Council carry out confiscations in response to rise in noisy neighbours: Selection of equipment seized just before lockdown began

27 Jul 2020

Council carry out confiscations in response to rise in noisy neighbours

Bristol City Council has used its powers to confiscate household goods to try and deal with the increase in noise complaints since the coronavirus lockdown began.

Over 650 complaints of excessive noise have been made to the council’s Neighbourhood Enforcement Team since March, with a large number of these in relation to loud music.

Despite having issued 121 formal warnings, and served 12 noise abatement notices, some people have failed to keep the noise down. In these extreme cases, faced with long delays for a court hearing, enforcement officers have been granted warrants to search properties and remove the equipment making the noise.

The Neighbourhood Enforcement Team has carried out three separate seizures in Bristol since lockdown alone. These include the removal of:

  • two televisions
  • three speakers
  • a DVD player
  • a DAB radio

Councillor Steve Pearce, cabinet member with responsibility for the Neighbourhood Enforcement Team, said: “We take noise complaints very seriously, and have a number of ways in which we can take action.

“People should not have to be subjected to loud music, DIY or shouting at unsociable hours – especially during this current pandemic, where we are all spending more time in our homes than ever before.

“We hope this serves as a warning to people who do not consider the impact of their actions on those around them. We will not tolerate excessive noise, and we are not afraid to seize your stereo and speakers to improve the quality of life of your neighbours.

“If you are currently experiencing a noise problem, we advise you to try to talk to the person responsible before reporting it, as they may not realise they are causing a problem.

“If this does not work, and the noise continues over a prolonged period, you will need to keep a record of this and fill out a 14 day noise diary to help us investigate your complaint.”

In response to the large number of complaints, the team will be carrying out a further three seizures over the coming weeks.

Bristol citizens can download the ‘Noise App’ onto their smartphone or other device, to keep a record evidence of any noise complaint, reducing the need for council officers to do home visits during the pandemic.

To report a noise complaint you can call 0117 9222500 (BCC tenants 0117 9222200). To find out more, visit