EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


January 23, 2013

Loud music complaints spike over weekend

HAVERHILL — They are calls police tend to get when the warm weather arrives and people begin opening the windows of their homes.

The sound of music and voices travel from one property to the next. People sit on their porches and play music, talk and have a few drinks. The neighbors are woken up and they call police.

It’s not a scenario typical of mid-winter, but that’s just what happened over the long holiday weekend. Police received 23 complaints about loud music over the three days.

Police Deputy Chief Donald Thompson said he did not know why there was a spike in reports of loud music during the weekend. Although the temperatures rose Saturday afternoon into the evening, most of the loud music calls to police came on Friday, Sunday and Monday when it was cold.

“It was a higher than normal,” Thompson said of the 23 complaints.

Police said that in about half the cases, when officers arrived the music had already been turned down. Officers have noise meters they can use to determine if someone is violating the city’s noise ordinance. Police said they are prepared to issue citations to violators, although that didn’t happen this weekend.

“What happens is oftentimes we’ll get the call and when police arrive everything is quiet,” police Deputy Chief Donald Thompson said. “Many people realize on their own that it’s too loud and turn it down. But we do watch them and we do track them. If we find we are going to the same house and find loud music, we will bring the people into court.”

Although reports of loud music may seem trivial to some people, police said it’s a quality of life issue for residents who are being bothered by noise from their neighbors.

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