END OF EXAMS LOOMS: STUDENTS WARNED ABOUT LARGE-SCALE HOUSE PARTIES
Matt Jarman, writing in the Nottingham Post on Thursday 24 May 2018 reported that:
Tougher penalties will be handed out to unruly students who organise large-scale house parties and disrupt residents' sleep.
Letters have been delivered to students in Lenton to remind them that as the final exams loom, house parties will not be tolerated by the city council.
Last year, the city council said that student house parties had caused major problems for residents including "matrimonial breakdowns".
One house party in Harlaxton Drive ended with a wall collapsing.
The council has decided to send out the stern letter to ensure that they are not faced with the same problems that blighted residential neighbourhoods last year.
The letter claims that "low level warnings" after the event were having "little impact in tackling the number of large scale parties being held or the behaviours associated with them."
Tougher penalties include being kicked out of their property for up to three months, or being slapped with a civil injunction, which puts sanctions on any perpetrator in order to stop their bad behaviour.
A spokeswoman for Nottingham City Council said: "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.
"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 local authority said the tough penalties carry "serious personal consequences", which could result in a custodial sentence.
Councillor 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 spokesman 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 spokesman 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."
Rosie Hadley, 20, from the University of Nottingham, who lives in Lenton, said: "You have got to be careful and think about your neighbours."
Molly Bird, 20, from the same university, who also lives in the area, added: "The letter does make me think twice about having a party. It is a deterrant."
One resident, who has lived on Harlaxton Drive for 30 years, but did not wish to be named, said the family had installed double glazing to block out the noise.
She said: "The letter seems reasonable in regards to previous years where there has been a lot of noise. The difficulty with parties is they are mid-week and go on after midnight and local people have got to go to work the next day. The worst party I can remember is it started Friday night, continued all day Saturday and into Saturday night."
Another resident living on the street said she would like to see a "more immediate response" by the city council if a house party takes place.
The 47-year-old, who did not wish to be named, said: "It is not just the parties but the street noise. We have students who will have speakers out the windows. I think the party noise has been better but they are about to come to the end of their exams."
Pending the much promised, but yet to be delivered, revision of the guidance to residents on what to do when reporting anti-social behaviour, the NAG suggests the existing guidance Procedures to Report Noise Anti-Social Behaviour may be able to help.