Since the reopening of the entertainment industry, which took a multi-million dollar loss due to the COVID-19 lockdown, residents of Eastwood Park community are complaining about the return of night noise.
The community has been battling night noise and heavy commercialisation for decades with little success and hardly any help from the authority, namely the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) and the police.
During the evenings, parking lots of a number of businesses or any open space in the area are converted to dancehalls where music blares throughout the night until daybreak.
From Red Hills Road in the north to Molynes Road in the south, to Eastwood Park Road in the east and everything in between the complaint of residents is the same — night noise.
According to residents, from Wednesday to Monday morning every open space within the Eastwood Park community is used to host some type of event where loud music is being played.
“Dem need fi tun dung the loud noise at night. We don’t get one night of rest. When the loud, dutty music naw come from top of Westminster [Road] is Cassiadene [Avenue]. No [expletive] man is like we are nobody,” Sheree Douglas a resident told Loop News.
Douglas said that she has a daughter who will be sitting CAPE and a son and husband who work in the family business in the days, and need the quiet time to rest and study.
A male resident said he feels dejected over the treatment of the authorities in not trying to protect their community. “We fought the commercialisation of our community and the KSAMC — well it was KSAC then — did nothing to help us. They only cared about collecting their building fees. Now the parking lots of these commercial spaces are being used to host these parties,” said the man who asked not to be named.
The senior accountant with a state agency said that he grew up in the community, which is centrally located in the Corporate Area.
“Where our community is situated — as everyone knows — we can walk to Half Way Tree which is a major commercial centre. We are ideally located and we are suffering because of it. The noise is too much and the police are not doing anything about it,” he said.
According to residents, when the police are called to address the situation, the music would be turned back up after they leave. On other occasions, residents are reportedly told that there are not enough vehicles to take police to offending locations. Many of the locations are within walking distance of the Half-Way Tree Police Station.
Several calls to the phones of St Andrew Central Police Division head Senior Superintendent Marlon Nesbeth for comment went unanswered.
President of the Eastwood Park Citizen Association, Roger McKenzie, is livid that the sector has reopened with no protection from the authority.
“[The] JCF has one patrol car serving all of the section [from] as far as Papine to Eastwood Park Gardens,” McKenzie said.
He said the JCF refuses to uphold the lawregulation regarding violation of the Noise Abatement Act.
McKenzie said in some sections of the community people have to endure loud music every day and rowdy patrons while the lucky ones, three to four days per week. McKenzie said that although the police have gone to one location several times about loud music, the JCF refuses to seize sound system equipment.
“Same as KSAMC civil servants, the mayor approves the violation by ignoring the citizens. The authorities ignore the plea and rights of those who contributed to their monthly salaries for over a decade,” he added.
“In 2019, a signed signature petition of over two dozen residents, or approximately 10 per cent of the affected residential section of the community, was presented to the SSP in charge of the police station that is nearest to the community border of Eastwood Park Gardens,” McKenzie said, adding that nothing has been done to date.