From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Public Nuisance is an Offence, Please Take Note!
Nov 2, 2011, 17:16

Disturbing the peace and tranquillity of law abiding people in their offices or homes by inconsiderate individuals is very irritating. And in Sierra Leone unfortunately, public nuisance is having a field day!


The Awareness Times is aware how busy the Attitudinal and Behavioural Change ABC secretariat is but spending a little of their precious time to sensitise people about the significance of respecting the peace and quiet of their fellow brothers and sisters would be appreciable.


This newspaper was a victim of public nuisance on Friday October 28, 2011 including many other offices around the PZ roundabout connecting Garrison Street, Wilberforce Street, Sani Abacha Street and Regent Road axis. The lives of many office workers around the PZ area were made uncomfortable as the music from the advertisers musical set became unbearably louder.


The loud music intrusion, which started at 2.30pm and continued over hour later, reached a point where people could hardly make telephone/mobile calls. The noise was so deafening that even receiving telephone/mobile calls was impossible as nothing audible could be heard from the either callers or the receivers.  The loud music made it impossible for us to concentrate in the office.


Whose party are you attending now? a London caller asked the editor that Friday afternoon.  The loud music you are hearing in London is coming from very unreasonable advertisers at PZ, the editor responded. It was no surprise when the London caller eventually suggested the enforcement of the public nuisance law.


What is public nuisance? This is a negative behaviour by people that annoys other peoples peace of mind. A court of law can order the person offending to stop, otherwise the offending person can be charged with causing a public nuisance. Playing music loudly that disturbs other people is public nuisance.It is public nuisance if some one starts playing loud music or making deafening noise in his/her home thereby irritating the neighbours. To prevent this, it is always advisable to inform your neighbours about any impending party in your homes as neighbours can take you to court if you play loud music without their consents. Public nuisance is a serious civil offence that is not taken lightly in many countries.


This newspaper is a believer in free speech but free speech has limitations.


We are not against advertisement! Far from it! But when advertisers trampled upon the rights of others like what happened at PZ that Friday, it is unacceptable.


Advertising products to the public is part of business strategy but it should be done without annoying or discomforting the peace of other people. Sellers of musical CDs should also be cautioned to discourage the playing of loud music in their stalls as it constitute public nuisance.


That is why we are calling on the government to institute stringent measures to discourage public nuisance offences by punishing anyone who abrogates this law.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.