Agreement made to end misery of all-night rave
By The Barnet and Potters Bar Times – Sept 18 2002
Copyright: The Barnet and Potters Bar Times
In the past, the borough’s police and council officers have blamed each other for failing to stop illegal raves that have lasted up to 23 hours.
But both signed an agreement last Thursday designed to make it easier to curb nuisance noise although it left some residents at a loss to see how it would save them from sleepless nights.
“The noise pollution protocol is not a magic spell to end all illegal raves,” said borough commander Chief Superintendent Sue Akers.
“It sets out clearly who is responsible for what. The borough doesn’t get raves very often.”
Three illegal raves have been held in the borough this year all in disused warehouses in West Hendon and Staples Corner. When 300 revellers descended on the former Frank Usher factory off Edgware Road in January and partied for 18 hours, police and council officers passed the buck for failing to stop the rave.
Noise abatement officers hope more efficient communication might also lead to increased prosecution of rave organisers, who face fines of up to £20,000 and can be filmed by police but must be prosecuted by the council.
Cabinet member for housing and environmental health, Councillor Brian Salinger, said: “We shouldn’t have any false expectations of what we can achieve. The idea is that everyone knows how we will respond.”
But rave-weary residents remained sceptical.
“It’s frustrating,” said Judy Shepherd, of Montagu Road. “The noise is terrible and nobody can stop it. If the protocol doesn’t change that, I don’t see that it’s particularly helpful.”
– Police are powerless to intervene against ravers because they are trespassing, which is a civil not a criminal offence
– Action can only be taken if a Noise and Nuisance Officer (NNO) has witnessed nuisance levels of noise from the complainant’s residence
– The NNO must first serve a noise abatement order, giving ravers the option of going home quietly. Next they must get a magistrate’s warrant to seize the sound equipment
– Police can play no part in the seizure of sound equipment their purpose is to ensure no breach of the peace occurs