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  • Street noise problem

    This is not about neighbours, but I don't know where to ask ....

    We are in a block of HA flats just off Oxford St London. The shopaholics, who are here in their thousands, are the chosen target for conversion of a preacher with a megaphone. For Xmas he acquired a louder megaphone, and then it went even louder over the summer. He has been stopped from standing in one place for hours at a time, so goes up and down the street to different locations, carefully timing his stay so that he is gone just before the Noise Team arrive. He knows them by sight.

    The noise drives us all insane. It echoes and booms down the side street, and into the flats. It is louder than the noise of the buses, which latter must be way above the EU 'safe' noise levels for residential homes.

    The council Noise Team say that as the Preacher is a preacher, ie has a religious message, he is basically untouchable. He is exempt from the legislation that would apply if he was, say, a rock band.

    Does anyone know if there is any EU or UK law that can be used to shut him up? He is out there 7 days a week, even at 8pm at night.


  • #2
    Hi Viv and welcome to the Forum

    Your situation is definitely a new one on me. I will go away though and see what I can find out about the preaching /religion /noise angle.

    Have you complained to the EH team yourself? Have you got together as a group of affected neighbours/residents to raise a collective complaint to the authority? Do you know if any of the residents have talked to this man themselves to explain how is behaviour is adversely affecting them? Have you maybe considered involving your local Councillor and/or MP?

    I'll have a root around to see if I can find anything. . In the meantime, I'm sure other members will be along shortly to offer you advice and support in how to cope with this noisy preacher. Why can't he go and do it somewhere else? :blink: .


    • #3
      Hi Viv, and welcome

      Can he not go to (is it? I'm a northerner!) Hyde Park? :blink: Surely he can't be above the law?

      Check out in terms of law

      But, Christ knows(no pun intended!) whether this applies to the preacher?! However, if it has been applied to rail lines, etc, who knows?

      Have you got a Housing Aid/AdviceCentre in your area? Check on

      as they may be able to check this out for you.

      As Holly says, are there neighbours who feel the same? A collective voice may have more impact.

      Sorry can't be more help...but hope you let us know how you go.




      • #4

        Have you tried approaching him? I wonder if appealing to his sense of Christian charity might persuade him to modify his behaviour and at least turn the volume down.
        'The only kind of courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one minute to the next.' - Mignon McLaughlin


        • #5
          surely if he is a good decent person you will be able to go up to him and ask him to go and be noisy elsewhere.

          i know what i would probably do if his megaphone was getting on my nerves, but i dont think other members of this forum would agree with me.. :whistle:

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          • #6
            I seem to be stuck Viv .

            The only suggestion I can come up with is to see if the Police have any powers in this kind of situation.

            :rant: Please let us know how you're getitng on.


            • #7
              I find it very hard indeed to think that he is above the law - it seems very fishy and if you ask me, it sounds like your Env Health Dept is just finding him too akward to deal with.

              You have the right to peace and quiet as anyone else, I would have thought. (I stand to be corrected though )

              I know what this situation is like - I stayed in a flat where a preacher would appear every Saturday a.m. and bellow away with a megafone all day - Ok it wasn't during the night, but the constant racket ruined the weekend totally. We went and spoke nicely to the preacher (plus assembled hanger-ons) and asked them to turn it down but all they did was roar with laughter at us and tell us it was the 'Lord's way'...Then a couple of weeks later they came back with an actual BOSE surround sound system.... :blink: .

              We did get onto Env Health - they took it very seriously - and they told us to log the times and dates etc and were in the process of ordering monitoring equipment, but we moved on by then. However, if I ever go past the same place now, they are still there, blaring away, 10 years down the line...

              Keep at it with the EH dept - they are surely talking tosh!

              Otherwise, perhaps you could go down the route of getting him moved on to prevent a breach of the peace - if you know what I mean ?

              Good luck



              • #8
                Gloucester police thankfully prevented one of the town's 'manic street preachers' from berating the shoppers with his megaphone. They'd had complaints from members of the public about a breach of the peace.

                Though he's allowed to shout, and he can quite loudly, the amplification was a no no.

                Perhaps members of faiths other than the preachers could be offended too. It isn't necessary for us all to have to put up with this in-your-face zealotry for fear of being branded intolerant.

                Hope they confiscate the megaphone. I doubt if preacher man would be any more wound up than he already is anyway. Who was it appointed him?


                • #9
                  Homer Nicely put!



                  • #10
                    Homer, yesss :lol:

                    You reminded me, the Env Health Dept was mostly concerned about the use of an amplifier and that's why they took the case on - It was over 10 yrs ago, so that's why my brain is foggy, but I knew there was something!

                    Viv, keep at the Env health and definitley pursue the police for a breach of the peace.

                    Good luck



                    • #11
                      Hi there,

                      You could try talking to him, try not to sound patronising about his way of expressing himself. You could point out that people are upset at the constant noise, and suggest a different way to put his message across. One that would attract people to join his group, rather than incite them.

                      Surly the police could ban the use of a megaphone at certain times. It is causing a public disturbance, and is likely to cause a riot between him and the local residents something the police would not welcome.



                      • #12
                        What I would do is this: Write to EVERY church and chapel in the area and point out to them that this preacher is harming their interests by putting people off religion.

                        Write to religious magazines, esp. those for evangelicals) and make the same points. :angel: Maybe they will help him see the light?


                        • #13
                          The problem is that not every "preacher" is affiliated to any particular church/organisation! Our town centre has at least two people that are a complete law unto themselves, with a direct hotline to above! Maybe worth asking him where he worships tho'? Might eliminate a few places to contact?

                          And if it's solely down to him.....well...pray?

                          Oh, and pursue the other suggestions

                          All the very best of luck Viv, and really hope that SOMETHING works!



                          • #14
                            Oh, I know that! But I think that a concerted effort from all the (other) denominations in the area might help to apply a bit of gentle peer pressure on him.


                            • #15
                              The thing with these lay (no church will have 'em) preacher types is that they're not your most rational or reasonable people. Any persuasion towards them to quieten down will be like a red rag to a bull. They like to see themselves as lone crusaders against the legions of satan who oppose them (and ask them to quieten down...)

                              Enforcement should work against the amplification, then you'll be saved by the limits of the human voicebox. Complain to the authorities, especially if the content is offensive to your faith - as is often the case with 'the hate of God' brigade. They should do something about it.

                              Please let us know how you get on.