By Abbey Gray
A CLAMPDOWN on noisy student parties has been announced in Headingley.
West Yorkshire Police have said that reducing noise caused by parties is of high priority and are working alongside Leeds City Council and universities to tackle this.
The council’s out of hours Noise Nuisance Team and police officers patrol the area regularly in an attempt to keep noise to a minimum.
Coun Al Garthwaite (Labour, Headingley), said: “Noise has a bad effect on the community. No-one wants to stop students or anyone else enjoying themselves, and parties are acceptable – but not if they are really noisy and last well into the night, preventing people from sleeping, enjoying their gardens, or relaxing at home.
“Often students do not realise how noisy they are being.”
Chloe Smith of Langdale Terrace, Headingley, is a psychology student at Leeds Trinity University and regularly hosts and attends house parties.
Chloe, 19, said: ‘‘I think students should be penalised if it’s excessive noise because it’s inconsiderate of others who need to do work or have families. But if it’s noise once every few months I think they should just get a warning.
“My neighbours are loud and sometimes play music until 5am which is unfair when I have 9am lectures.”
PC Matt Guy of West Yorkshire Police recognises that many students live out of sync with families and that this does have an effect on the times noise is deemed acceptable.
He said: “Sometimes it’s hard to differentiate between what is everyday noise and what’s anti-social behaviour because everyone’s opinion of this is different.
“It’s important we try to get the balance right and advise and support students on their behaviour, with enforcements still being in place if necessary.”
PC Guy said officers try to encourage residents to talk to students themselves and come to a resolution – without involving authority immediately – to gain a mutual respect and a positive environment.
Headingley’s community is made up of people of all ages and lifestyles and Coun Garthwaite believes this has a positive impact.
She said: “Some students do want and choose to live within a community and this is fine. In my opinion a mixed community is a healthy community and a student presence can enhance a neighbourhood.
“In many Headingley streets, students and local residents including single people, young professional house shares, families and older people, from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds, are living happily side by side, enjoying each other’s’ company and learning from one another.”
If noise levels need reporting the night noise number is 0113 395 0143 or the police can be contacted on 101. From 9am to 5pm the number is 0113 395 1414.