Updated: Nov 6, 2020
Operation Beech, the police noise patrol paid for by the University of Bristol, returns on Wednesday, 23 September, and the following Friday and Saturday.
The Wednesday, Friday, Saturday pattern repeats through October and into the first week of November, with Thursday, 5 November (Bonfire Night), added to the final sequence:
30 September / 2/3 October
Other operational details are the same as in academic 2019-20:
Number to text: 07773 816248
Hours of operation: 8pm to 2am
Geographical coverage: Certain priority areas were designated last time round (see map at end) but unless officers become overloaded they will probably try to respond to any incidents in areas of Redland, Cotham, Clifton, etc, that house UoB students.
Update, 22/09/2020: Next two paragraphs updated.
(To update newsletter subscribers, who received a bulletin from me two days ago, the phone number and duty hours above are now confirmed.)
UoB has now posted information about Operation Beech at this page: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/accommodation/community/complaints.html
(Its list does not include 4 November; I will check on that and post a further update if necessary. AW)
The following are my own comments, based on past Beech operations:
Operation Beech is a mobile police patrol (last year it was two officers) paid for by UoB to respond to requests from residents for assistance in dealing with noisy night-time student parties and associated anti-social behaviour. Residents are asked to text a dedicated mobile-phone number (see above).
I suggest you keep your texts short, factual and polite. Might be best to lead with the address where the noise is happening, for example: “6 Acacia Avenue. Loud music and shouting since 10-30pm. I’ve asked them to turn it down but they didn’t. Please can you pay them a visit. John (01234 56789) ”
You may or may not get a text or phone call in return. Don’t bank on it.
Beech aims to deal with problems involving UoB students. Sometimes you may not know for sure if the people involved are UoB or UWE (or even if they’re students). If they are of student age and living in an area where households of young people are typically UoB students, you’re justified in contacting Beech. The officers will clarify who’s who if they attend.
Beech will not necessarily completely close down an event, but if the volume returns to unacceptable levels after officers have left, report it again.
Beech is aimed principally at noise problems but in present circumstances breaches of Covid19 regulations may also be relevant. If you see people arriving at a loud party, it’s worth giving an estimate of numbers in your text.
Timing: Many parties don’t get going until 10pm or later. And the patrol finishes at 2am. That leaves a relatively narrow window. I suggest you contact Beech as soon as there is obvious evidence of a problem. There is no need, in my view, to wait for the 10pm or midnight event cutoffs suggested in UoB’s traditional guidance to students.
Afterwards: If you’ve been disturbed sufficiently to need to contact Beech, I recommend you email a complaint to UoB next day, as you would normally. (The officers will make their own report to the university but that won’t cover what happened before you contacted them—nor what happens after they leave the scene.) Adding feedback about how successfully Beech dealt with the issue may be useful. As usual, it helps me track what’s happening if you cc or bcc your email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update, 22/09/2020: Caption below updated to reflect information on UoB web page cited above.
Below is a map showing the areas designated for Operation Beech. In practice, in 2019-20 officers responded to any requests from this general area. If they were to get too many texts, it's possible they would prioritise the areas marked. This map was produced by The Noise Pages from UoB information.