Don't put up with the neighbours
LOUD music, barking dogs, screaming computer games.
The scourge of a noisy neighbour is something no one should have to live with.
But the number of complaints about noise to Plymouth City Council has hit a record high in the last year.
The good news for the long-suffering is that the council has numerous weapons in its armoury to silence the noisemakers for good.
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High-tech equipment is now available to record the decibel level of any neighbour living in denial about the noise they create.
And the council also has the power to seize everything from television sets to games consoles if offenders persist in disturbing those around them.
Most offenders challenged by the council cut their noise as soon as they are issued with a noise abatement order.
But those who dodge the warnings can find themselves in court, hit with a £5,000 fine or even an Anti Social Behaviour Order.
It is a poor sign of the times that these measures are required.
The breakdown of traditional communities means neighbours often live side-by-side without knowing or speaking to each other.
Some families are afraid to tackle their neighbours over noise for fear of reprisals.
But the effectiveness and rapid action of the council should reassure people that they do not have to put up with nuisance neighbours.
Don't be afraid to complain through the authorities – and your peace could soon be restored.