Operation Balsam returns
Welwyn Hatfield residents will once again be offered greater protection from noise disturbances when Operation Balsam launches on Saturday 21 September.
Extra noise patrols and an extended reporting hotline will be in place for Welwyn Hatfield residents. Operation Balsam, now in its 11th year, will continue until 27 September, running throughout the week from 10pm to 3am.
The partnership between Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, Hertfordshire Constabulary and the University of Hertfordshire puts additional noise patrols in place for the whole borough, as well as prioritises reports from or about students.
The aim is to take a balanced approach, and ask perpetrators to act in a neighbourly manner, using mediation between parties where necessary. However, if this is ignored appropriate action will be taken to stop any further disturbance.
The service, funded by the university, is additional to the weekly out-of-hours noise service (Operation Reprise), which will continue to operate on Friday and Saturday nights.
Since its launch in 2008, there has been a 90% reduction in calls about noise complaints during Operation Balsam.
Councillor Fiona Thomson, Executive Member for Public Health, said:
Operation Balsam is for the benefit of the whole community, including students, helping them to understand the impact that noise can have on their neighbours.
We have seen some really positive results from the service, particularly over the past three years, and have found that it really helps to balance the needs of the local community with students.
PC Jenny Edwards, from the University of Hertfordshire policing team, said:
I am pleased that Operation Balsam is returning for another year and I hope that residents feel reassured that any noise concerns will be dealt with swiftly and appropriately. Please don't hesitate to use the hotline as it is there to help you.
Claire Hartridge, Deputy Dean of Students, University of Hertfordshire said:
The university are proud to be supporting Operation Balsam again this year, this is great example of partnership working. We have seen the positive impact over the last 11 years of such a valuable community initiative.
Residents can report concerns about noise, anti-social behaviour and other related disturbances to the police on 101 or to the council on 0800 1114484. For noise complaints during office hours, please call the council on 01707 357242.