|It may keep the burglars at bay, but will also
keep the neighbours up
There is always someone on the street
who manages to wake everyone else with their barking dogs or love
of the latest dance music. Inside Out follows the Coventry Noise Pollution
Team as they tackle roaring burglar alarms, loud parties and difficult
Every year 8,000 complaints pour in from the public to
Coventry council's 24 hours noise hotline.
Millie and Adrian have been part of the Coventry Noise
Pollution team for seven years and they have seen it all. This job is
not like many others.
Millie says, "You never know what is going to happen,
who you're going to meet or what scrapes you might get into.
"The one thing that's predictable about this job
is that you can't predict it."
Some aspects of the job are more annoying than others.
Millie is not a big fan of the domestic safety device.
"House alarms are a pain in the butt. I just groan when a house alarm
call comes in."
It normally takes more than two hours each to deal with
a house alarm incident, and this one is no different. This one has been
blaring for three hours already.
A quick electrical snip
|One noise pollution
The residents do not seem to be at home, so Millie and
Adrian need to get a warrant from the local magistrates' so that they
can shut the alarm off.
With the warrant in hand, Millie gets on the case of finding
an electrician to carry out the work. But finding an electrician on a
Friday night? You must be kidding!
Several calls later, Millie and Adrian finally manage
to track down an electrician who's not in bed, on holiday or down the
All that is needed now is a ladder and a pair of pliers
and the neighbourhood can quietly go back to bed.
When dealing with noise nuisances, Millie and Adrian have
to catch it as it happens, which works fine and well with house alarms,
but not in all cases.
Ups and downs behind closed doors
Millie and Adrian meet up with one couple that has had
enough of the next-door neighbours' quarrelling.
|Recording the distrubances
is great for evidence, but the team need to catch the noise-makers
With a small tape recorded, they claim they've taped what
sound like a violent argument coming from next door.
A woman and man are heard screaming and shouting and Millie
and Adrian are clearly shocked at what they're hearing.
But as the couple next door aren't disturbing the peace
for the time being, Millie and Adrian can't witness the noise and act
It's frustrating but they'll have to be called out another
time to catch the distrubance as it happens.
Not all disturbances are of a serious nature. On the phone
is a woman who wants to report her noisy neighbour.
She has had enough of his nightly "cries of passion"
as she puts it.
Adrian is sympathetic over the caller's complaint but
can only advise her to call again when she is disturbed by the neighbour's
Even noise pollution teams suffer from noise
Millie remembers some noisy neighbours of her own, who
in the end got her to sell up and move.
"I've had bad neighbours, really bad neighbours to
the extent that I cannot listen to Craig David anymore because they played
it so loud.
"He used to "eff and blind" at his wife
all the time. It just drove me insane to such a degree that I moved house."
Adrian also has his noisy neighbour dispute, although
it is a bit more ongoing.
|It may appear
to be calm, but looks can be deceiving|
After a late night's work getting other people to turn
the volume down, he woken up at 9am to the loud sound of Iron Maiden.
Unfortunately, the next-door neighbour didn't answer the
door, and Adrian missed a golden opportunity for some enlightening conversation.
From passion to party
Adrian and Millie's night is far from over. Complaints
about a loud party have poured in, but no-one seems to be able to pinpoint
The loud party takes a while to find, and when the team
finally locate the birthday celebrations, the tenants are unexpectedly
willing to turn down the music.
Millie is surprised at the outcome of this incident.
"I'm always amazed at how compliant some people can
be, or that they just don't realise how much they are affecting so many
"But the nice ones are few and far between, 'cause
we get attacked quite regularly."
Despite the attacks, Adrian and Millie will continue to
respond to the calls from annoyed people and make sure the noise levels
are kept down in Coventry.