London Borough of Croydon has launched an app that enables users to measure the decibel level of noise nuisance.
The decibel metre on the My Croydon app then tells the user whether what they consider the din is loud enough to be officially classed as a nuisance.
If those levels are exceeded, the app – currently in beta testing – requests more information on the type of noise, whether it be anti-social behaviour, barking dogs, car alarms or a neighbour’s party.
Mark Watson, the council’s cabinet member for safety and justice, said: “Whereas other generic apps already enable noise to be reported, we have gone a whole step further by allowing residents to measure the noise using a sophisticated decibel meter, to give a better idea of what options are available and whether the council can assist.
“The council is eager to use the latest technology to make the services we provide to residents more efficient.
“Whereas previously residents would call the council to report noise, now they can do so at the click of a button via their smartphones.”
Councils have legal powers to deal with unreasonable noise including music, parties, alarms, construction and DIY. Croydon said that it currently receives around 4,000 noise complaints a year.
The My Croydon app already allows residents to report problems including abandoned vehicles, blocked drains and gullies, dead animals, dog fouling, fly-tipping, graffiti, illegal campsites, illegal street trading, potholes and road defects and tree or hedge obstructions.
It works on Android or Apple phones, and has been downloaded more than 6,000 times, the council said.