Stop sirens disturbing our sleep, Hackney Police urged

Campaign launched to cut unnecessary noise at night

A BATTLE is underway to stop police sirens keeping Hackney residents awake at night.

Hackney Central ward councillors have vowed to tackle unnecessary noise and have called for police to take a more “considerate” approach.

Cllr Alan Laing said he now had proof that sirens exceeded the World Health Organisation’s 80-decibel recommended noise limit along roads including Amhurst Road, Mare Street and Dalston Lane.

“I think it is an issue for a large number of people,” he said.

“All I am asking from the police is not an outright ban, but for there to be consideration so the sirens are only used when they are absolutely necessary – not when there are no other vehicles in the road, no pedestrians and no junction.”

Hackney’s London Assembly member Jennette Arnold is backing the campaign.

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“There seems to be a near-total disregard for the fact that Hackney is a densely populated, highly residential area full of young families and elders,” she said.

“Hackney residents need their sleep and their peace just as much as Londoners who happen to live in the leafier parts of the city, yet it seems to have become acceptable that Hackney is subject to some of the highest on-street noise levels in the capital.”

Insp Pat Brown, who is responsible for Hackney police driving standards, said he sympathised with campaigners’ concerns and had reminded officers to take care when using sirens – but that they were often inevitable on Hackney’s busy streets.

“Hackney is a busy residential and commercial area and, due to the large number of inhabitants, it generates a significant number of emergency requests for police,” he said.

“Crime is falling in the borough but the number of emergency calls continues to increase year after year.

“Safety is paramount, and as such the discretion as to whether to make use of audible warning equipment remains solely that of the driver, taking into account the nature of the call and the prevailing road conditions.”

He said he welcomed new data and discussion about sound levels, which were carefully tested to Home Office standards.