As the universities begin to close and students head home for the summer, students are being reminded not to have parties which impact on their neighbours.
During the final weeks of last year’s third semester, Community Protection dealt with numerous late night house parties, most of these in student households, where unacceptable levels of noise and anti-social behaviour caused a serious nuisance to local residents throughout the night.
The council is working with both universities to try and make sure there isn’t a repeat of last year’s late night parties in Lenton.
Any type of anti-social behaviour, whether generated by a student or non-student household, is unacceptable. Anti-social behaviour attached to large-scale house parties can impact on the quality of life of those living nearby, including loss of sleep, impact on work and a child’s education being harmed.
The City Council’s Community Protection Service has a variety of powers available to tackle anti-social behaviour. Last year warnings were used to tackle the number of large scale parties being held or the behaviours associated with them. Now officers will look to use more robust powers available to them, which can include applications to the County Court for Civil Injunctions against individual tenants or residents found to be causing harassment, alarm or distress, or nuisance and annoyance. Breach of a Civil Injunction is a contempt of court for which a custodial sentence is available.
Furthermore, Community Protection will seek to apply to the Magistrates Court for a Closure Order for any property where the use of that property has resulted in serious nuisance to members of the public. The Magistrates Court has the power to close a property for a period of up to three months, preventing access to all individuals including those who live at that address. Breach of a Closure Order is a criminal offence which could result in a custodial sentence.
Anti-social behaviour within rented properties is also likely to be in breach of tenancy. Community Protection will notify landlords of rented properties of any anti-social behaviour taking place within their properties and this may result in landlords taking action to terminate that tenancy.
Community Protection are urging students not to organise large-scale disruptive house parties in a residential area. Many of the powers above carry serious personal consequences.
Cllr Toby Neal, Portfolio Holder for Community Protection, said: “We have two world-class universities here and students make a valuable contribution to the city. They help boost the economy by millions every year and most of these students cause no issues. However there is a small proportion of them involved in these large scale parties, which have a significant impact on the lives of other residents.
“We are working closely with the universities and landlords to get the message across to students that they have a responsibility to the communities in which they live to be good neighbours. We don’t want to be killjoys and we understand that socialising is an important part of student life, but we have a duty to all residents and will always take action when anti-social behaviour is having a detrimental effect on people’s lives.”
A spokesperson for Nottingham Trent University said: “We support Nottingham City Council in its efforts to reduce noise and nuisance behaviour; working with them to create stronger neighbourhoods and continuing to fund additional patrols in the local area. Together with our Students Union, we ensure all students are made aware of the importance of being a good neighbour and we proactively encourage residents to report any issues to us. Where students’ actions in the community breach our Student Code of Behaviour we will take swift action. We want our students to be able to enjoy our vibrant city but we also want to ensure they are responsible members of the community.”
A spokesperson for the University of Nottingham said: “We are incredibly proud of our students and their positive contribution to the communities in which they live, study and work. But it is important that as members of the community, our students respect their neighbours and do not risk that reputation.”
Any residents who are suffering as a result of repeated noise nuisance should report the matter to the Police via 101 number or to the City Council on 0115 915 2020 (during office hours).