Saturday, 21 December 2013
Monstaville Book I. Appendix I
Information and Support
“When you've got noisy neighbours (or a noisy neighbour!) who make a lot of noise it's no joke. Noise can intrude into every area of your life and can literally assault you with its un-consenting and unwanted effects. Excessive noise affects your quality of life, it makes you jumpy, it makes you irritable, and it can prevent you from sleeping and cause many stressful side effects. Within its own right it is not an instant offence to create high levels of noise and remember that there is unfortunately no set level at which noise then becomes a 'statutory nuisance.’ Noisy Neighbours are no joke - just like any other crime, noise assault is a physical and mental assault on your wellbeing.”
- The text at the top of the www.noisyneighbours.co.uk homepage (note: this and another site called www.problemneighbours.co.uk no longer appear to exist).
Neighbours From Hell in Britain (NFHiB).
Information from the homepage:
“NFHiB - Positively Managing Negative Neighbours. Are you suffering or suffered in the past with a nuisance neighbour, noisy neighbour, harassment, bullying, boundary problems, anti-social behaviour or any form of unwanted neighbour attention or interference? Neighbours From Hell in Britain (NFHiB) can help you to resolve neighbour problems or any issues with neighbours within many different situations, there's no need to be or feel alone.
Neighbours From Hell in Britain (NFHiB) was created in early 2002, due to the site creator's personal experiences with repeatedly anti-social, noisy, inconsiderate and rude neighbours...
The NFHiB Forum Community exists to enable people who are suffering with similar problems to come together as a voice for change and most importantly as a means of supporting one another through what can be truly awful times that are often both physically and mentally exhausting.”
This website contains comprehensive information about the steps that people can take to deal with negative behaviour from neighbours. I tried to register with the forum using the form provided and an error message appeared explaining that registration by new members using Hotmail, Google (G Mail), Lycos, MSN, AOL or Yahoo e-mail addresses are no longer accepted owing to abuse experienced by their forum. There is another option to contact them directly and register manually however so I was able to take that route. It’s a sad state affairs that charities and non-profit organisations that have been set up to help people are often abused by ignorant and aggressive people who apparently have nothing better to do. I was chatting to a former co-worker the other day and I asked how she got on at the Samaritans where she had been answering telephone calls from members of the public for the past year. She told me that only about 5 per cent of callers are genuine and that it was highly demoralising so she was soon to be quitting. Most people called the line just to be abusive to someone, she explained. They have a voice-identification system which blocks callers who have displayed aggression in the past so that cuts much of it out. However, when you give up your precious free time after a long day at work in order to be of help to vulnerable members of society this kind of experience, repeated on a weekly basis, is the last thing you need. My grandfather used to help a lot of people through the Samaritans’ phone service during the seventies. Now it seems like those people who are able and willing to be of support to those who need it the most are no longer in a position to reach those members of society owing to the barrage of abuse they encounter.
U.K. Noise Association.
Campaigning for Action Against Noise.
Information from their home page:
“The UKNA is a campaigning organisation only. We are unable to help with individual noise problems. Please check our noise resource web site or contact Noisedirect. www.noiseresourceservice.org.uk and noisedirect.co.uk.”
“The U.K. Noise Association brings together a unique coalition of key organisations lobbying on different aspects of noise.
∙ Traffic noise
∙ Aircraft noise
∙ Neighbourhood noise
∙ Piped Music
∙ Low Frequency noise
∙ Firework noise
Its members include leading experts in the field, as well as individuals who are suffering particular noise problems.”
The National Noise Advice Line: 08453 31 32 30
This is a fixed rate scheme of £39 for a 30 minute confidential interview with experienced Environmental Health professionals.
Noise and Nuisance
This is a leaflet issued by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). It is also available in Adobe Acrobat format at www.defra.gov.uk/environment/noise/suffer.
“Research reveals that 43% of people in the U.K. felt they had been bothered by some form of neighbour noise within the last year.”
According to its website, Noise Concern “is a new information tool for the public that is designed to tackle all levels of neighbour noise problems.” It was set up by the charity ENCAMS on behalf of DEFRA, and “forms part of a national campaign which encourages people to speak to their neighbour about any noise issues before they escalate into a dispute or they make an official complaint.” Noise Concern recognises that “many people suffer in silence because they are frightened to speak out or they do not know where to go for help.”
Solving your noise problem (www.noiseconcern.org/solving_noise_problem.asp).
This web page contains links for information about recommended steps for taking action which are as follows:
1. Start building a relationship with your neighbour
2. Have a quiet word about the problem
3. Have a stronger word: explain the impact on your family
4. Employ mediation services
5. Contact your local authority
6. Contact abatement societies
7. Take legal action
What do you think? (www.noiseconcern.org/contact_us.asp).
“This site is now closed for any form of comments but you may be interested to see what some earlier visitors to the site have been experiencing.”
There is approximately one years’ worth of comments by members of the public on this issue in this section of the website. It contains a broad range of issues raised by members of the public and is well worth a perusal. I found it valuable to compare my problems with those experienced by other people and especially to feel an affinity with people in similar situations, reading in black and white that I am not alone. In fact, you might say that this section has everything but practical solutions! That might not be a fair assessment though since there were simply too many pages for me to read the earlier ones. Perhaps more of the enquiries were answered early on. If so it would be good if easier access to that information was provided.
This website also includes two campaign posters which clearly attempt to reassure the public and play down the problem. Although, equally, one prominent problem has been identified and highlighted and that is the fact that many people in this country are paralysed by fear and find themselves incapable of taking any action. With our tradition of emotional repression we are not the most expressive nation on Earth. Many problems can be caused by not facing the situation from the start and trying to tackle it in an open, relaxed and honest way. Once it gets out of hand the challenge becomes even greater. The anger and fear and the feeling of powerlessness build up and then one may either fall into depression oneself or be incapable of dealing with the situation in a calm, friendly manner. Don’t forget that this kind of experience can trigger similar emotions from previous lifetimes and it is very possible that it exists as an opportunity for us to feel and release that weight that is holding us down. The noisy neighbours may either not know or have not considered that they are being a menace, or they do not care and no one has said anything to them so they believe they can just walk all over the person(s) living next door, or above or below.
Having said that, I personally believe that most people know what their conscience is telling them. They might choose to block it out because they are too afraid of facing themselves or because they find this a convenient way to forget that they are fearful, to feel powerful and secure or to release some of their anger. I believe that these kinds of people are bullies. They are in denial about ever causing anyone distress. They feel superior and believe that they could never possibly be wrong. They just want to do as they please and believe they have a right to go about their business as selfishly and hard-nosed as they like. You know, like tanks rolling by, whether on the road or across the natural terrain. They simply drive in the direction they choose and if anything gets in their way, tough! In fact, anyone is welcome to try and stand up to them. They feel invincible and glorify in their supreme power to crush and conquer any opposition! And this is before they even aim the gun at their targets! So many people in Britain today believe they can just do what they want at the expense of others. It just wasn’t like that when I was growing up. A handful of barbarians here and there, yes, and they were difficult enough to deal with. But now...I blame materialism because it has eclipsed al sense of community and has actively encouraged people to behave selfishly and devalued conscience and sensitivity, let alone spirituality.
One of the posters displays a cup on top of another cup, both resting on two saucers. On the upper cup is written, in lower case letters, ‘neighbourhood noise’ and the message is completed on the cup beneath, ‘can be just a storm in a teacup.’ The other poster contains a photo of a slice of sponge cake with jam in the middle and icing and a cherry on top. It sits on a place with a fork beside it. The message above it reads: ‘Solving neighbour noise can be a piece of cake.’ This is, of course, what the Government wants people to believe. ‘Social problems in Britain? There aren’t any! Clean bill of health old chap. Clean bill of health. Passed it myself just this year!’
Noise Abatement Society helpline: 01273 823851 (included on the above website).
Apparently, there is a new law coming out in 2011. Asbos didn’t work. Now, once the Council have proof of noise disturbance, they will have the power to throw people out in a week.
“When all else fails, read the instructions.” - Agnes Alien.