Well Street bike shop that ‘played Bob Marley songs for 24 hours’ closed over noise complaints
PUBLISHED: 07:00 07 July 2016
A bike workshop accused of blasting out Bob Marley music for 24 hours to celebrate the reggae star’s birthday has been shut down over its “ridiculous” noise levels.
Council chiefs served Cycle Pitstop in Well Street a closure notice last week after receiving 82 complaints in 12 months about anti-social behaviour – such as the “all-night” reggae playback on February 6, and a “green haze” of cannabis outside the shop.
Jusus Telesford’s business is a popular community hub credited with cutting violence and gang crime. One charity boss has described him as a role model.
But magistrates on Monday ruled it should be closed for three months after hearing evidence of excessive noise and drug crime.
Complaints reference music “play-offs” outside the shop so loud they set off car alarms, as well as people letting off bullhorns and airhorns in the street.
One of the more bizarre testimonies came from a DJ who claimed he had been forced to turn up his own music at parties just to drown out the sound from the “nightclub-standard” speakers in the shop.
The man has also been driven to repeatedly telephoning Mr Telesford, claiming it is the only way to interrupt the songs being played through his smartphone into an amplifier.
A petition to save the shop gathered almost 200 signatures in 24 hours and Mr Telesford is well liked by local charities for his work with schools and community projects. The council has said it will monitor the impact of the closure and support Mr Telesford to reduce anti-social behaviour when it reopens.
“I played music for the street but can definitely see where they are coming from and I would comply with what they want us to do,” he told the Gazette. “I want to work with them and I’m hoping they can see we are an asset to the community.”
Director of youth charity Hackney Quest Collette Allen said: “Since Jusus opened the bike shop he has been able to positively engage with these young people in a way few other organisations have been able to and we no longer have capacity to.
“He is a community role model. I believe if it wasn’t for the bike workshop, young people would gather elsewhere, and with the lack of positive engagement there is more likely to be violence and gang activity.”
A council spokesman said: “We hope the closure will improve life for nearby residents who should not have to put up with this sort of behaviour.
“We will assess the impact of the order and review its effectiveness. Support will be offered to reduce the likelihood of continuing anti-social behaviour when the closure order comes to an end.”
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