Cop this: Can police give permission for a noisy party?


Can you get police permission to hold a noisy party in an apartment block? Let’s say you live in a unit and you like to throw the occasional big party.  By big, I mean it goes all day, has 40 to 60 guests and LOUD music.

You’ve been in trouble over parties before and you’ve already been taken to Fair Trading once so the next time it would be to NCAT (NSW Civil Administration Tribunal) for a fine and/or orders to behave in future. What’s a poor party boy to do?

In one case brought to our attention, the host sent out notes inviting neighbours and asking them to cut him some slack, promising to keep the noise to a reasonable level.

Fair enough.  Then he added that he had registered the party with police.

Hang on.  He what? What difference would that make? That became apparent when a neighbour was told by a party guest:  “We registered this with police.  We have permission.”

OK, stop right there.  Registering your party with police does not give you permission to do anything.  It merely informs them that a party is planned and, if there are any complaints, provides the address and phone number of the person they should call.

“People do it to advise the police that there’s going to be a party and what security is in place and what time it’s going to finish,” a police spokesman told Flat Chat. “Often people do it for 21sts and they’re expecting a lot of people. So police are forewarned.

“But if there are complaints about noise or trouble, police will still attend. Advance notification won’t prevent that at all.”

And that’s exactly what happened.  The music could be heard 200 metres away and residents of nearby buildings called the cops, who attended – in mid-afternoon – and told the party people to cool it.

Ironically, there was only one complaint from within the building. So maybe the polite notes worked.

Or perhaps residents thought there was no point as this particular building’s committee has decreed – totally erroneously – that noise complaints have nothing to do with them and are private disputes between neighbours.

If this BS is to save money on strata manager fees, it’ll be a false economy if they’re dragged to NCAT and ordered to do what they were elected for.

But that’s another column for another time. There’s more on party noise and how to deal with it HERE.

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