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  • FIRST POST
    • GreenBean100
    • By GreenBean100 8th Jan 18, 4:17 PM
    • 1Posts
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    GreenBean100
    Fined for Car alarm?!
    • #1
    • 8th Jan 18, 4:17 PM
    Fined for Car alarm?! 8th Jan 18 at 4:17 PM
    Hi Guys,
    New to this forum but in need of your advice. Was on holiday over the summer and apparently my car alarm had been going off in the early hours of the morning. The council then sent their enviromental team to silence it by disconnecting the battery. Only found about all this on my return a month later.

    Took the car to a mechanic friend to try figure out why it may have been going off and he suggested there may have been an attempted break in through O/S window thus damaging alarm loop.

    Have since received a letter from council saying i should reimburse them for their costs. I replied initially saying that there were signs of attempted theft/vandalism and therefore could not take responsibility. Alarm was working as it should. They've now replied saying its my responsibility regardless. Really? Not sure I buy that. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks all!
Page 1
    • wgl2014
    • By wgl2014 8th Jan 18, 5:16 PM
    • 482 Posts
    • 291 Thanks
    wgl2014
    • #2
    • 8th Jan 18, 5:16 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Jan 18, 5:16 PM
    Do the council say under what legislation they are requiring payment?

    If they are just asking nicely then feel free to ignore.
    • arcon5
    • By arcon5 8th Jan 18, 5:23 PM
    • 13,280 Posts
    • 8,414 Thanks
    arcon5
    • #3
    • 8th Jan 18, 5:23 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Jan 18, 5:23 PM
    How did they disconnect the battery? As they are not exactly accessible without access to the vehicle, either bonnet or boot depending on car
    • Nobbie1967
    • By Nobbie1967 8th Jan 18, 5:54 PM
    • 690 Posts
    • 786 Thanks
    Nobbie1967
    • #4
    • 8th Jan 18, 5:54 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Jan 18, 5:54 PM
    Have you reported the attempted theft to your insurance company? They may payout for the costs incurred in silencing the alarm if it was the result of attempted theft.
    • Johno100
    • By Johno100 8th Jan 18, 5:54 PM
    • 3,369 Posts
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    Johno100
    • #5
    • 8th Jan 18, 5:54 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Jan 18, 5:54 PM
    Did you report the attemped break into your vehicle to the police and get an incident/crime number at the time? If you did that might strengthen your case.

    How much money are they after?
    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 8th Jan 18, 5:56 PM
    • 34,001 Posts
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    Quentin
    • #6
    • 8th Jan 18, 5:56 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Jan 18, 5:56 PM
    Councils are entitled to pass on the costs to you to be reimbursed.

    It's not a fine.

    But you can't expect your fellow tax payers to foot the bill you caused by leaving your car alarmed and not leaving your key with someone to silence it

    Same thing happens if you go on holiday and your house alarm has to be silenced
    • arcon5
    • By arcon5 8th Jan 18, 7:14 PM
    • 13,280 Posts
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    arcon5
    • #7
    • 8th Jan 18, 7:14 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Jan 18, 7:14 PM
    It's a ridiculous bill I hope you win your case with them.

    Councils like other public services are billing people more and more often nowadays - despite the fact as a tax payer it is also you that pays in to the pot that funds their services.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 8th Jan 18, 7:45 PM
    • 16,065 Posts
    • 14,351 Thanks
    AdrianC
    • #8
    • 8th Jan 18, 7:45 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Jan 18, 7:45 PM
    Took the car to a mechanic friend to try figure out why it may have been going off and he suggested there may have been an attempted break in through O/S window thus damaging alarm loop.
    Originally posted by GreenBean100
    This makes no sense. Alarms sense disturbance by voltage drop, by vehicle body movement, and by changes in the ultrasonic echoes around the car. On the whole, they don't have "loops" in windows, with the exception of some body side glass on estate cars - which is broken when the window is broken. That apart, the alarm should silence and reset itself after sounding for a period, as explained above.

    Is this a factory-fit alarm, or aftermarket? Was the glass broken?
    • societys child
    • By societys child 8th Jan 18, 7:55 PM
    • 4,949 Posts
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    societys child
    • #9
    • 8th Jan 18, 7:55 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Jan 18, 7:55 PM
    The council were contacted, attended, and silenced it, so it appears it was sounding for quite some?
    Alarms fitted to your home/business or vehicle should not become a source of nuisance to your neighbours, you have a legal responsibility to ensure that any alarm activated should ring for:
    • a maximum 20 minutes – home/business; and
    • your vehicle alarm should have a 5 minute cut-out device fitted.
    Don't go away on holiday without notifying your neighbour or a contact - nominate a key holder who lives locally.
    https://cms.manchester.gov.uk/info/100006/environmental_problems/2956/tackle_a_noise_problem/3

    Oops, originally quoted Aussie legislation reposted with UK law (it's been a long day)
    Last edited by societys child; 08-01-2018 at 8:12 PM.

    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 8th Jan 18, 9:05 PM
    • 2,954 Posts
    • 3,062 Thanks
    cjdavies
    I replied initially saying that there were signs of attempted theft/vandalism and therefore could not take responsibility. Alarm was working as it should. They've now replied saying its my responsibility regardless. Really? Not sure I buy that. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks all!
    Originally posted by GreenBean100
    Did you leave the car key with anyone for situations like this when away?
    Last edited by cjdavies; 09-01-2018 at 4:14 PM.
    • EdGasketTheSecond
    • By EdGasketTheSecond 8th Jan 18, 9:51 PM
    • 376 Posts
    • 212 Thanks
    EdGasketTheSecond
    How can the council disconnect the battery without breaking in themselves? Also alarms often have their own battery backup so that wouldn't have necessarily silenced the alarm immediately.
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 8th Jan 18, 10:41 PM
    • 1,927 Posts
    • 1,373 Thanks
    Tarambor
    It's a ridiculous bill
    Originally posted by arcon5
    Tell that to all the neighbours who had their entire night disturbed.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 9th Jan 18, 7:58 AM
    • 16,065 Posts
    • 14,351 Thanks
    AdrianC
    How can the council disconnect the battery without breaking in themselves?
    Originally posted by EdGasketTheSecond
    It's rarely hard to open the bonnet from outside.

    Also alarms often have their own battery backup so that wouldn't have necessarily silenced the alarm immediately.
    Sure, but that battery-backed sounder has a very finite capacity.
    • Aretnap
    • By Aretnap 9th Jan 18, 9:31 AM
    • 2,897 Posts
    • 2,398 Thanks
    Aretnap
    Do the council say under what legislation they are requiring payment?
    Originally posted by wgl2014
    I believe it's the Environmental Protection Act 1990, as amended by the Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act 1993. Which basically gives councils the power to deal with noise emanating from a car which is causing a nuisance (which would certainly include a car alarm going off in the jmiddle of the night repeatedly or for a long period) and gives them the right to recover the costs incurred from the vehicle owner. There doesn't appear to be any requirement for the vehicle owner to be directly to blame for the alarm going off.

    Agree that it's worth looking into whether your insurance will cover this as an expense resulting from vandalism or attempted theft, though if the amount is fairly small and/or you have a large excess it may be better not to involve youe insurers.
    • m0bov
    • By m0bov 9th Jan 18, 12:25 PM
    • 1,174 Posts
    • 792 Thanks
    m0bov
    Disconnecting the battery would have caused the alarm to sound anyway, they have a built in battery. Have they damaged the car?
    • Manxman in exile
    • By Manxman in exile 9th Jan 18, 1:27 PM
    • 1,117 Posts
    • 765 Thanks
    Manxman in exile
    Did you leave the car key with anyone for situations like this when anyway?
    Originally posted by cjdavies

    It would never occur to me to do this. Is it recommended?
    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 9th Jan 18, 1:51 PM
    • 34,001 Posts
    • 17,941 Thanks
    Quentin
    Of course. Just like you should leave someone a house key and the code to silence the house alarm.

    Otherwise expect the neighborhood to get the council to silence the noise and send you a bill
    • facade
    • By facade 9th Jan 18, 2:45 PM
    • 2,963 Posts
    • 1,509 Thanks
    facade
    Of course. Just like you should leave someone a house key and the code to silence the house alarm.

    Otherwise expect the neighborhood to get the council to silence the noise and send you a bill
    Originally posted by Quentin

    House alarms made since 2002 stop sounding after 20 minutes of being ignored, and just forlornly flash the light to tell you that you have likely been burgled and no-one cared. The relevant standards are BS4737 and DD 243.

    If the alarm causes a statutory nuisance, councils can apply for a Warrant from the Duty Magistrate to enter the premises to silence it, and charge the householder. I do believe that the Police have to be satisfied that there isn't an intruder first, so that could take between a few hours to a few days


    A car alarm should only reset itself a couple of times before giving up, depends on the make. If it keeps on sounding, there is something wrong with the alarm (usually it is a Vauxhall in my experience )
    I want to go back to The Olden Days, when every single thing that I can think of was better.....

    (except air quality and Medical Science )
    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 9th Jan 18, 4:17 PM
    • 2,954 Posts
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    cjdavies
    It would never occur to me to do this. Is it recommended?
    Originally posted by Manxman in exile
    Going by what happened to OP you would think so.
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