With Bars Closing Early, Police Receiving More Noise Complaints Skip to content

With Bars Closing Early, Police Receiving More Noise Complaints

By Larissa Kyzer

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Capital-area police have received nearly three times the number of noise complaints this summer as they did three years ago, Vísir reports. Chief Superintendent Ásgeir Þór Ásgeirsson credits the jump to an increase in house parties now that downtown bars are required to close at 11 pm, as opposed to their pre-COVID last call of 4 am.

“If bars and clubs are closed, it’s to be expected that people will do more at home and there will be more parties and things like that,” said Ásgeir Þór.

According to statistics provided by police, in 2017, there were a total of 1,363 noise complaints. In 2018, there were 1,635 noise call outs; there were 1,612 in 2019. By comparison, in just the first seven months of this year, police have already received almost the exact same number as they did for the whole of 2017: 1,349.

Most of the call outs are for noise inside residences (versus for people gathered outdoors). Just considering the summer months, there has been a steady increase in noise complaints over the years. There were 300 noise complaints from May to July 2017, 480 in 2018, and 523 in 2019. Looking at a slightly truncated period this year—May to June—there were 825 complaints, 288 for outdoor noise and 537 for noise indoors.

Ásgeir Þór urged people to be as understanding as possible. “These call-outs to homes…even if someone sleeps an hour less, it generally won’t cause them lasting harm,” he noted. “So the police are just fine with this trade-off, if there are fewer assaults but more call-outs for noise in residences, so long as there’s nothing else to it.”

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