GNBS not equipped to adjust and regulate noise meters

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By Bibi Khatoon

As authorities move to clamp down on noise nuisance, the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) says that it is not capable of adjusting and regulating the devices being used to test noise levels by the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Public Relations Officer of the GNBS, Lloyd David told News Room in an interview that while the agency regulates speed guns used by the Force, it has not yet acquired the instruments to test the accuracy of Decibel Meters.

“It is a very costly initiative to add a new calibration service to the number of services we offer,” David noted.

He was quick to point out that nevertheless, “we cannot conclude that the devices that are in use are inaccurate.”

David explained that some devices are purchased with a one-year or two-year certificate which ensures the devices’ accuracy for that period.

When the News Room contacted the EPA, an officer confirmed that the devices were purchased with a one-year certificate.

Public Relations Officer of the GNBS, Lloyd David

This means that the GNBS has one year from November 2018 to acquire the required equipment to begin calibrating Decibel Meters.

David said this process has already started. He told the News Room that the GNBS sees this as an opportunity to expand its services and is looking “at training and exploring the acquisition of the standard meter that we can do that calibration.”

Decibel Meters were given to police officers on November 22, 2018, following a training session, as authorities began clamping down on noise pollution.

However, after introducing the equipment which will tackle mostly bars and other entertainment venues, persons began raising concerns about the accuracy of the Meters.

Another issue raised is the lack of adequate consultation with promoters and others who will be affected.

Director of Hits and Jams Entertainment, Kerwin Bollers believes that a “sit-down” with promoters and the law enforcement authorities will bring a more amicable solution to the issue.

“We know there is noise nuisance enforcement in place but there is not much more information that is readily available,” Bollers told News Room.

“I think it would definitely help us to understand a little more for example if you say: in this area, this is what is allowed, in this area, this is what is allowed, these are the areas where it’s off limits, something like that will definitely help in the process,” the Entertainer said.

Director of Hits and Jams Entertainment, Kerwin Bollers

Bollers acknowledged that parties and other entertainment events affect others but he said: “You got to look on both sides of the fence.”

He pointed out that entertainment is also a major contributor to the economy and tourism.

Under the Summary Jurisdiction (Offences) Act, various forms of noise are prohibited for which persons are liable to a fine of not less than $7,000.

Section 175 of the Act states that “No person shall, in any road, street, public place or land or in any building or premises, by operating…any stereo set, jukebox, radio, wireless, loudspeaker, gramophone, amplifier, automatic piano or similar instrument of music, or by any other means whatsoever, make… any noise which shall be so loud and so continuous or repetitive as to cause a nuisance to occupants of any premises in the neighbourhood.”

Anyone found in contravention shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than $7,500 nor more than $15,000 and imprisonment for second months if repeated.

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