Noise complaints 'limiting' Leeds council officers from dealing with other antisocial behaviour issues

The vast number of complaints about noise nuisance in Leeds is limiting council officers from working to prevent antisocial behaviour problems in the city.

More than half of antisocial behaviour referrals in Leeds involve noise complaints.

That’s according to a report set to go before the Leeds City Council’s environment scrutiny board this week, which added current arrangements to deal with the district’s antisocial behaviour problems were “unsustainable”.

The report claims that new working practices for the council’s antisocial behaviour team (LABST) will help the council to work more effectively with communities.

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It follows an investigation from the YEP earlier this year which revealed more than 2,400 noise complaints have been made to Leeds City Council over the past two years.

More than half of antisocial behaviour referrals in Leeds involve noise complaints.

The council report stated: “The volume of incoming referrals relating to noise nuisance, in particular, is significantly limiting the team’s ability to deliver much needed work around prevention, intervention and community empowerment.

“Furthermore, an increasing number of those interacting with the service – both victims and perpetrators – are displaying complex support needs and vulnerabilities such as mental health issues. Those support needs often require specialist interventions, which LASBT is not best placed to deliver.”

More than three-fifths of referrals to LASBT relate to noise nuisance, and the council claims existing resources “cannot meet the demand and expectation of the service”.

Changes to services, set to be introduced immediately, include having a more flexible out-of-hours service, as well as more effectively communicating with complainants so they can “understand more easily what actions they can take themselves in order to try and resolve the situation they are concerned about”.

The report added: “The increased volume in cases being handled by the LASBT team is unsustainable. Current systems are also not flexible enough to enable a priority based response to reflect varying degrees of severity of anti-social behaviour and its potential consequences.

“The key to ensuring a sustainable, effective LASBT service will be to enable decision-making to be based upon need, to inform targeted use of resource and capacity. This will rely upon joined-up working with colleagues and partners.”

The meeting of the Leeds environment scrutiny board will take place at 10.30am on Thursday, July 11.