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  • Andrew Waller

Cotham Hill resident sought help from Beech police on eight occasions

A Cotham Hill resident says she had to contact Operation Beech, the police anti-noise patrol, no fewer than eight times in a month to deal with noise disturbances.


The resident, who lives near the Hampton Park-Cotham Hill junction, says October was a noisy month for her and her family—so much so that she's now counting on the Covid-19 restrictions to provide some peace and quiet.


"All I really know is that this city is much more pleasant during lockdown! Our family is actually enjoying our time now, whereas we have spent much of our time wondering whether we should move back to the US since moving here! I'm shocked that the city doesn't do more about the noise problem."

She has provided a list of occasions on which she contacted Beech, which is paid for by the University of Bristol. The patrol, usually two officers in a vehicle, operates on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights from 8pm to 2am.


UoB's website invites residents to send a text to the Beech number (07773 816248) "if experiencing house-party or street-noise disturbance that is believed to be caused by UoB students."


Residents often cannot know for certain if the people causing disturbances are students, and the fact that Beech attended an incident and intervened to quieten things down isn't in itself proof of student involvement. However, officers report incidents to the university, which may make its own enquiries, sometimes leading to disciplinary action, including fines, if students are found to be the cause.


This is her list:

-----------------------------


02/10/2020, 11:12pm

Loud noise from [x] Hampton Park, top left flat. Women yelling from open window to 5 men on the street. I approached them and the men mocked my voice and spoke crassly about me. Beech attended and they shut down.


14/10/2020, 9:28pm

[The same property], top left flat again. Yell-singing out the open window, with flashing lights. They woke our kids this time. Beech attended and they shut down.


16/10/2020, 10:06pm

Group of 20+ outside Clifton Off-License on Cotham Hill. No social distancing, blocking the path and half the road. Beech attended and they dispersed.


17/10/2020. 12:14am

Group of 4 men outside on Hampton Park, clearly drunk and arguing. [A neighbour] came out and spoke to them and they still didn't move on. [Another neighbour] shouted out her window at them. Men dispersed before Beech arrived.


25/10/2020, 12:00am

Party at [same property as in first two incidents], middle flat on the right side. Window open, loud voices and music. 2 men yelling and trying to throw things at the window from the street below. Beech attended and shut it down.


28/10/2020, 9:34pm

Large group of approximately 30 outside "Men Hire" shop on Cotham Hill, chanting so loud we could hear it inside our house. Dispersed before Beech could attend, leaving semi-full wine bottles and takeaway containers.

10:53pm

Different group (or same group returned?) in same location, chanting again. Dispersed before Beech attended.


1/11/2020, 1:40am

Three large groups of costumed students in front of [same property], yelling loudly to one another. Dispersed after I spoke to them, before Beech attended.


-----------------------------


Jill White, chair of the Hampton Park and Cotham Hill Community Group, called on the universities (both UoB and UWE) to investigate, especially in relation to the property identified in several of the entries. "If [the] occupants turn out to be students at either of your institutions, I hope that you will please make a point of visiting them and keeping a regular and close eye on them."


The UoB-funded Operation Beech responded to 73 noise incidents over 18 shifts between 23 September and 31 October, according to PC Sian Harris, the officer assigned to the UoB campus. Patrols are currently scheduled to continue until 19 December.


If there are any changes to the shifts—for example, because of the recently announced plans to allow students home early for Christmas—they are likely to be announced on the university website at http://www.bristol.ac.uk/accommodation/community/complaints.html