Noise Abatement Act on front burner

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Consultations with key stakeholders from the Ministries of Entertainment, Local Government, and National Security are to begin regarding amendment to the Noise Abatement Act and the hosting of entertainment activities.

Opening the 2019/20 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, Minister of National Security, Dr Horace Chang, said in the current legislation there is always conflict between promoters and members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

Under the Act, entertainment sessions must end at midnight on weekdays and at 2:00 am on weekends

"I cannot ask the police to use discretion, the law says so. I have, therefore, requested the minister of entertainment to consult with the minister of local government and we will come with an appropriate amendment to the law and establish a protocol for the conduct of entertainment activities," he said.

He said standards and schedules can be established so that decibel levels can be reduced at specific times.

"If you have a house party, you know at certain times the decibel levels [can be reduced], if you are on a playfield and you are 200 yards from homes, you can have another level at 2:00 am, and if you are far away on the Dyke Road, Richmond or Catherine Hall, you can go all night and raise the decibel level, but we must lay it out in the schedule governing the law, so that they can do it legally," he said.

He said entertainment is one of Jamaica's biggest industries, which offers opportunities to many from the various socio-economic groups.

The Noise Abatement Act was last amended in 1997.