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Operation Beech noise patrol continues to be well used

For the second year in a row, Operation Beech, the police anti-noise patrol funded by University of Bristol, attended almost 300 incidents in the last year.


The total for academic 2021-22, which ended on 30 June, was 298 attendances, up slightly from 286 in the previous year. Beech ran virtually every week in both years.


Although Beech is taking a break for August, it's expected to resume in September. Patrols operate on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights from 8pm to 2am. Residents troubled by noise believed to be caused by students can contact the officers by texting 07773 816248.


Officers typically advise noisy students to turn their music down, or off, and rein in any rowdy behaviour. Often they will take the names of the students living at the address. All their interventions are reported to the university, which follows up with warnings or, in the case of repeat offenders, disciplinary action, including fines.


Many residents in the Redland, Cotham, Clifton and Clifton Down wards have welcomed the patrols since they were set up in June 2019. A resident reporting noise from a student house in Alma Vale Road in July commented: "We are taking a zero tolerance approach now with student noise—last year we valiantly tried to engage the students behind our house and found the only action that really worked was Operation Beech, who have been excellent and very supportive."


However, although Beech has brought many parties to an early close, it isn't a guaranteed cure. A Stanley Road resident said in December that officers were only partially successful in quelling disturbance from a nearby student event: "Operation Beech came and the music stopped but there were people constantly outside loudly talking until 4am."

Residents' representatives who attend meetings of the Bristol Student Community Partnership, set up by the universities to discuss local issues with the city council, police and community groups, have urged UoB to sanction students who ignore Beech advice.


Monthly figures for Beech were announced at the July meeting of the BSCP by PC Sian Harris, the UoB-based police officer who collates the reports. They show a familiar pattern of busy periods in Term One, leading up to Christmas, with more of an ebb and flow in the second part of the year around holidays, exams and end-of-year parties:

September

43 incidents attended

October

54

November

36

December

21

January

19

February

30

March

33

April

10

May

19

June

33

The Partnership meeting recorded its thanks to Chief Inspector Lorna Dallimore, who as the officer in charge of North Bristol neighbourhood beats shepherded Beech into existence and oversaw it for the past three years. According to the BSCP July meeting minutes, Insp. Stephanie McKenna is due to assume responsibility for Beech from September.


Beech dates are announced on this UoB web page: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/accommodation/community/complaints.html.


There is also more information here: https://www.thenoisepages.com/response-beech.


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