Burglar alarm causes misery for Louth families

Louth Dental Care in Eastgate, Louth. EMN-150701-124023001
Louth Dental Care in Eastgate, Louth. EMN-150701-124023001

An angry resident has vowed to take legal action after a faulty burglar alarm caused misery for families in Eastgate, Louth, in recent weeks - including two occasions where it blared continuously for over eight hours into the night.

Romy Rayner and her young family were left exasperated after a burglar alarm at a neighbouring building, Louth Dental Care, sounded continuously for nine hours on November 29, from 4pm until 1am.

Ms Rayner said: “It’s a very built up residential area with predominantly young families. Almost every household here has children under eight. It was awful.

“We rang the police, as did several neighbours - the officer told us over 10 official complaints were logged.”

Ms Rayner told the Leader that the same faulty alarm sounded on a number of occasions throughout December - including one occasion, starting late on Boxing Day, when the alarm blared continuously for eight hours throughout 
the night.

Nearby Eastgate resident Paula Rance said: “The noise kept us awake, it just kept going and going. It was really piercing. Those who live right next to the building must have just been awake all night, and it must have been so frustrating.”

Husband Simon Rance added: “It must have been 10 times louder than a car radio on full blast, yet that would be considered an antisocial noise disturbance.”

Sallyann Hackett, the Practice Manager at Louth Dental Care, told the Leader this week that the faulty alarm problem had been “completely sorted” towards the end of December.

She added: “On the first night when the faulty alarm and was reported, someone actually committed damage to the alarm. Someone stood on a clinical waste bin and beat the hell out of it.”

Ms Hackett claimed that Lincolnshire Police have a record of her contact details for such emergency situations, but a police spokesperson said that they do not have these details on record - nor are they legally required to.

The spokesperson said: “Whilst Lincolnshire Police appreciate the frustrations caused by false alarm activations, we do not attend in these circumstances and have no powers to deal with the noise. Matters of noise nuisance are referred to the Environmental Health department of the relevant local authority.

“There is no statutory requirement for police forces to hold key holder details of domestic or commercial alarms, except where the alarm is monitored by an approved Central Monitoring Station.”

The spokesperson added that the local Neighbourhood Policing Team would liaise with the business concerned.

Eastgate resident Paula Rance said: “Surely businesses have to be contactable by the police in case an actual crime takes place? If they don’t, then that seems strange to me.”

Ms Rayner turned to the district council, but found that she was unable to gain help by calling East Lindsey District Council’s out-of-hours phone number, which simply redirected her to the Waterloo Housing Group which was unable to help.

Ms Rayner said: “They asked if it was a Waterloo building, and when we said ‘no’ they told us they couldn’t do anything other than ‘make a note of it’.

“On the last occasion, someone at Waterloo gave my sister an additional number - which is the first time we were given it - but when we dialled it, a message told us that no-one was there until January 6.”

Ms Rayner added: “I am going to take legal action. The level of sleep deprivation my family has endured is unbearable, particularly for my two small children. Their health and well being has been severely impacted by this.”

East Lindsey District Council have now provided Ms Rayner with a sound recording device, and have ensured that Waterloo Housing will forward any future calls from Ms Rayner to the relevant department.

The Council added: “Where allegations of noise nuisance are made, our Environmental Health Team will work with residents to assess the scale of the problem.

“If there is a proven noise nuisance issue we can and will take action to ensure the noise is reduced or stopped.”