‘Behavioural techniques’ used in bid to reduce dog barking in local council area

‘BEHAVIOURAL techniques’ have been used in a bid to reduce dog barking in the Mid & East Antrim area, a report from the Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs says.

Initiatives to combat noise pollution locally have been mentioned in the just-released Noise Complaint Statistics for Northern Ireland 2017 – 2018 report.

The report says: ‘Mid and East Antrim Borough Council launched a Green Dog Walkers scheme that included exhibitions and information sessions on learning behavioural techniques to help reduce dog barking.’

The report also says the local council introduced a Noise App in 2016/17 which continued to be used during 2017/18.

Once downloaded to a smartphone, the App allows individuals affected by neighbour noise to record noise experienced and submit it to the Environmental Health Department of the Council.

The App replaces traditional log sheets used to record complaints and gives officers an audio recording of incidents which enables officers to identify more serious incidents and provides an indication of intensity, loudness and duration.

There are safeguards built into the App which enables verification of the recording authenticity and prevents misuse of the App. The App has resulted in noise complaints being investigated more quickly.

The report says Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council have been working with the PSNI to patrol student residential areas of their Borough.

There were 24 planned patrols in 2017/18. Patrols focus on issues including antisocial behaviour, noise nuisance, drinking in public places and personal and property safety. This initiative also included attending student induction days with PSNI at University of Ulster Coleraine.

The report analyses noise complaints received by all 11 councils in Northern Ireland between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018.

During this period 11,766 noise complaints were received in Northern Ireland. This is a 2.8% decrease in the total number of complaints received compared to the previous year.

There has been a 7.2% increase in the number of notices served this year (607 served in 2017/18 and 566 served in 2016/17).

There were two prosecutions for the 2017/18 year, compared to one prosecution in 2016/17 and 2015/16 and five in 2014/15.

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