Noise nuisance and anti-social behaviour

The university Community Wellbeing team works closely with our external partners at Runnymede Borough Council Environmental Health, Surrey Police and Safer Runnymede over reports of noise nuisance and anti-social behaviour involving students. 

  • If noise nuisance is emanating from domestic premises the enforcement responsibilities lie with Runnymede Borough Council Environmental Health.  
  • When a crime (including public order offences) is suspected to have taken place the report should be made to Surrey Police.
  • Reports of perceived anti-social behaviour should be made to Safer Runnymede (RBC)
  • Any reports involving Royal Holloway students should be made to the Community & Wellbeing office.

To help us all address community concerns reports should be made as below:

Reporting noise nuisance to Environmental Health, Runnymede Borough Council

Noise from domestic or commercial premises

  • During normal office hours (9am – 5pm):  01932 425131
  • Outside normal office hours, contact Safer Runnymede: 01932 838383.  The call will be logged and appropriate action taken depending on the severity and nature of the call.

Crime including Public Order offences to Surrey Police

Contact Surrey Police by calling

  • 999 in an emergency -  for example a crime is in progress or someone’s life is in danger.
  • 101 for all other non-urgent Police matters.

Issues involving students to Royal Holloway, University of London  

If you believe community issues involve students from Royal Holloway, University of London please also report it to the Community Wellbeing team.

Anti-social behaviour to Safer Runnymede, Runnymede Borough Council 

Anti-social behaviour issues can be reported to Safer Runnymede online through the ‘Report it’ page at

If Anti Social Behaviour is taking place in sight of a CCTV Camera, Safer Runnymede can be alerted by texting the location and description of the problem to 07766 332288. 

During office hours the Community Safety Officer can be contacted on 01932 425065 to discuss ASB issues.

What constitues a statutory nuisance? 

Source: Runnymede Borough Council 

"In making a judgement on whether the noise affecting you is just an inconvenience rather than a statutory nuisance, reference has to be made to the duration, level and number of times in a set period that nuisance is caused.  If, however, the noise were an one off such as a 40th Birthday Party for example, this is less likely to be viewed as a statutory nuisance.  

There is no legal right to absolute silence in the UK and there are no legally set noise levels that constitute a nuisance (unlike levels for health and safety in the work place).  

Everyone reacts differently to different noise levels, some may have a greater expectation of quiet than others.  In determining whether noise is a statutory nuisance, a council officer has to consider if the noise affecting the complainant would similarly affect the 'average person'.  They also have to consider case law (i.e. precedents set by the court rulings). Arrangements may also be made by officers to attend out of office hours where this is determined to be necessary."

  • For more advice please contact Environmental Health on 01932 425131 

Royal Holloway University of London in the community

Royal Holloway, University of London has been a significant presence in the communities of Englefield Green and Egham for well over 100 years now and the College takes its relationship with the community exceptionally seriously.  We contribute to the local economy and commuity in a number of ways including financial, economic and volunteering input.

Royal Holloway has one of the highest proportion of students in residence of all British universities.  Additionally we are confident that the vast majority of our non-resident students - and there are approximately 2,500 of them living in the local community - behave impeccably.  The local Police and Environmental Health teams report that our students generally cause far fewer complaints than tenants in other parts of the borough and are more likely to be the victims of crime rather than the perpetrators.  

However we are aware that there can be occasional disputes between our students and other local residents and there will undoubtedly always be some students who act thoughtlessly so the university is keen to help ensure these problems are minimised and committed to do everything within our power to resolve difficulties.  Our students are adults, paying under a voluntary contract for their education with us and the university's legal right to control their behaviour off-campus is limited.  We therefore try to proceed in the first instance by encouraging acceptable behaviour.  If encouragement fails, we seek to work in partnership with the Police and Borough Council in taking further steps as this maximises our legal authority.  

The following information explains what steps can be taken if you are experiencing particular issues or have concerns.

How we help with....noise complaints 

The university works hard to provide students with information and advice about the need to limit noise when they are in the local community. Every year this process has to start afresh as our students change. However the university will take active steps to address noise issues caused by students.

Unreasonable noise coming from an identifiable house is comparatively easy to address. Disturbance from a student house can be reported to us by email.  Depending on the circumstances involved, we will write to the household involved or arrange a visit to speak to them about why this is unacceptable and how they should rectify the situation. We will feedback to the complainant to advise them of the steps that have been taken and continue to monitor the household, with the support of Environmental Health at Runnymede Borough Council where necessary.

For the minority of students who are intent on behaving unreasonably despite advice, the solution is in the hands of the Police and Environmental Health.  They work exceptionally closely with our community team. As we just have the right to pass judgement on students in matters directly affecting us, we can only use our regulations to discipline students for behaviour off-campus with Police / Local Authority involvement. Once we have statutory confirmation of anti-social behaviour, we can and will discipline students for bringing the university into disrepute by actively breaking the law. This works well when the complaint is reasonable and the complainant involves the authorities at an early stage. 

Transient noise is a more difficult issue as it is very difficult to identify groups walking off-campus or to secure statutory corroboration.  Here we rely on education and venue management including control on drinking levels, calming down periods, use of buses to take students home, gate closure to prevent late night egress straight into residential areas and campaigns about walking quietly. 

How we help with....student parties

We know that students living locally can organise a number of social events at home, and most go off without any problem.  However, occasionally things go wrong causing damage to student houses and serious inconvenience to neighbours.  The University takes positive steps to try to avert this.

We are aware that there is no right to party in law – in fact people are entitled to expect a reasonable degree of peace in a residential area. The University’s Community Wellbeing team visit students living locally to stress the importance of ensuring parties do not cause any disturbance and are only held with their neighbours’ prior agreement.  We make sure students are advised that people are more likely to feel relaxed about parties that are planned for Fridays or Saturdays rather than before work or school days, will end at a reasonable time and are occasional rather than regular occurrences.

If, despite our best efforts, things have gone wrong, any disturbance can be reported to us by email  We will meet the students involved promptly and seek reconciliation.  In nine times out of ten lessons are learned, apologies accepted and mistakes are not repeated. When occasionally students seem intent on ignoring neighbours’ concerns and repeatedly cause disturbance, we work together with the Police and Environmental Health. We have, as the last resort, invoked our right to terminate the university registration of antisocial students. However we are pleased to note this is required very rarely, as even the wildest party is not worth sacrificing the hours of work and the hard-earned money that a degree now requires.

How we help with....parking concerns 

Parking is one of the most difficult issues to manage. At Royal Holloway, we try our best to reconcile the conflicting demands of local residents, students and the local authority, with limited powers at our disposal. We provide a large amount of parking for students who travel in to campus from more than 1.5 miles away. Furthermore, to reduce the need for cars, the university has established excellent private and public transport links from the campus and has done everything possible to encourage cycling with ample bike storage and marked cycle routes.

Students living in halls are only permitted to bring a car to the area if they live at Kingswood halls, where parking is available. These halls are connected to the main campus by frequent buses. It remains legal for students to leave a vehicle parked in local streets provided that it is taxed, insured and not causing an obstruction. It can be difficult for us to identify these cars, unless they are parked illegally or causing an obstruction.  In that case, the Police – with whom we work very closely – are allowed to identify the owner. We are not allowed to expel these students, exclude them from lectures or confiscate their cars. However, we can impose proportionate penalties and we have required students who persistently offend to move out of campus accommodation.

The other problem is when members of a student household keep more cars at their house than is reasonable. In these cases, the university’s approach is to work with landlords to encourage them to set reasonable rules for their tenants and enforce these. We also visit the households and discuss the issue with the students involved. We hope that both local residents and our students are reassured that we take this issue very seriously and explore every avenue to minimise the difficulties while being fair to all the parties involved. If you have any constructive suggestions, please get in touch with at by phone on 01784 276612.

How we help with....reports of anti-social behaviour 

Students traditionally have a reputation for indulging in occasional bad behaviour – often linked to alcohol consumption. The university is extremely keen to be a good neighbour. We inform students about the importance of considerate behaviour and work closely with the Students’ Union to encourage students to socialise on our campus and ensure their departure at the end of evening events is well-managed. Where minor incidents do occur, the university works closely alongside the authorities to put matters right and in the vast majority of cases student misbehaviour is resolved amicably with apologies and agreements to behave appropriately. 

Occasionally incidents are more serious, or misbehaviour is persistent and then we are resolute in addressing it. The university powers are not unlimited in this area; we cannot level disproportionate punishments on our students or require them to show a higher standard of behaviour than other citizens. When there is an allegation of student misbehaviour off-campus, we must rely on the Police and the local authority to corroborate that there has truly been anti-social conduct. However, students generally prefer to be disciplined by the university rather than through the Courts, since, although university fines tend to be greater, no criminal record is involved.

Hopefully we will continue to avoid seeing manifestations of the poor student behaviour that is reported elsewhere in the country. If, however, you do have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the university community wellbeing team at or on 01784 276612 who will take every appropriate action to resolve matters.

How we help with....crime prevention  

Students have disposable income, even if it is from loans they will have to repay in time, and many of their possessions are new. Added to this, they are often new to the area – and possibly the country –and may still be getting used to living independently. Consequently, there is a risk that they could be victims of opportunist crime. We do not want to see our students get caught in this way or draw petty criminals to the area.

With the help of the Students’ Union and the Police, we support a number of initiatives devised to encourage our students to look after themselves and their possessions. Raising awareness is a vital component of this strategy. We also have a rapid system for reporting any incidents that do occur and the excellent work of our local Police ensures that crime is kept to a minimum. The university's students report that they feel they live in a very safe area and in a recent survey Egham was found to be the safest area for students to live in England and Wales.

What about the other side of the issue – the criminal behaviour of a small minority of our students? As achieving a place at the university and completing a degree requires a considerable investment of time and money, no student is likely to jeopardise their place with us lightly.  We have been pleased to find that students very rarely get on the wrong side of the law. We know this because if one of our students is involved in a crime, the university has to be informed - and it takes such cases very seriously.  We have the power to review the student’s registration and a termination or lengthy suspension of registration is the usual outcome.

If a student comes to the university with a conviction, they are not rejected automatically as we consider each case individually. However, if admitted, these students are made fully aware that any further criminal behaviour will result in prompt de-registration. The university is pleased that its work with the Police and the local community has to date minimised student involvement with crime – whether as victims or as offenders.

How we help with....general community concerns 

Driving through Egham or Englefield Green at 02:00 on a term night, you will find everything closed and the streets largely deserted. Coming onto campus, there will be people around; students studying or chatting in common rooms, the sound of music coming occasionally from student accommodation, taxis and pizza vans coming and going. Clearly student life can differ from non-student life. Where the two lifestyles meet – on the campus borders – consideration is needed on both sides. Cars, shopping trolleys and over exuberant behaviour are the main points of disagreement.

The unrestricted local roads can seem an open invitation to students who cannot keep cars on campus because of our planning restrictions. In partnership with the Police and Council, we do everything we can to discourage students from bringing cars. The feedback is that generally this works and with students away 22 weeks of the year, the problem is contained and the expense and inconvenience of implementing controlled parking zones can be avoided. Shopping trolleys are a perennial nuisance, but we chase up any student houses that are associated with them and we arrange for the retrieval of any we are informed about.

Every year we send out information to the students moving into private housing off-campus for the first time and those returning that encourages positive behaviour in the community.  This process has to start afresh as our students change. However any incidents or concerns can be reported to us by email or by phone on 01784 276612.






Royal Holloway, University of London logo
Partnership leaflet 


Noise Nuisance leaflet 


prepared by RBC Environmental Health, Safer Runnymede, Surrey Police and Royal Holloway University of London in 2009, last reviewed in 2015. 


f you require further help or advice, please contact the Community & Wellbeing team:


01784 276612.