‘Serve and protect’?

Dear Editor,

I write to corroborate Mr Philip Allsopp’s experiences with the police sports noises (‘The police are breaking the noise nuisance law’ SN, August 12).

My father is a patient at St Joseph’s Mercy Hospital and had to endure them. When asked by his doctor how he was after his operation, he said he was in a bad way. When pressed for details, he said hooligans were disturbing him with loud ‘music.’ When informed that it was the police, he said, “Well then, they are hooligans.”

I can understand that a hospital is a defensive institution and that therefore the administration does not want to antagonise anyone, no matter how justified.

Medical personnel spend their energies dealing with the consequences of injurious actions.

However, it should be worth the effort to educate the public on the damaging effects of the kind of noise to which we are exposed today.

The kinetic energy of a bullet fired from a gun can kill when aimed properly. However, the energy from the sound blaster does not have to be aimed, and certain natural phenomena as well as architecture can even intensify sounds.

The 500 joule energy of a speeding bullet can easily be attained by just a few hours exposure to high decibel sounds.

There is another effect. People who are capable of meaningfully stringing together long sequences of constructive thought, like the two gentlemen above (often in service of our country), suffer immeasurably. This no longer seems to be understood in a quick-fix, short-answer society, where schools now teach participation in loud activity as part of culture.

Senior police officers have often said that their personnel intakes are a product of society, but they obviously feel that excuses them.

As I neared the hospital to visit my father on the day of the sports finals, a police vehicle driven by someone with stripes on his uniform, stopped suddenly in front of me near the middle of the road and proceeded to gaze intently at the track events. He obviously felt he had authority over the road. He was the police. “Serve and protect”?

Yours faithfully,
Alfred Bhulai

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