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Noise Pollution - Council Not Interested


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Looking for some advice.

In a nutshell,I have been complaining to my local council for over a year about a pub that has a karaoke night on a Friday night with the music way to loud for my liking.

They said last December that a limiter would be fitted, and to date nothing has happened. Whenever I call to complain they say someone will call me back. The avg time in which these people call me back is approx 45 mins, and usually by then the music has stopped or I am told that they will not be able to get to me before it finishes at 11pm. The council extended the pubs licensing hours for music and serving of drinks despite mine and several other neighbours protests. Their reason being that no one turned up to the hearing. I didn't go as I was told I was not allowed to.

These people at the council are really p*****g me off. Their only solution to the problem is to offer to come and "take measurements".

It has got to the stage where I deliberately stay away from MY home on a Friday night.

What can I do? My last nerve has just about gone. I want them to do what they say they are going to do, and as the problem has gone on for so long with their empty promises I want financial compensation too. Does anyone have any ideas on what to do next as complaining to the council is achieving bugger all.

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Have you tried contacting one of your ward councillors? They should be listed on your council website and often hold surgeries (like MPs). I've found that council officers take matters more seriously and respond more positively when a councillor takes an interest in a matter, especially on something that has been long running.

 

Keep a record of dates, times of the noise and calls and non-response by the council.

 

There should be no excuse for their non-attendance for something that happens on a regular basis at a known time.

 

Find out when their licence is up for renewal and object

 

Hope this of help,although I know how frustrating it is getting a council to do it's job.

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Hi all!

 

Tinkerbelle,I am very sorry to read about your noise problem.

 

I have also suffered in the past with noise but this was in a block flats.

 

Your problem has to be tackled in a slightly different manner.

 

This is what I suggest you do:

 

1.Find out the name of the "Big Wig" at your local Council.

 

2.Send him/her a firm but polite letter regarding the noise problems you have and the lack of feedback from the Council.

 

3.Normally,the Council would lend you a recording device (over a few days) that nobody can tamper with and if the noise emitting from the premises exceeds x amount of decibels - the legal amount considered excessive that would trigger off the issuing of an Abatement Notice giving the bar owners a certain amount of days to remedy the situation.

 

4.The failure to refrain from excessive noise is a breach of the Abatement Notice which carries a hefty fine - not sure of the exact amount.

 

5.Another thing you should add in your letter:

 

"Unless I get some proper action in remedying the noise problem I will take the Council to the European Court of Justice because my rights as a law abiding citizen have been infringed".

 

If this does not make your Council do anything - nothing will!

 

(You do not have to actually do this(unless you want to),just make the Council feel that you are serious

about your intentions due to the fact that you are at you have had enough of the noise on one hand and you expect the Council to remedy the situation because the Council is a quasi-governmental body i.e.carries out the duties of the State to its citizens).

 

Also:

 

a.I successfully assisted one of my previous neighbours in using this method of solving a noise nuisance problem that had been ongoing for 9 years!Yes,9 years.

This elderly couple suffered noise emitting from an old factory built in a residential area despite the evidence that had been gathered confirmed that the noise was excessive - recording equipment was provided more than once to record the noise.

 

b.Briefly,the Council issued the Abatement Notice against the factory owners and made them improve the insulation,refrain from playing music very loudly and make sure that the windows facing the elderly couple's house were closed.

 

You asked about compensation - there is nothing stopping you suing the bar owners in the County Court for an "Unfixed Amount" up to £5,000.

 

In order to succeed you should explain how this noise has affected your quality of life - health and work.If you have any medical evidence in the form of a GP letter this should help you to win the case.Also,keep a log of the noise recorded on a piece of paper together with the times and dates.

 

Also,you could sue the Council.

 

However,at the moment if I were in your shoes I would concentrate on getting the noise reduced or stopped.We can help you deal with the compensation later.

 

Purchase some ear plugs from Boots so that the noise bothers you less if you stay at home on Friday.I started using ear plugs over 10 years ago when I had the problems with the noisy neighbours that lived in the flat above mine.I use earplugs to this very day because I can relax and sleep much better.As you know unwanted noise can drive one barmy!

 

Anyway,I hope you find the information/suggestions useful.

 

If you need any further help,just ask.

 

Keep us posted.

 

All the best!

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Right ive been having similar from our neighbours in our block of flats (6 flats)

 

We are on the ground floor and have to put up with:

 

Smoke coming into our flat as everyone smokes on their way in

People thundering up/down stairs

Children playing/shouting in communal areas like stairwells

People upstairs opening a bowling alley (well thats what it sounds like)

Loud music at 1am (when they get home from clubbing)

 

Basically the council wrote to everyone and they all denied it so they wrote to me saying well we asked them and their "stereo is broken so it cant be them" or "he's only 4"

 

So I went to our MP and complained and got our own case worker who keeps lobbying the council, I also went to the Chief Exectutive and they kicked someones ass too.

 

Go to the top the other people dont care and the reason that council tax is so high is that in councils it seems to take 5 people to do 1 job. Go to the top it does work I assure you a lot of things have changed round here since I started not taking NO for an answer and kicked people all over the place. Also write to them EVERY day pester pester pester

 

 

Good luck

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Hi all!

 

Well done Rich44,mate!

 

I did a similar thing with my rowdy neighbours in the block of flats - 5 flats.

 

When the Council Noise Pollution Officer arrived in my flat around 2pm - he did not have to wait long for a massive thud followed by the shouting of abuse between the couple.This officer jumped out of his skin at the time!

 

Immediately,the same officer issued an Abatement Notice on the neigbours(when it is issued it is issued on the address rather than a specific person or persons) living above me - I was on the first floor and the noise being made was on the top floor - including shouting,banging doors at and playing loud music at all hours on a daily basis.

The same noisy neighbours "had a bloody nerve and cheek" to ask if I had complained about them and I of course did not deny it.

 

 

I forget to mention before a breach of an Abatement Notice can also involve not only a fine but the removal of the equipment from the offending noise makers premises and the destruction of the equipment i.e.hi-fi system and drum set etc

 

Also,I complained to my landlord a private landlord who was a fair and sensible guy who issued them with an eviction notice.This may not be a very good idea if your landlord is not very understanding and you have a shorthold tenancy because he could end up evicting you instead because you have whinged!However,if you have security of tenure i.e.an Assured Tenancy or a Regulated Tenancy you have nothing to worry about.

 

If you are a Council or a Housing Association Tenant/Owner you can get your Council involved and can get redress through the European Convention on Human Rights ECHR laws on a much wider scale than people that own or rent their homes from private landlords due to the quasi-governmental status of the Council.

 

For anybody who is in this situation should deal with it asap because in my case I almost had a form of breakdown because I could not/did not sleep more than 3 hours per day over a period of almost 1 year.Also I had to do my course training and attend daily at 9am sharp in order to get my certificate upon completion of the course.

 

I hope anybody reading this information finds its contents useful.

 

If anybody needs any help or suggestions regarding a specific problem,just ask.

 

Finally...

 

NEVER ACCEPT BULL***T FROM ANYONE! WHETHER NOISE MAKERS OR COUNCIL EMPLOYEES.

 

That is my motto.

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Too right for too long in this country the public has turned a blind eye to all this crap, bank charges, anti-social behaviour etc and it seems to me the worm is finally turning and people are biting back if this continues in this vein and grows we could turn not only the financial aspect around but the general slide of our society around too, very interesting times for the "good guys"

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Thanks a million for this guys. Just to add a bit more info.

 

When I first contacted the council, I did it through their noise pollution contact. They sent me a sheet to keep a log of incidents. About 1 week after they sent me the info, the pub closed down for refurbishments. I wasn't aware of this until I woke up one morning and found scaffolding practically outside my kitchen window. I live on the top of a converted building.

 

It was this, along with their wretched dog that had woken me up at 4am the previous week barking up a storm, that prompted me to write to a director at the council. I included my local councilor in the email also.

 

Received a response from the Director at the council saying they had forwarded it to one of their minions. The Councilor also replied saying that it was not on and that it should be looked in to, and also told me that the pub had applied to have their hours and licence extended.

 

I don't need to tell you that hearing about the application got me in a right state. I fired off a letter objecting to their application - but it was still granted.

 

When the pub eventually re-opened to a blaze of noise and glory, I was on the phone to complain, and they sent out some woman who was just incompetent beyond belief. She told me that as I was in a converted building I was to expect SOME noise, and added "I bet you can hear the cars and lorries going past"...I mean what on earth do you say to that? I live on a main road for crissake! I felt like whacking her in the mouth but she had come with a copper. Her attitude really wound me up, as it was clear to me that she thought I was complaining about nothing.

 

I got an email a few days later from some other minion at the council who asked me to call him. I did, and he arranged to come and take "measurements". He also told me that he had told the pub that he would be coming, so I said to him "Well what's the point of that? They'll only turn it down lower!" He came, he measured, he made promises, none of which materialised.

 

He told me that they could ask the pub to move their live band to the other side of the pub so it was not on my adjoining wall if I wanted - I said Yes - brilliant idea. He said someone would be in touch to organise the fitting of a noise limiter as the setting had to be taken from my flat. He also said that anything over xx decibels (I can’t remember how much) would be considered a nuisance – and said that level equated to the humming of a fridge. Great! I thought! And happily thanked him and said “I am so glad that someone is taking this seriously”. Also, that useless woman who turned up with the copper was with him – and said not a word.

 

Well it was in October 205, that this conversation took place, and nothing has been happened since. I have called and rang and complained. They say they will send someone round but by the time they turn up it has finished – and that’s if they turn up at all. They say they can’t do anything until they witness the breach. Hello?!?!

I could go on and on about the bollox the minions at the council have come out with, but I’d be here all day.

 

I haven’t written anything down as I have called the council’s noise line, and they have my calls to them logged. It’s a regular occurrence every Friday – when I am actually in.

 

The neighbour below me agrees to my face with my complaints, but they won’t contact the council and when the chap who came with the useless woman went to speak to them, they told them that the noise doesn’t really bother them. I felt like kicking him there and then. The other neighbours just go out on a Friday and complain to the landlord. (I must add I get on very well with my landlord and he has written to the council on our behalf on more than one occasion).

 

I have been here for five years, and never had any issues with the pub until the new management took over early last year. What annoys me even more is when I try and get things off my chest with some of my friends, there are a handful of people who say that the pub was there before I came along, so I should either put up with it or move! Some friend eh! Even as I write this I can feel my blood boiling.

 

One of the noise guys asked for the pub to be served with a notice (he forwarded me the mail), but that has changed nothing. This is a bit from one of the emails I received:

 

According to the notice we served on the pub, they had to either - control the noise by reducing the volume or removing the equipment and or by fitting a noise limiting device - doing nothing is not an option. If we witness noise coming from the premises then the pub will be in breach of the statutory notice, if that happens then they could lose their equipment, get prosecuted or both. But you'll still have to let us know when they're causing problems.

 

 

How many times do I have to call them? It’s been going on since last year flipping November!!!!

 

 

I expect we now have a new councilor as the Tories are now in, and crap Labour are out – so it seems as though I am going to have start this whole wretched process again.

 

I am just fed up to the back teeth and want someone’s head to roll.

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Hi all!

 

Tinkerbelle,you have been put through hell here!

 

Anyway after reading your last post I would suggest you do the following:

 

1.Write a stern letter to Council "Big Wig" again and threaten to take the Council to the European Court on the grounds of the failure to deal with your problem as a citizen in a reasonable and sensible manner.

 

2.It may help to get the new local tory new kid on the block involved(sorry I had to say that!)When you do this,say that you are planning to take the Council to the European Court.I am sure you will get a few heads turn.

 

3.I am fairly sure that if you had to take the Council to the European Court that you would get legal aid regardless of your employment status because as individual citizens we would be at a clear disadvantage to fight the Council with its massive resources.The legal aid comes from the central european fund for EU nationals/residents to fight cases.There is also provision for compensation of say for the Council to pay you due to the negligent and incompentent manner in which

the Council has treated you as a citizen.

 

4.Find a solicitor that deals with Human Rights issues.You should at least be in a position to find out how you stand with Council - He/She should give you a free initial consulation at no cost.After you have seen him/her,tell us more so we can give you some suggestions and more guidance.

 

5.This is another suggestion - if the pub is a part of chain - complain about it to the head office(although it may be leased/rented out - the last thing they would would want is negative publicity).You may be fobbed off initially but if the they think you are going to sue(which you should mention) - they may contact the management of the pub that is causing you so much grief and hassle.

 

6.It is good that you have an understanding landlord.Get him to be witness or support you in which ever way possible i.e.letter is probably the best starting point.Also,noise nuisance can reduce the value of a property and this also maybe why he is concerned.This can only be good for you.

 

Also,

 

a.In my previous posting I mentioned the elderly couple that endured noise from a factory for 9 years - In their case,they were supplied with a recorder and it was kept in their house for several days - one time I remember the Council said that the tape had been damaged - just a bloody excuse.The second time there was adequate evidence to issue the Abatement Notice.

 

b.When an Abatement Notice is issued the folks sat the offending premises have 21 days I think not 100% sure to respond and the failure to remedy the breach could resort in a heavy fine,removal and destruction of equipment etc.In my view regarding your ,the Council employees are talking out of their a**es or could not be bothered or both.This is in the hope that you will get fed up,more likely move out of your flat away from the noise and that will be the end of the matter.

 

c.Regarding other people living in a block of flats do not be surprised as alot of people like to reap the benefits of others' efforts - this has also happened to me in the past.

 

d.Regarding friends - "A friend in need is a friend indeed". So again,do not be surprised at how sometimes people behave.

 

e.Nothing should deter you from doing something that is affecting your quality of life.

 

Anyway,we are always your friends here on this forum.

 

So anytime you need any help or just want to rant feel free to do so.

 

I hope you find the information/suggestions useful.

 

Keep us posted.

 

All the best!

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Can I also make a suggestion that has helped us in our case. Get yourself a camcorder and record EVERYTHING make sure the date and time is set on the camcorder AND set to display on the tape whilst recording.

 

I took all of this and made a lovely DVD up with it all and sent it off to the council ABATE team needless to say they took it all very seriously after this apparently not many people do this and as they have said they can only take it further if they witness it then that sorts that problem

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Thank you soooo much!

 

I am feeling ready and up for a fight with them now, and I agree - they want me to get fed up and move! Not gonna happen! Well not until I get all my charges back and can afford to start looking for somewhere to buy :p

 

Funnily enough I did mention in one of my letters to them that it's not just my life being affected, and that if I was to move out of the property - there is someone else's livelihood also at stake!

 

Again thanks to all of you for your advice and support. I no longer feel as though I am "on my own" so to speak. Can't thank you guys enough.

 

I'll be drafting a letter over the next couple of days and I'll post it here for your feedback & suggestions :)

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Can I also make a suggestion that has helped us in our case. Get yourself a camcorder and record EVERYTHING make sure the date and time is set on the camcorder AND set to display on the tape whilst recording.

 

I took all of this and made a lovely DVD up with it all and sent it off to the council ABATE team needless to say they took it all very seriously after this apparently not many people do this and as they have said they can only take it further if they witness it then that sorts that problem

 

Excellent idea! Never thought of that :D

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You could ask the coucil for a copy of enforcement notice, when it was served and the conditions attached. If they won't give you one apply for a copy under the Freedom of Information Act.

 

Write to Enviromental Dept, head your letter Freedom of Information Act and give as many details as you can.

 

That way you will be able to find out if they ever did serve notice and then start asking awkward questions as to why it hasn't been enforced.

 

As Nightmare has said you need to attack from every direction you can think of councillors, MP, European Court, the pub/brewery company. local press etc.

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I definately will.

 

They're gonna rue the day they failed to take action. I can be like a dog with a bone sometimes.

 

I actually work for a Govt Body who deals with Local Authorties, and I know they hate being called to account.

 

I had toyed with the idea of using my work email address when contacting them, as I know it will put the "frighteners" on them :rolleyes:

 

I'm still contemplating it. Good idea or not guys?

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Hi all!

 

I am very pleased you feel better - Tinkerbelle.

 

Tinkerbelle,in addition to what Rich44 and Michael Browne have said both very good ideas:

 

You could also use a CCTV system that plugs into your Video recorder and can be seen on your telly screen.I bought one when I had trouble with my neighbours - Yes another neighbour problem!

 

The CCTV system costed less than £100 and it gave very clear images in colour with a very clear sound.

 

Also,you may need a sworn statement - affidavit with a copy of the video tape - to do this also was putting myself at risk i.e.if I lied in the statement potentially I could have been thrown in prison for up to 3 months.However,it does make anyone respect and take your side more if you go to all of these lengths.

This what I needed at the time but this was signed and witnessed by a policeman in view of prosecuting a neighbour's friend for vandalism to my property.They were gang of no less than 8 or 10 youths that threatened me with all sorts of things but this did not deter or scare me.More the opposite!

 

I caught the guy "in the act" of vandalism.

 

I still have a copy of the video tape!You should also keep the mastercopy and make another copy to give to the Council if you choose to go down this route.

 

To see the neighbours' and their friends faces when they were told that I had the video evidence against them and announced by a cop was worth a million quid.

 

 

In the end I dropped the charges in return to be left alone.

 

To this very day if any of the ex-neighbours or their friends see me in the street they fear me because they do not know what evidence I recorded over time against them.ha!ha!

 

This is for me to know and them to find out- Never!

 

Regarding your employment status - In my opinion you should leave this to the last minute.

 

Personally,I never reveal all my cards at once.

 

I hope you find this information and real life experience useful.

 

If you need any more help,just ask.

 

Keep us posted.

 

All the best!

 

Tinkerbelle,I think you should try and evict the pub owners and claim the pub as compensation.ha!ha! Keep smiling!

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  • 3 months later...

Well I ended up making an official complaint about the council to my local councillors. Copied to the chief executive as well as the MP for my area. Decided to go straight to the top of the food chain.

 

The councillors expressed concern, and said it was unacceptable what has happened so far. Yesterday I received a rather "interesting" letter from one of the noise pollution officers full of untruths, about how they had been trying to contact me via phone and email and have been unable to. Yeah right :mad:

 

I am absolutely fuming, but at the same time looking forward to exposing them for being so economical with the truth, and for not having the gumption to know that it is not a good idea to put something in writing that they can't back up.

 

Despite me telling them in my official complaint that I will only communicate with them in writing as previous attempts to resolve the matter via phone failed, this bright spark at the council who wrote to me, littered his letter with all sorts of numbers that I should ring to "discuss the matter". Yeah, like hell I am!

 

They are not gonna know what's hit em by the time I've finished with them.

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  • 5 years later...

Hi Tinkerbelle,

 

I see this is a very old thread but I'm hoping this message will you as I'm curious to know the outcome of your noise nuisance problem with the local Council.

 

I'm in a similar situation with my Council which has gone on for FIVE YEARS and I'm now having to take the Council to court probably.

 

Would love to compare notes with you!

 

Kind Regards,

 

Paul

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Hello Paul and welcome to CAG.

 

It's always a shame when people don't update their threads to help others.

 

If you click on Tinkerbelle's username, you'll see that she hasn't been here since October 2008, so it's hard to know if she'll reply to you.

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi Know this is an old thread but there is another solution ask for a review of the premises licence, interested parties (ie those living or working in the vicinity of the premise) may ask for a review, as can the responsible authorities, EH, police, Fire, trading standards etc. Contact your local licensing deptarment for more information, I could put it all here but it would take to long (I am an ex licensing officer) and the Licensing Act is my pet subject, sad I know.

If I have been of any help, please click on my star and let me know, thank you.

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From my own experience dealing with the Council over a noise nuisance problem, it seems to me their procedures, or rather the operating procedures of local Environmental Health Departments is too restrictive to be effective. They seem to adopt a very restrictive way of gathering evidence which in my case made it virtually impossible to get any enforcement action taken, even after I got a Noise Abatement notice issued by Environmental Health.

 

This in my opinion makes the Council and Environmental Health toothless and sends out entirely the wrong message to the perpetrators of noise nuisance. The Council just doesn't seem to appreciate how devastating it can be on someones life and health having to put up with a constant noise nuisance. I think if they had to live with it on a daily basis they would be more inclined to take a more proactive approach at dealing with it.

 

Of course, I have made all these comments and some suggestions to the Council and Environmental Health but they fall on deaf ears. I think perhaps we need to be lobbying the Department for Communities and Local Government for some major changes to how Environmental Health operates and carries out its duties.

 

In my own case (which is still ongoing, five years on) which concerns a nuisance neighbour who plays loud vibrating bass music all day, every day, the Council was astonishingly more concerned at times with the rights of the tenant than my rights. If I had my way, I would introduce legislation that gives Council's and Environmental Health the powers to install the monitoring equipment on the premises (including residential) of anyone who gets issued an Abatement Notice, rather than victims having to go through all the nonsense of having it installed in their homes every 3 weeks and two witnesses coming out etc.

 

That said, not all Council's are the same and I know from Googling that some Council's are very effective and thorough at dealing with persistent nuisances and take equipment and impose large fines etc. I just wish mine was the same!

Edited by morphix
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Just to take this discussion a bit further...the crux of the problem for me too with Environmental Health is their rigid definition of what constitutes a "statutory noise nuisance". I have looked at the legal definition under the Environmental Health Act 1990 and it certainly looks flexible enough to me to be applied to many different situations where you're experiencing a frequent loud noise that is unreasonable and interferes with the use and enjoyment of your home.

 

I'm actually in a bitter legal battle now with both my County Council's Environmental Health Department and also my local Council authority over their handling of my complaint with the nuisance tenant. And although I haven't resolved my complaint fully, I can tell you that going after the Council and threatening legal action in the County Court certainly gets them to pull their finger out. I know a bit about the law and have had experience dealing with Small Claims. What many people don't realise is that the County Court can issue Court injunctions against not only parties responsible for noise, but also against Council's and other bodies for failing to deal with it. An Injunction backed up with a fine of up to £5,000!

 

An injunction can be used to make someone or some business desist from causing noise nuisance, but they can also be used to force Council's, Housing Authorities and landlords to take action to deal with the nuisance. Getting a court injunction is not that difficult or expensive either with the fixed fee system at County Courts. It's no different to making a Small Claims, you just fill out the form and say you want a court injunction. You need good evidence of course though to convince a judge.

 

For me keeping a daily diary is essential, and supporting it with audio and video recordings. When it comes to presenting it with a Court Summons you can make an sworn Affidavit as testimony and also use independent witnesses to testify with sworn statements. Another approach I have used is to call the police if the noise occurs at an unsociable hour, and make an official complaint for public disturbance. Although the police won't attend noise nuisance, they will give you a crime incident number over the phone if asked, which should add weight to the complaint when it goes to court.

 

This approach using the County Court seems a lot less daunting and complicated than the other option which is taking the perpetrators to the Magistrate Court and undergoing a proper face to face trial... although maybe some would rather enjoy that and seeing their menace face trial and justice!

Edited by morphix
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