Barking dogs account for 3,500 Suffolk noise complaints

barking dog Image copyright Getty Images

Barking dogs account for about a fifth of all noise complaints in Suffolk, it has emerged.

In the past five years, 17,982 complaints have been lodged with the county's borough and district councils.

Of those, 3,454 relate to dogs barking, the BBC Radio Suffolk Freedom of Information request found.

Seven thousand complaints were made about loud music and parties, while church bells have led to 10 complaints to councils.

Other complaints were made about bird scarers in fields, machinery and vehicle noise, and people shouting or talking loudly.

Five years of noise complaints in Suffolk


Total number of complaints

  • 3,454 about barking dogs

  • 336 about bird scarers

  • 16 about fireworks

  • 10 about church bells

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Ipswich Borough Council received the highest number of complaints over the five years, with 4,568.

Waveney District Council received 3,672 complaints, while Suffolk Coastal District Council had a total of just over 3,000.

Noise and the law

  • Councils can help to deal with pollution that amounts to a statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990
  • Statutory nuisances include smoke, fumes and gases, insects, light and noise
  • There is no noise limit set for domestic properties, as noise is a subjective assessment
  • The first action a council will usually take is to send an informal letter and start accruing evidence
  • The next stage is court, which can impose fines or confiscate equipment

Mark Johnson, senior public health officer at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said the best thing for people to do was to speak with the person making the noise.

"It's the most common sense approach because sometimes they don't even realise they're causing a nuisance to their neighbours," he said.

As for dogs, Candice Rose, owner of Canine Creche in Martlesham, said they could be taught not to bark.

"The key thing is reward and distraction," she said. "We distract them and then reward the good behaviour.

"There are solutions, it could be a behavioural issue, in which case that can be adjusted, but if it's just through boredom - there really is no excuse in this day and age."

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