Police see increase in noise complaints, remind residents that City Bylaws still apply

As our communities progress through the COVID-19 pandemic the Peterborough Police Service reminds citizens of its zero tolerance approach to noise issues.

“We recognize that due to social distancing measures in place some people are now spending more time indoors and are having small gatherings. We have certainly seen an increase in noise complaints over the past several days especially regarding loud music being played,” says Inspector John Lyons, Operations Division, Peterborough Police Service.

“We remind citizens that we have a zero tolerance approach to this behaviour and that either a person can be charged for making the noise OR permitting the noise. We ask that residents be mindful and respectful of their neighbours who are likely also at home and may also be social distancing or self-isolating. Dispatching officers to these complaints also depletes valuable resources that may be required for higher priority calls.”

The City of Peterborough’s noise bylaw prohibits any noise that is likely to disturb. This is a broad definition that incorporates various sources of noise, including loud voices and music. Contrary to popular belief, the by-laws are in effect 24 hours a day. The fine totals $125 for a first offence. For subsequent offences, a summons may be issued, compelling the person to attend court, where the fines could reach a maximum of $2,000.

Should matters progress to extremes, officers may proceed with the criminal charge of Mischief, Section 430 (1)(c) of the Criminal Code: Every one commits mischief who willfully obstructs, interrupts or interferes with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property.