you had told them that you proposed getting out your gun and were going round to your neighbours to put a stop to the noise you would have found a rapid armed response. Unfortunately it would have been at your address not your neighbours. If you then pointed out that you had never possesed a gun you would have been prosecuted for wasting police time.

Anonymous said...

Something worth remembering is that the operators who answer your calls are civilians, who like traffic wardens, have little or no ability to use discretion.

The computer they use to record calls (CAD) has a list of incidents/offences/circumstances that they must rigidly use.

These lists then dictate the level of response.

Anonymous said...

"It sucks immensely, but damning them for making the wrong decision doesn't seem sensible to me..."

Apologies for straying off topic again, but it wouldn't seem sensible to me either....if not for my strong suspicion that, had the McCanns been Wayne & Waynetta Chav from a council estate, the press would have been unanimous in their condemnation of their actions...

I'm not sure this says anything other than the press are hypocrites (which most of us know) but it still seems wrong to me, and I'll remember it next time the 'Sun' or 'Mail' run their usual 'home alone' scandal.

Anonymous said...

True, it's not that outrageous to expect for police to "go round to a house party"...
But you said yourself, you thought it was "250 yrds" from where you were standing. It could've been a house, or a parked car.
Either way, with you in the middle, that's a 500yrd diametre for the police to check up on. On a Sunday morning, after a bonkers Saturday night in Londonistan, on the "hunch" of some bloke, who didn't realise noise issues are now council matters, not police matters, but thinks there may well be half a tonne of crack for those officers who do batter the door down. After they get a warrant first to search the place, and that's after they get a district judge out of bed to sign it.

You need to study the law more Dizzy. This tale is dopey.

Anonymous said...

No Carl, its dopey that the police won't/can't do anything about someone making this much noise. If Dizzy was 250 yards away and found it noisy enough to bother calling the police then I suspect the police had received a lot more calls from people living nearer the noisy shits. What the hell are the fucking police for?

Anonymous said...

Well 'anonymous' , I think the "southern London borough" police are "fucking" for more than early morning complaints about loud music.
Probably following up the numerous domestic violence incidents, murders, armed robberies, beatings, muggings, rapes that we are led to believe are an everyday occurance in London.
Plying loud music isn't defined by most police officers as a high priority issue. How about dizzy finding out through an FoI exactly what other incidents were being dealt with at that time of day, and how many officers were on turn.
Then, if it turns out they were sitting around mooching then he has a better tale than this length of horsedung he's offered here.