Private Bill could end 'ghetto-blaster' nuisance

COLIN BROWN

Chief Political Correspondent

"Ghetto-blasters" could be confiscated under new laws being promoted by the Department of Environment to crack down on noisy parties.

Backbenchers who came high in the ballot of MPs for the right to introduce Private Member's Bills are being asked to take up proposals to outlaw noisy parties.

The legislation would set out a new offence for committing unacceptable levels of noise at night and would carry power temporarily to confiscate sound equipment.

It follows growing concern at the plight of residents, particularly in high-rise flats, who are driven to extreme lengths to protest about noisy parties which are preventing them from sleeping. In one case, a man firebombed a flat which led to a woman dying when she fell from a window in the panic.

The man protested that he had been unable to sleep because of the persistent noise. The measure would have widespread public support and would allow tenants to call in the police, instead of being forced to resort to the civil law and environmental officers employed by local authorities.

The measure, which follows a consultation exercise, is also certain to have Labour support. Jack Straw, the party's home affairs spokesman, has led the campaign for action against bad neighbours. If one of the 20 MPs in the ballot takes up the Bill it could become law by next summer.

The Home Office is also seeking a sponsor for a Bill to outlaw sex tourism. The department's draft Bill would extend the law on conspiracy to make it an offence to conspire to commit a sexual offence abroad or incite others to commit a crime. It could carry a life sentence and those committing unlawful sexual intercourse with children under 13 would face 10 years imprisonment.

The legislation, which would treat crimes abroad as if they had been committed in Britain, is intended to answer public revulsion at organised sex trips to the Far East, including Bangkok, by paedophile rings.

The Department of Transport is also hoping to find a sponsor among the MPs in the ballot for a Bill to licence mini-cabs in London. Some black cab drivers are opposed to such a measure because they believe it will give official sanction for the first time to the mini-cab trade.

Ministers believe licensing mini-cabs will help to impose regulations which could make it safer for passengers. Known sex offenders, for example, could be prevented from holding licences.

The MPs whose names were drawn out of the hat have been bombarded with measures by lobby groups.

John Marshall, the Tory MP who came third in the ballot, is considering taking up the Home Office sex tourism proposals, which failed to win a place in the Queen's Speech.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Officer

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Guru Careers: Graduate Software Developer / Junior Developer

£20 - 28k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate Software Develop...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Trainee Teacher - Maths

£18000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organization is the larges...

Recruitment Genius: Delegate Telesales Executive - OTE £21,000 uncapped

£16000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: High quality, dedicated Delegat...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor