SIXTEEN people have been given warnings after the launch of a scheme targeting noisy neighbours.
Hartlepool Borough Council launched its late-night noise call-out service earlier this month and attended nine houses in the first weekend of operation and seven last weekend following complaints by neighbours.
The service has been running for two weekends and Adrian Hurst, principal environmental health officer at the council, said the calls mainly relate to loud music and parties.
He added: “We monitor it first and if there is a problem we knock on the door and talk to the resident.
“Our initial approach is to go and have a word with the people causing the problem and if they take our advice and take action to abate the problem then we won’t pursue it any further.
“We make a return visit sometime later in the night to make sure they have done that. If they haven’t and the noise has gone back up again, then we take further action.”
Mr Hurst said the majority of people do not realise they are making so much noise and so far this year there have not been any cases where the council has had to take any action beyond the initial warning.
The service operates from 10pm to 3am on Fridays and Saturdays and will be running until the end of August.
Where staff are called out and they feel that a complaint is justified, people will be asked to reduce the amount of noise they are making.
Failure to do so could result in them being served with an abatement notice.
The ultimate sanction is prosecution at a magistrates’ court under the 1990 Environmental Protection Act and a fine of up to £5,000 if found guilty.
He added: “People should have some consideration for their neighbours. We don’t want to stop people having parties, we just want them to have consideration.
“If people are going to have a party they should let their neighbours know, turn it down at a reasonable time and if it is outside then get people inside at a reasonable hour.”
Residents can call the service by contacting the dedicated mobile telephone number 07789 921338.