Ramsgate reader Pete writes:
We have a car parked outside our house. It isn't ours and it doesn't belong to any of our neighbours. Somebody who lives elsewhere has parked it there. It's quite a nice car so they have set the alarm. But the alarm is faulty. It goes off intermittently throughout the day and night. It's been doing this since Sunday night.
I phoned the police. They have access to the registration details and can contact the owner. However, they tell me they have no powers to make the owner turn the alarm off. They gave me a number to ring for TDC's environmental protection team.
The number they gave me took me to an answerphone message saying that this number was now defunct. It told me that TDC only works during office hours (in my experience they don't do much then, either). The call was then diverted to a call centre run by Amiscus Horizon in Sittingbourne. A cheery chap on the end of the line told me that TDC doesn't provide any service for dealing with noise complaints out of hours. He told me that I would need to make repeated complaints to the Council and that, eventually, they might issue some kind of enforcement notice to the owner. I'm assuming the battery on the car will have gone flat before this happens.
I'm just wondering what happened to the jack-booted militia who were all set to confiscate our stereos and ghetto-blasters. I was under the impression that Councils were supposed to enforce the legislation which had been introduced to deal with noisy neighbours. Just wait until the unwashed serving classes find out that they can crank up the volume and that granny next-door can do nothing about it. The Millionaires' Playground will soon become the Rappers' Playpen.
P.S. We have to create employment in Thanet, so we contract out answering the phone to a chap in Sittingbourne. Presumably nobody on the dole in Thanet is qualified to answer a phone?
Well Pete, I find the flying poodles pretty annoying at this time of year too, what with all their, er, 'fighting' at four in the morning. So I've taken to kipping in a pair of industrial strength ear defenders. Maybe TDC could save the dosh they spend on providing non-services by issuing a couple of pairs free to every household?