Alarm owners must register with the council
Posted on November 21, 2006
A new initiative to reduce the time it takes to deal with the noise caused by building alarms going off accidentally is being introduced in South Beds.
The district council has signed up to an Alarm Notification Order, which requires anyone who is responsible for an intruder alarm to register a keyholder who can be contacted if it sounds unintentionally.
Implementing the order passes the responsibility for maintaining a keyholder database from Beds Police to the district council.
Noise nuisance from alarms occurs all year round but is particularly prevalent during weekends and holiday periods.
The council's Envirocrime Unit has the power to silence alarms but this takes time and can also result in a significant cost to the building owner, possibly in excess of £300.
The order takes effect from midnight on Sunday and anyone responsible for an alarm, whether on a private or commercial property, must register keyholder details before midnight on December 24. Anyone who has a new alarm fitted after Sunday must register it within 28 days.
To comply with the order at least one keyholder must be registered with the council. That person must be able to gain access to the alarm controls; live close to the home or business; know how to turn the alarm off; and agree to be a keyholder. The information held on the database is secure and in accordance with the Data Protection Act.
Anyone who does not comply with the order will face a fixed penalty of £80, or a maximum fine of £1,000 if the fine is not paid within 14 days.
Councillor Brian Spurr has executive responsibility for environmental issues and said: "Building alarms are an extremely useful security measure but can cause a nuisance to local residents if they sound accidentally.
"The order will ensure an up-to-date and accurate database of keyholders that in turn will enable envirocrime officers to silence alarms more quickly and without the expense to the building owner."
Alarms can be registered with the council by filling in a form which is available from the envirocrime unit on telephone number 01582-474031. Copies can also be collected from the council's High Street North, Dunstable, offices or from local libraries and town council offices. A copy of the form can be downloaded from the council's website www.southbeds.gov.uk.
Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 21 November 2006
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