Extra noise patrols return to Welwyn Hatfield

PUBLISHED: 18:45 03 May 2017 | UPDATED: 18:45 03 May 2017

Emma Lewis, Community Liaison and Support Officer at the University of Hertfordshire, Jeanette Hollingsworth-Biggs, Welwyn Hatfield Council's Environmental Health Team Leader, and Police Officer Jennifer Edwards.  
Picture: Kevin Lines

Emma Lewis, Community Liaison and Support Officer at the University of Hertfordshire, Jeanette Hollingsworth-Biggs, Welwyn Hatfield Council's Environmental Health Team Leader, and Police Officer Jennifer Edwards. Picture: Kevin Lines

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Extra noise patrols and an extended reporting hotline will be in place for Welwyn Hatfield residents when Operation Balsam launches next week.

Students with Emma Lewis, Community Liaison and Support Officer at the University of Hertfordshire, and  Jeanette Hollingsworth-Biggs, Welwyn Hatfield Council's Environmental Health Team Leader.
Picture: Kevin LinesStudents with Emma Lewis, Community Liaison and Support Officer at the University of Hertfordshire, and Jeanette Hollingsworth-Biggs, Welwyn Hatfield Council's Environmental Health Team Leader. Picture: Kevin Lines

Operation Balsam, now in its ninth year, will run from Friday, May 12, to Sunday, May 21, weekdays from 10pm to 3am.

The partnership between Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, Hertfordshire Police and the University of Hertfordshire puts additional noise patrols in place for the whole borough, as well as prioritising reports from or about students.

During Operation Balsam last year, the council received a total of 603 calls about noise nuisance.

Councillor Bernard Sarson, Executive Member for Business, Partnerships and Public Health, said: “Operation Balsam aims to work with the whole community, including students, helping them to understand the impact that noise can have on the neighbourhood.

“This isn’t about stopping students from celebrating, it’s about highlighting to them the responsibility everyone has to be respectful towards their neighbours.”

The service, funded by the university, is in addition to the weekly out-of-hours noise service (Operation Reprise), which will continue to operate on Friday and Saturday nights.

Jeff Scott, Welwyn and Hatfield’s Safer Neighbourhood Team Inspector, said: “We want everyone to be able to enjoy themselves and have fun.

“However, everyone should also be considerate of others and we will take reports of anti-social behaviour and noise nuisance seriously.

“During the operation we will be undertaking proactive patrols and maintaining a high police presence.

“If you have any queries or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us via 101 or approach us if you see us out and about.”

Emma Lewis, Community Liaison and Support Officer for the University of Hertfordshire said: “I am really pleased to be launching Operation Balsam again this year.

“It has had a positive effect on community relations in the past and gives local residents and students an additional resource where they can voice any concerns they have about noise or anti-social behaviour. ”

Contact numbers for residents:

• Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council Environmental Health team – 01707 357242 (call during office hours for advice and information)

• Extended call out service - 0800 1114484 (officers available 10pm-3am)

• Operation Reprise - 0800 1114484 (regular weekend service, on Fridays and Saturdays, 10pm-3am).

• The university’s Community Hotline 01707 285165

• The police non-emergency number - 101

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