Friday 27 July 2012 8.05am
Whilst we are all pretty much used to the constant helicopter disturbances over the area around Tower Bridge there's no doubt it reached a new high last night (or at least in the Bermondsey Street
One unmarked helicopter circled the Shard a few times and then sat in a single spot directly over Leathermarket Gardens
for over 45 minutes, with no apparent reason. Even if there had been an incident, I have never seen a helicopter not move around the "scene". On a summer evening with all the windows/doors open the persistant noise was unbearable - these things are extremely noisy even without being stationary.
There was some unusual smoke coming from the roof of the stumpy extension to the Shard on St. Thomas Street but seemingly nothing that a stagnant helicopter could contribute to.
Even with an expectation of increased air traffic from the Olympiİs this sort of behaviour is not acceptable. Passing air traffic is to be expected, parking air traffic is not.
After 30 minutes I rang Southwark Coucil Environment noise team (020 7525 5777) who were very sympathic but unable to assist as aviation noise is outside their control. At 45 minutes I rang the police non-emergency number (101) and during the lengthy process of explaining the problem to the very helpful lady the helicopter left. This may be unconnected but I suspect not.
It's very easy to shrug-the-shoulders and say it must be necessary because of crime/terrorism/Olympiİs but these things have to operate within acceptable parameters, otherwise what's the point?
I will be emailing Simon Hughes
) and Ubiquitous Boris (firstname.lastname@example.org
) about this specific incident if only to circumvent the question "why didn't you contact us" when and if the problem escalates further.
It's also possible to raise a complaint with the Met Police : http://www.met.police.uk/contacts/yourvoice.htm