If I Call the Police About My Neighbor to Complain About Noise What Happens?

By William McCoy

Thoughtless neighbors can be a nightmare in many ways. If your neighbor insists on playing loud music or holds parties in which guests are screaming and yelling, you may be at your wit's end. Calling the police is likely to give you some peace and quiet, but it can also escalate the situation and harm your relationship with your neighbor.

Work It Out

Once you call the police, the situation gets more serious. Before you make the decision to bring law enforcement into the equation, do what you can to solve the problem with your neighbor. If the noise takes place on a consistent basis, explain why it bothers you. Perhaps you have a small child who doesn't sleep through the night or maybe you work from home and cannot concentrate. If the noise occurred just once, consider shrugging it off and hoping it doesn't happen again.

Contacting the Police

Unless there is an emergency coinciding with the noise at your neighbor's house, don't call 911. Look up your local police department's non-emergency number. You'll still get to talk to a police operator and will be able to explain the situation. Calling the non-emergency number doesn't mean the police won't send an officer over to remedy the situation if needed.

What Happens

The police operator will ask you how you want to resolve the issue. If you've decided to call the police, it's likely because you want an officer to intervene by knocking on the neighbor's door and investigating the noise. The officer will be dispatched after you've placed your call, but because the issue isn't an emergency, it may be a considerable length of time before the officer arrives. He will make contact with your neighbor, explain that the police have received a complaint about the noise and request that the noise be lowered.

Consequences

There are numerous consequences to contacting the police about a noisy neighbor. If you were friends with your neighbor, that relationship could be harmed, as no one wants to have the police called to their home. If you're on bad terms to begin with, the relationship could suffer further. Your neighbors may seek revenge by calling the police when you're loud or may come to your house and confront you angrily.

About the Author

Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.