Westminster Council is piloting a scheme to install microphones on lampposts to augment CCTV coverage with audio snooping.
Seven microphones are now in place in and around the Soho area of London. Stage two of the project will see microphones put up in "noise hotspots" in the coming months, including the Lissom Grove and Churchill Gardens housing estates.
"Currently if a resident complains about noise the offenders could have stopped by the time an official can get to the scene," said a council spokesman.
"The microphones only activate if noise levels reach above a certain threshold. There isn't someone listening in to everyone 24 hours a day."
Both the cameras and microphones can be moved and focused on any problems. The microphones will use the existing Wi-Fi network that links the cameras to Westminster's central monitoring station.
The council insists that there are no plans to introduce blanket coverage across Westminster.
One of the problems the microphone designers faced was how to deal with London's pigeons. The spokesman confirmed that the cameras had been designed "with London's avian population in mind".
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