We aim to respond to your complaint or request for advice within one working day, or within 45 minutes if the noise is happening now. Call as soon as the noise problem starts, this gives officers a much better chance of witnessing the noise.
In order to investigate your complaint we may need you to provide additional information on the nature, times and frequency of the noise and the way in which it affects you.
We will inform you of the steps we will take to investigate your complaint and when you can next expect to receive feedback on progress. We will also advise and make clear to you the possible action we can take to prevent or reduce the noise problem. We will inform you of key actions we have taken or are intending to take, eg writing to the person causing the problem or serving of a notice.
Many complaints are resolved quickly and informally. However some complaints may not be so easy to resolve and we may need to have sufficient evidence, such as a City of London officer witnessing the noise, in order to take formal action.
Therefore we may need you, as part of the investigation to:
- Keep records of the noise affecting you (dates, times, duration and effect);
- Report noise to us when it occurs;
- Allow access for responding officers to your premises in order to witness the noise or set up noise monitoring equipment; this may be at unsocial times, eg at night;
- If necessary, provide witness statements and be willing to provide evidence in court, (although court appearance is not often required).
The following guidelines are used to guide priority on investigating complaints.
In normal circumstances, complaints will be dealt with in the chronological order in which they are received. The following considerations may however justify dealing with cases out of strict time sequence or deferring investigation of certain complaints until other higher priority complaints have been dealt with:
- Where the officers believe that an investigation is likely to result in witnessing a contravention of a statutory notice and that contravention is likely to lead to legal proceedings;
- Where a noise incident is likely to affect a greater number of households or businesses (eg construction works, parties, alarms and incidents involving multiple complaints);
- Where dealing with calls in time sequence would result in excessive travel time between visits, reducing the overall efficiency of the service (eg criss-crossing across the City);
- Where early intervention can forestall the likely occurrence of a serious nuisance and/or safety hazard (eg to deal with a problem before it gets going);
- Where early intervention can improve the overall effectiveness of the service (eg to witness an alarm nuisance and serve notice, returning to the premises later for work in default/enforcement); and
- Where an officer has already made a commitment to a caller to visit, and another call is received which would normally receive higher priority, the officer may, at their discretion, deal with the arranged visit first.
There are circumstances when it may be appropriate to give a lower priority to certain types of complaint such as:
- Anonymous complainants;
- Complainants who are not willing to be contacted or visited by the out-of-hours noise service officers or who do not want any action to be taken on the night; and
- Complaints where the investigating officer has limited information, hampering the investigation.
- Where the information available is so scant that it is impracticable to investigate.
If you are experiencing noise from aircraft, such as helicopters, you should contact the Civil Aviation Authority by calling 020 7379 7311, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org