What authorities actually say you should do if you hear screaming next door?

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Police car lights in night time, crime scene, night patrolling the city. Abstract blurry image.
Should you call the police if you hear worrying noises next door? (Picture: Getty)

Boris Johnson’s neighbours have come under fire from some people for calling the police, but when it comes to hearing screaming next door, what is the official advice?

Tom Penn, who called police after hearing ‘screaming’ and ‘crashing’ at the home the wannabe Prime Minister shares with girlfriend Carrie Symonds in the early hours of Friday morning, also recorded the altercation and told the Guardian about the alleged disturbance.

He has been forced to defend his actions after critics questioned his motives.

They included Brexit minister James Cleverly, who said: "The police were called by the same person who recorded Boris and gave the story to the Guardian”.

But when it comes to official advice, what should people do if they hear screaming and noise next door?

British Conservative Party leadership and prime minister contender Boris Johnson leaves home in south London, Friday, June 21, 2019. Britain's next leader will be chosen by about 160,000 members of the governing Conservative Party in a runoff between two candidates: former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and current Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Neighbours of Boris Johnson have come under fire for calling police after hearing screaming from the home he shares with Carrie Symonds (Picture: AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

According to the Government website, if you think you or someone else are in immediate danger, or a crime is in progress, you should dial 999.

The same goes if you suspect domestic abuse or violence.


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The website says: “Domestic abuse or violence is a crime and should be reported to the police - there are also other organisations who can offer you help and support.

“Call 999 if it’s an emergency or you’re in immediate danger.”

It also suggests contacting your local neighbourhood policing team if it’s not an emergency.

Young caucasian man in a gray t-shirt smartphone indoors.
Most organisation advise calling police if you suspect violence or a crime (Picture: Getty)

Neighbourhood Watch, the crime prevention movement in England and Wales, which incorporates 2.3 million member households, says: “If you believe someone is in immediate danger, call the police on 999.”

Again, it advises that if you are a “concerned friend or neighbour” and suspect someone is suffering some kind of abuse, you can report your concerns to the police or a specialist organisation.

Citizens Advice, a network of 316 independent charities throughout the UK that give free, confidential information and advice to assist people with money, legal, consumer and other problems, also has advice if you are concerned.

It says: “Contact the police if you think your neighbour has broken the law - for example, they’ve been violent or threatening.

“Call 999 if the crime is still happening or 101 to report a crime later.”

Citizens advice also advises to keep records of what happened that could be used if taken further.

Mr Penn has today defended his decision to reveal details of the incident to the Guardian.

He said: "Once clear that no-one was harmed, I contacted the Guardian, as I felt it was of important public interest.

"I believe it is reasonable for someone who is likely to become our next prime minister to be held accountable for all of their words, actions and behaviours.”

He said: "After a loud scream and banging, followed by silence, I ran upstairs, and with my wife agreed that we should check on our neighbours.

"I knocked three times at their front door, but there was no response. I went back upstairs into my flat, and we agreed that we should call the police.

"The police arrived within five minutes. Our call was made anonymously and no names were given to the police. They subsequently called back to thank us for reporting, and to let us know that nobody was harmed.

"To be clear, the recordings were of the noise within my own home. My sole concern up until this point was the welfare and safety of our neighbours. I hope that anybody would have done the same thing.

The Metropolitan Police said they were alerted by a caller who "was concerned for the welfare of a female neighbour".

The Guardian newspaper said it had heard a recording of the incident in which Mr Johnson could allegedly be heard saying "get off my f****** laptop" before a loud crashing noise.

Ms Symonds can be heard telling Mr Johnson to "get off me" and "get out of my flat", the newspaper reported.

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