Intruder and Car Alarms
Faults can develop with vehicle alarms leading to the persistent sounding of the alarm, which can cause distress to local residents.
If the vehicle is parked on the highway or in a public car park and if the alarm sounds for more than one hour, notice can be served on the vehicle owner. This allows the Council to stop the noise by, if necessary, forcibly entering the vehicle or removing it to a suitable place to silence the alarm. The owner or keeper of the vehicle will be responsible for any cost incurred from this action.
Where vehicles are parked on private land, such as the driveway of a house, then we have to follow standard noise nuisance procedures and it can therefore take more time to resolve. (see noise web page).
To avoid either situation, vehicle owners are recommended to have their alarms fitted by a competent installer, ensure it has an automatic cut-out which will silence it shortly after it has been activated, check the alarm regularly to make sure it is still operating correctly and have faults rectified immediately.
If a vehicle alarm is sounding incessantly near you then contact us on 01962 848 350 with the following information: details of the vehicle (including registration number, colour and make); location of the vehicle; and how long the alarm has been sounding. We do not operate an out of hours service so outside of office hours please call us the next working day or call the 101 service.
If it appears the vehicle has been broken into then please phone the police.
Intruder alarms can also cause considerable noise disturbance.
If an alarm is causing a noise disturbance and no one is available to respond, then Winchester City Council has new powers to silence the alarm under Sections 73 to 79 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005. Government guidance on these powers advises that a local authority officer can enter a premise, without force, in order to silence an alarm where:
- The alarm has been sounding for more than 20 minutes continuously or intermittently for more than one hour (witness statements are acceptable) and
- It is likely to give persons living or working in the vicinity reasonable cause for annoyance.
Once on a premises an authorised officer can take whatever steps are necessary to silence the alarm. Where possible Winchester City Council's preferred option is to disable the externally mounted alarm box and it has a contract with a local alarm company in order to facilitate this.
If it is not possible to silence the alarm without using force to enter the premises, then Section 78 of the Act allows the Council to apply for a warrant from a Justice of the Peace in order to force entry.
In either case all costs incurred in silencing the alarm will be recovered from the person responsible for the alarm, which will usually be the owner of the property. These costs will be at least £200 and could be substantially more if we have had to obtain a warrant and force entry into your property. To avoid these problems, make sure your alarm has a cut out device to silence it after 20 minutes.
Hampshire Constabulary have recently reintroduced a registration scheme where you can nominate details of up to 3 keyholders who can be contacted by the police in your absence. You can register your details by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 023 8074 5381. Further information can be found on the Hampshire Police web site. Please take the time to register, this will avoid you returning home to a large bill and where we have had to force entry, new locks which your keys will not fit.
Please take the time to register, this will avoid you returning home to a large bill and where we have had to force entry, new locks which your keys will not fit.
Section 69 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 allows the Council to declare alarm notification areas, where it is an offence not to notify us if you have an alarm fitted. There are currently no such areas within Winchester's district.
If you wish to complain about an intruder alarm please contact the Environmental Protection team on 01962 848 350 with details of the location of the house, duration of alarm sounding, any identification markings on the alarm box, and the name and location of the occupier (if known). We do not operate an out of hours service so outside of office hours please call us the next working day or call the 101 service.
If it appears the property has been broken into then please phone the police