About Incident Reports
Comments: If you wish to comment on an incident report, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. (Please cite the full street address; I won't publish the house number but I need it to match your comments to the correct incident.)
Why keep a list? I believe that in any attempt to press official bodies for better enforcement of noise, we (the community) will need access to facts about trends and levels of noise. We will need both numbers and illustrative examples, particularly to demonstrate the real impacts that noise and the resulting sleep deprivation have on people.
Student focus: I concentrate exclusively on student noise* and may reject reports if I feel there is insufficient reason to suspect students are involved. Equally I may withdraw reports if later information establishes that the event did not involve students.
* Students are not the only source of noise disturbance. But in my experience, going back more than a decade, they are overwhelmingly the source of night-time noise in the area where I live (Hampton Road and adjacent districts). So I focus on the main problem.
Information sources: I gather information from my own observations and via emails from residents. Some reports are a combination of the two. Reports are sometimes updated when further information comes to light.
The vast majority of the reports I list have come to me from other people. Often they submit a complaint to a university or landlord and send me a copy. (If I receive a complaint that appears to have been sent to me alone, I typically advise the sender to submit it to the relevant university or some other agency—eg, landlord, council or police.) The small number of reports that don't originate with other people fall into two categories: either I myself am the complainant because my household was affected by the noise (there are very few of those), in which case I will usually submit a complaint to the relevant body; or they may be reports of street noise (see comment below).
In general, even if I've observed a potential noise incident myself I don't post it to the incident list until I've had confirmation that it actually affected someone: "disturbance" needs to be established. Indeed, in my occasional night-time walks around the area, I come across many things that may be disturbing someone but unless I subsequently confirm that I take no further action. (If I did post all those events, the incident list would be two or three times as long.)
Also, I don't myself submit complaints to universities or other agencies about noise from an address unless that noise is affecting me personally. I might however report an incident which I think is having an impact at neighbourhood level and therefore harms my interests indirectly.
In terms of verification or deciding which reports to trust, I accept reports which satisfy one or more of the following criteria:
I also observed the incident myself (this could be something that affected me personally or, more often, something I became aware of while out and about in the area),
I receive more than one report about the incident and the accounts broadly corroborate each other (occasionally I contact residents living near the incident location to confirm details or ask whether they were also affected),
The report is a copy of a complaint submitted to a university or other body (this is the largest category),
The report is from someone known to me. (I may nevertheless seek confirmation from others or suggest the report be sent to the relevant university.)
Most noise reports are associated with an address. I no longer publish house numbers as part of addresses; I try instead to give a rough idea of location by other means. Hampton Road, for example, is very long, so I might note that an incident took place "near the Chandos Road junction" or on the east or west side of the road. (This gets particularly challenging when there are incidents near to each other, especially if they happen on the same night.)
I do also report some examples of "street noise" and encourage others to do so too. Usually it's impossible to connect the individuals involved to an address or even to be absolutely sure they are students. Hence this category of noise is hugely under-reported, although I think it may actually be the largest category. I report some examples, whether from others or my own observations*, simply to remind everyone that these problems exist. *In this latter case, I may be the sole source.
To find specific incidents, either scroll through the list for the applicable period (see Incident menu in header) or go to the Blog page (see Blog in header) and use the filter and search controls there. Articles have location tags, which you can see in the Tag menu on the right of the Blog page. The word Road is generally omitted from tags. So "Hampton"= Hampton Road, as opposed to "Hampton Park". The Blog also has its own search box—note that this searches article headings only.
Academic years start in late September and end in June. However, the corresponding "accommodation year", reflecting when students occupy their rentals, starts from 1 July and runs to 30 June. In most years, students usually don't move in to their rentals until nearer the September start date. This has typically meant there is a two to three-month summer break, for residents as well as students when the rentals are mostly unoccupied. Not in 2020! Thanks to the distorting effects of the coronavirus pandemic, students moved into their rentals in early July, with the result there was an explosion of noisy parties lasting into August. This produced as many noise reports in two months as in a normal year. Hence "Summer 2020" has been broken out as a separate category, although the student cohort involved in these incidents is the same one represented in the 2020-21 category. The numbering of reports continues from Summer 2020 into 2020-21.