Opinion: Police is not very responsive to nuisance due to loud music

Dear editor,

I would like to ask attention for the nuisance due to loud music played at night from some bars. People in Windwardside as well as The Bottom are suffering from violations of the local ordinance.

What is the case?

In 2012, in Windwardside, there were complaints – not by me – about the bar/restaurant which is now called “Seawitch”. The police did nothing.

In 2012 I started with my first complaints to the police about the loud music from Red Rock. Nothing happened.

In 2013 there were also two nights that the noise was no longer acceptable.

After my first complaint the police passed by and the volume of the music seemed to be lowered although not substantial. If I remember well, the loud music came from a car with huge carnival speakers parked in front of Red Rock.

The second time in 2013, when it was too bad again, I called the police. They simply drove by in the car and did not do anything. I called again and then the comment of the police was that Red Rock had a license for that night.

Looking at the old but still valid local ordinance I found that even a permit is not allowing any bar to play music that loud that it is a nuisance for neighbours. It appeared that they had put the soundboxes of the restaurant even outdoors! So I called the police for a third time, told the officer on the phone that although a police car had passed by, nothing had been done by the police. And I told that lady at the police office that I very well knew, how to complain about the functioning of the police as such. Then within 15 minutes the noise stopped!!!

In 2014, I had the idea that the problem with Red Rock was solved. Until it started again. The whole neighborhood wrote and signed a petition. And be aware of this: not only residents living near the Red Rock had a private problem with the noise but also tourists renting apartments and cottages there! This is damaging the reputation of the “Unspoiled Queen” !!!

The petition has been offered to the lt. Governor but in fact with no result.

This year, on the 21st of February, there was a problem again. I sent around an email to the neighbors at 9:02 PM and believe it or not: 10 minutes later the noise of the music stopped. (I did not know by the way that it was a meeting of the political party SLP.)

But one week later things happened all over again. Apart from the vulgar noise of the people, especially the music was far too loud. It was then, that I complained again together with some neighbors. However, the loud music continued and continued. Again: I did not know, that, this time, it was WIPM that had a venue there.

Similar problems occur in The Bottom where, in the weekend, Topogigio, is keeping the village from well deserved sleep until 2 am.

Conclusion: something that is very unfair is going on, on Saba. In the past the Club Guido’s has been forced to invest in insolating their building in such a way that loud music would not be a nuisance for the neighbourhood. And this works perfectly. Not obliging competitors of Guido’s to invest in the same way and even allowing competitors/colleagues to play loud music without insolation and even with open doors and windows is in fact not only unfair but even in contradiction with the law.

There is an old but still valid local ordinance. From my personal experience, I observe that the Lieutenant Governor, being the head of the police, does not seem to be interested to apply the local laws. However, what is even more annoying for the future, is that our two political parties do not seem to consider this an issue.

I will support everyone who wants to complain about neglected complaints and petitions by our government now, when they decide to go to the Ombudsman.

 René Caderius van Veen

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6 comments

  1. In response to RENE what ever his name is I BYRON HASSELL is born on saba and I dont know where your from but last time I checked my passport says GEBOERTE OP SABA . You came and met me here on SABA and if you and your neighbors with your petitions can all come up to RED ROCK and LETS PARTY.
    (Shortened by editor)

  2. As a Saban I’m sometimes amazed by the “complaints” foreigners have about our island. After reading this article Rene Caderius van Veen is making it seem like Saba is some hoping, rocking non-stop partying island, where music is blasting all day and night. Which most definately isn’t the case. I can agree with the noise ordinance to an extent yes; however I strongly feel that Mr. Rene needs to take into account that when he moved to Saba he choose to live in a house that is close to several bars, and just bashing red rock is un called for! If his noise issues are based on the complaints he listened above I have to say Mr. Rene please get over it as by the looks of it you are just looking to complain an maybe just maybe seeking attention, which most definately won’t be positive attention either. If you listed lets say 50 or more complaints over the time frame you mentioned I would say yes you have all rights to be fed up, right now though it looks like someone needing to complain for complaining sake.

  3. Rene I find it strange with all the instances you mention that there are only a meager few per year. Example 2 in 2013….only! You chose to purchase a home near various bars, it was a personal choice. You seem to be an educated man, I’m sure you did your homework before purchasing it. And while I do not condone loud music, I would think it’s expected occasionally. My advice is to buy yourself a good pair of ear plugs, or perhaps join the folks at Red Rock on the loud nights for a drink…doesn’t have to be alcoholic.

  4. Drs René Caderius van Veen

    I’m half deaf myself, when I ly on my only working ear I have no problem at all apart from the fact that I’m living around a corner and other houses that are protecting more or less from the direct confrontation. Yes in the past a few times it was almost to crazy even for me.
    It is not me who is complaining but it is about complaints by several neighbours and mainly “Sabans” who do not like the developments in the area where they have lived for many years, but also from others. I just support their complaints by legal advice. What some apparently don’t know is, that there have been several petitions in the past, not initiated by me and signed by almost everyone in the area.
    So several comments on my article were quite misplaced.

  5. Dear mr. van Veen,

    Get your act together and don’t hide behind others. You wrote the article and you were showing your frustration. Now you try to play hide and seek.
    Be a man and stand for what you write. You just don’t like the music from Red Rock and it annoys you that you moved to a DUTCH Caribbean island where you think you could put your Dutch laws and regulations upon the locals. Well Mr. Caderius you better get used to the Caribbean life style. As they say, if you can’t beat them, just join them like Hassell suggested.

    Enjoy Saba and it’s local culture.

    SabaGuru

  6. Drs René Caderius van Veen

    People may be gratefull that Sabaguru is drawing even more attention to this subject.
    The last petition was from May 30 in 2014 and was an initiative from people who lived for generations on Saba. It has been signed by 8 inhabitants of the area who were also born on Saba plus a number of others and it has been offered to the Governor.
    In general, many Sabans are complaining about the increase of noise on Saba, mainly about loud music and not only from Red Rock but also from Scouts and in the Bottom from Topogigio (and cars of course).
    Also the complaints about Topogigio are coming from residents in The Bottom who were born on Saba and from some who are living on Saba for many years.
    This increase of noise started in about 2008 and is not only a nuisance for inhabitants but also damaging the image of Saba, being promoted for tourists as a quiet island.
    It is very regrettable that for political reasons the “new” local ordinance from 2011 has not been accepted and that everybody has to wait so long on it. (Supposing that the new ordinance will be enforced better than the current one, by the way.
    (shortened by editor)

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