Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan has called for strict action to be taken to address the issue of noise nuisances. With 105 reported cases for the first half of 2019 and 156 in 2018, the minister noted the issue must be tackled.
Minister Ramjattan was at the time addressing police officers at the opening of a noise management training exercise. He noted the enforcement of “strict action” will ensure businesses and individuals comply and build a culture of law and order across the country.
“One such method is to take the profit out of this practice. That means if we must deregister them, we must do that. Take away their licences that GRA grants. Make it a condition that before you continue to operate your bar services, you must adhere to certain noise levels,” the minister underscored.
Such actions, he said, will be necessary since prosecutions and convictions are difficult to achieve since persons who lodge noise complaints are often reluctant to testify when called upon.
However, it was acknowledged that with everything there must be a balance.
“We have to appreciate that people would want to enjoy their music, so you have to appreciate that people are going to want to make a livelihood but it must be done taking into consideration the right of others not to be affected by your music,” Minister Ramjattan stated.
Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Dr Vincent Adams said that the training would build the capacity of police officers to effectively deal with noise nuisances. The exercise will expose the officers to strategies to collect noise data, using the noise meter as well as learning how to analyse the data obtained. However, Dr Adams said that members of the public must also play their role.
“I urge the members of the public to do their part to reduce noise pollution. Turn down the volume, employ some technology to attenuate your noise emissions, and implement good management practices to help protect yourself and others from the impact of noise pollution,” Dr Adams said.
The training is being carried out by the EPA at the Guyana Police Force Training Centre.
The session is the second of its kind held for 31 officers in the Force. The first training exercise saw 55 police officers benefitting.
A task force to combat noise nuisance was established in 2017 to spearhead a crackdown on all forms of noise nuisance. The unit comprises representatives from the Ministry of Public Security (the Coordinating Agency); the Guyana Police Force (GPF); the Guyana Prison Service (GPS), the Guyana Fire Service (GFS); the ministries of Natural Resources; Communities, and Public Infrastructure; the Environmental Protection Agency; the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA); the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) of Georgetown; and the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).