Evidence is an essential part of the investigation process in order to progress a claim. The Environmental Health officer uses the information to assess whether the noise amounts to a statutory nuisance.
We have a number of suggestions for ways to gather evidence.
- The Noise Nuisance App
- Digital Camera/Mobile Phone/Video Camera
- A Noise nuisance log sheet
For those of you with an Android or Apple smart phone, you may like to try using the free RH Environmental Noise Nuisance App.
By using the easy to use app, you can create an electronic noise diary, making audio recordings of the disturbance and provide further details. This can then be easily shared with Officer’s in the Environmental Protection Team, to assist them in their investigations. Using the app will provide an additional way for you to report your complaint of noise and allow you to gauge whether the disturbance is something that the council can deal with.
The Noise app can assist complainants with gathering evidence, however this evidence supports the investigation of a complaint but on its own does not solely determine what constitutes a statutory nuisance. This is for the investigating officer to decide using their professional judgement.
2. Digital Camera/Video Camera/Mobile Phone.
If you have any of these devices, you could use them to help gather evidence. You should follow the manufacturer’s instructions in order to use the product. Once you have recorded a short clip, lasting no more than 30 seconds. You may email the recording to firstname.lastname@example.org
When recording audio or video evidence of noise, just try to capture evidence of the noise; do not snoop on neighbours or their family.
An example of how you could use your device to record:
Mr Williams has been woken in the middle of the night from loud singing and music coming from his neighbour. This has been a regular occurrence for some time now.
Mr Williams sleeps with a Smart Phone next to his bed. It is 3.30am and having been disturbed from his sleep, begins to make a number of recordings of the incident from his phone.
He records the date, time and states his name, and how he has been awakened by the music and loud singing of ‘I had the time of my life’ coming through the party wall.
From his bedroom he begins to record short clips of the noise disturbance.
The next day, he emails the video recording to email@example.com. Quoting his name and reference number so that the officers can attach this evidence to his file as he already has an ongoing case.
3. A Noise Nuisance Log Sheet
You may like to download and complete the Pre investigation Noise Log Sheet.
By completing this, it will give an indication on the severity, and frequency of the disturbance to aid you in assessing whether you wish to make a formal complaint.
Once completed, you may email or post to us at the addresses below.
Post: Environmental Protection Team
Bath and North East Somerset Council
1st Floor Lewis House
Important Information regarding gathering evidence
- Your evidence needs to be true, to the best of your knowledge and belief. Failure to do this could lead you liable to prosecution.
- In the event of the council taking prosecution action in light of your evidence, then you will be expected to provide a statement. Without this we may not be able to take matters further.
When gathering evidence it is important not to infringe human rights legislation. Essentially, when completing your nuisance record sheet entries, do not include personal information.
- When recording audio or video evidence of noise, just try to capture evidence of the noise; do not snoop on neighbours or their family.
Loss of Evidence
The Council cannot be responsible for the loss of any evidence submitted, so please remember to keep a copy.
In the event of the council taking prosecution action in light of your evidence, then you will be expected to provide a statement. Without this we may not be able to take matters further.