Noise App Recordings
Ms C (name changed) was dissatisfied with Poplar HARCA’s handling of a complaint regarding noise nuisance, so submitted a Community Trigger application to Tower Hamlets Council. A Community Trigger application is made when a resident is not happy about the way their ASB case has been dealt with, and the local authority subsequently reviews the case.
- In January 2020, Ms C contacted Poplar HARCA by telephone to complain about their neighbour who was causing noise. The Antisocial Behaviour (ASB) team advised Ms C to record the incidents of noise using a Noise App, which records noise and then submits it to the team. The team then reviews the recordings to decide whether this constitutes noise nuisance (due to volume and/or frequency), and if enforcement action needs to be taken.
- Unfortunately, the team member who spoke to Ms C on the phone did not create a new case on Poplar HARCA’s system, and there was no record of the conversation. The team was therefore not aware of the complaint.
- Ms C continued to submit recordings via the Noise App but these were not picked up by our ASB Coordinators because neither of them recognised her as a victim on any of their cases. From January to June, Ms C submitted 9 recordings and none of them were listened to. Ms C became frustrated and submitted a Community Trigger application to Tower Hamlets Council.
- It was only when the team received notification of the Community Trigger application that they realised that Ms C had been submitting recordings that hadn’t been listened to. A new ASB case was created and Ms C was contacted straight away. The team listened to the Noise App recordings and could hear thudding sounds, knocking sounds, furniture being moved and banging. They spoke to the leaseholder of the neighbouring property that was causing the noise and the tenants were warned about their behaviour. The noise then reduced and Ms C was pleased with the outcome.
- This complaint changed the way we manage our noise cases. To prevent recordings being missed, all new Noise App users have to be approved before they can submit recordings. The app sends an email alert to notify the ASB team that someone wishes to submit recordings, and a member of the team authorises them to do so. This allows Noise App cases to be monitored more efficiently, and reduces the risk of missing recordings.