Extra noise patrols return to Welwyn Hatfield

PUBLISHED: 12:01 20 September 2017 | UPDATED: 12:01 20 September 2017

Emma Lewis, community liaison and support officer at the University of Hertfordshire, police officer Jennifer Edwards, and Jeanette Hollingsworth-Biggs, WHBC environmental health team leader.

Emma Lewis, community liaison and support officer at the University of Hertfordshire, police officer Jennifer Edwards, and Jeanette Hollingsworth-Biggs, WHBC environmental health team leader.

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The police will be upping patrols in a bid to protect residents from noise disturbances as students return to Hatfield.

Welwyn Hatfield residents will once again be offered greater protection from noise disturbances when Operation Balsam launches on Monday, September 25.

Operation Balsam, now in its ninth year, will run until Saturday, September 30.

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 prioritising 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.

Councillor Bernard Sarson, executive member for business, partnerships and public health, said: “We’ve had some really positive results from Operation Balsam previously and over the past two years we’ve seen a decrease in the number of complaints about noise from student properties.

“It may be particularly useful in helping new students understand the role they have in the community and how important it is for all our residents to be respectful to their neighbours.

“I would like to take this opportunity to wish all students starting university the best of luck, and I hope that they enjoy their time in Welwyn Hatfield.”

Emma Lewis, community liaison and support officer at the University of Hertfordshire, said: “It’s great to be involved in Operation Balsam again this year.

“We’ve seen really positive results from this initiative in the past and it has been well received by local residents and students who are given an additional opportunity to voice any concerns they have about noise or anti-social behaviour.”

Sophia Adams, 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.”

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