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Street noise

Noise that can’t be connected to an address or identifiable people.


These notes present my advice. Users must make their own judgments and consider their own safety. If you complain in person to people creating noise, try to remain calm and business-like, and avoid inflammatory words or action.


This might be the largest category of noise, in terms of the number of people woken up by late-night revellers returning home from the pubs and clubs, but it’s also the least reported, for the simple reason that the perpetrators, even if spotted from a window, usually cannot be identified or connected to an identifiable address. (If you do spot them going into an address, proceed as for Night-time noise.)


The only circumstances in which it’s worth trying to take any action on the night are where a group of people are congregating in the street, and look likely to linger. In that case, try Operation Beech, or ring 101 and report a disturbance in the street. Give an idea of numbers, location and the kinds of activity taking place.


Sometimes these issue arise in connection with a pub, restaurant, takeaway or off-licence. In that event, raise the issue with the managers of the outlet and with your local councillor—there might be action that can be taken under licensing or other laws.


Often, you will not be able to say with certainty that the people involved are students, although if they are of student age, and in certain places at certain times (that is, near the University of Bristol in locations frequented by students), there’s a high probability that they are. If there’s a pattern of such gatherings, it may be worth reporting them to the university even though no one can be identified for purposes of a complaint.


IMPORTANT: If you approach people on the street and speak to them about their behaviour, be advised that the risks to you are higher than if you do the same thing at a party house. In the latter case, there is a reportable address and everyone involved is aware of that fact. On the street, there is no such restraint.



September 2023

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