When lockdown hit back in March 2020, it resulted in the nation spending the majority of the past year stuck behind the doors of their homes. During the national lockdowns, our councils have seen an increase in noise complaints. This was expected due to people working from home and the closure of schools.
However, with the closing of night clubs and pubs, the last thing any of us were expecting is noisy streets filled with drunk people. This has not been the case for the residents living on Wonford Street, Exeter.
For them, lockdown has been nothing but an even more stressful experience than it needs to be. All of this is due to a nightmare neighbour who despite lockdown restrictions, has been partying hard and causing trouble on the quiet street.
Sinead, who lives next door to the neighbour in question, says that ‘It has been a complete nightmare’. Since the start of this lockdown alone, Sinead has had to call the police on numerous different occasions due to fights breaking out outside her window after a night of drinking. ‘I’ve seen some brutal fights outside my window, usually you can hear what the fights are about and honestly I’m embarrassed of how much I actually know about those people’s lives’.
Sinead has been working on a coronavirus ward since the start of the pandemic. ‘The last thing you want to come home to after a 13 hour shift is a house party next door during the pandemic after spending the day caring for patients who are critically ill with covid’.
With the noise comes the added mess left outside Sinead’s door after most covidiot parties. ‘Most times there are bottles smashed outside the front door, cigarettes on my front door step. I won’t go into any more detail of what else has been left outside our door’.
After every party and argument, comes the loud banging, music and arguing during the day times. ‘Even on our days off all we can hear is noise coming from the house next door. They’re making lockdown completely unbearable for the people on this street’.
A recently conducted study found that nearly half of the public believe that antisocial noise from their neighbours has had a toll on their mental wellbeing. Prior to the lockdowns, we had more opportunities to escape our homes and get away from our noisy neighbours. Lockdown has made this nearly impossible for us to do.
Despite calls to the police and numerous fines after breaking covid rules, the parties, fights and sleepless nights for the residents of Wonford Street continue.