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Noise Report: September 2023

As the 2023-24 academic year begins, we can reflect on the final outcome for 2022-23, which ended on 30 June.

The chart shows it was generally a quiet year (see the red bars), at least once a particularly raucous October was out of the way. A total of 68 noise complaints were logged by this website, down from 117 the year before and 161 the year before that (2020-21).

Based on those annual numbers alone, it seems that noise, as an issue, was in full-scale retreat. The truth is more complicated. The dominant feature of the chart, even now, is the extraordinary outburst of noise incidents that occurred in July and August of 2020, an anomaly sparked indirectly by the covid pandemic. As the world has slowly returned to normal, this temporary summer effect has continued to unwind. That is the biggest reason for the sharp drop in the annual numbers. (And it is still happening; July and August 2023 have been quieter than the same months in 2022, so statistics for this academic year are likely to be similarly flattered, all else equal.)


However, even with the advantage of falling summer complaints, it was not guaranteed that 2022-23 would be as quiet as it turned out to be. The September and October figures were troublingly large. Fortunately, a new community liaison officer at University of Bristol responded with a robust, no-nonsense approach that brought the situation under control. Incidents dwindled going into Christmas, and never really revived afterwards.

And so, as we prepare for another trip round this circuit, can we expect a repeat performance that might—just might—finally achieve a permanent rollback in noise? Sadly not. UoB has junked last year’s successful approach by stripping the CLO of his enforcement powers. From now on, penalties will be determined by a body called the Student Resolution Service, acting on an investigation report the CLO will compile. (See article lower down this page.) Whatever benefits UoB sees in this new system, it is more bureaucratic and, one suspects, is likely ultimately to represent a less robust approach to student misbehaviour in the community.

Andrew Waller

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Operation Beech


Text police on 07773 816248 for help with student-related noise. Beech runs 8pm to 2am on Wed, Fri and Sat nights ONLY.  More details >>>


Partnership in Practice (Sep 2022)
'Respect' + landlords (Sep 2021)
Residents, represented? (Jun 2021)
Beech Alert (Jun 2021)
Council Challenged (Feb 2021)
Sign, Speak, Oppose (Nov 2020



UoB revamp strips CLO of powers, drops waste from rulebook

25 September 2023

University of Bristol has brought in new complaints-handling procedures that strip its community liaison officer of power to issue fines...



Time to change: Stepping back from role with residents’ groups

25 September 2023

I have stepped back from my role as coordinator of a list of 12 residents’ associations (RAs) that are associated with the Bristol...



COMMENT: The BSCP – reflections on a flawed ‘partnership’

25 September 2023

In 2021, I circulated an email to all the Residents Associations in areas close to the University of Bristol that I’d come to know...



UoB complaints data show drop, but levels still higher than in past

25 September 2023

University of Bristol reported that it received 421 complaints about its students in 2022-23, down from 547 the year before. The totals...

Recent Incidents

* White Bear Pub: 'Noise as patrons leave'


* Lansdown, 19 Sep: 'Hyper excited'


* Ravenswood, 18 Sep: 'Lost sleep'


* Ravenswood, 16 Sep: 'Garden light show'


* Arlington Mansions, 8 Sep: 'Shrieking'



Temple Meads expansion begs questions on student numbers

9 April 2023


Vice-Chancellor meets residents’ groups, says she’s listening

9 April 2023


Groups say ‘civic’ agreement should address student impact

9 April 2023


UoB's new Vice-Chancellor to meet residents’ groups amid 'civic' push

18 February 2023


Council guide aims to help landlords tackle noise, anti-social behaviour

18 February 2023


Reading the runes on noise: Mixed messages in the data

18 August 2022


Operation Beech noise patrol continues to be well used

17 August 2022


Operation Beech extended to 30 June

13 February 2022


Residents' associations urge UoB to adopt 'Respect for Communities' plan

3 October 2021


Noise reports: Reverting to trend? September sees rise in complaints

3 October 2021


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