Tuesday 15 October 2013 9.31am
You all have my utmost sympathies - this is something we've been having to deal with for many years in Henshaw Street (just south of New Kent Road
), where many of the houses are multi-lets - mainly (but not exclusively) to students.
I echo the implication above - it is understandable that students wish to enjoy themselves and should not be demonised (and that many are quite reasonably behaved). But students en masse cause disturbance, that's all there is to it. It seems unfair that the result should constantly fall on the same long-term inhabitants of a particular area.
Our experience has shown there are things which can be done, although it's not easy. First of all generally Jaggerjat is right that the noise people (Southwark Environmental Services) can't do anything - they will only deal with constant noise above a certain decibel level (eg loud music) - they also tend to take a long time to come out so may miss the immediate problem. Nonetheless, it may be worth logging a call if disturbance is particularly bad so there's a record which can be cited later. It is definitely worth contacting Southwark's Anti-social behaviour team - my experience is you may have to do a bit of chasing to get a response but the more people who contact them and the more calls that are logged the more likely you are to get somewhere.
Our street has been very much improved through the services of the Southwark Mediation Centre (http://www.southwarkmediation.co.uk/) - their approach is to talk to all parties, including students and explain the problems. There are a Not for Profit so it may need some creative thinking to see how you can use them, perhaps via a Residents' Association or other such local group.
If anyone's interested in discussing in greater depth then feel free to get in touch. A final point - I really feel the universities should be doing more to deal with this - students are after all here under their auspices. I tried to get in touch with the main players (Kings / UCL / LSE, South Bank etc)about five years ago to engage but didn't really get anywhere. Their point of view seems to be effectively that students are adults and therefore responsible for their own behaviour. Has anyone else tried this and what results?