REVEALED: Cat and mouse 'war' between police and Kavos bar owners over volume of music at pa
POLICE and bar owners in Greek party resort Kavos are locked in a never-ending game of cat and mouse over loud music, Essex News and Investigations can reveal.
Despite being infamous as a wild resort, popular with school leavers and university students, bars that open onto the main strip of the Corfu resort are limited to how loud they can play music to avoid upsetting families staying nearby.
CAT AND MOUSE: Police deal with incidents during their patrols on Kavos strip this month
After spending time in the resort this summer, Essex News and Investigations soon became aware of the apparent war of attrition between the bars and police over the volume.
Many clubs regularly flout the restrictions by blaring out the latest tracks much louder than they are supposed to, to keep the boozy punters happy, while spotters keep an eye out for the cops.
PATROL: Police stop and visit a bar during their regular 'sound patrols' of Kavos strip
We saw Greek Police regularly drive up and down the strip in 4x4 vehicles with sirens flashing, listening out for any bars breaching the limit.
However, with spotters using laser pens to warn the DJ to drop the speakers before the Greek boys in blue arrived, the bars appeared to have the upper hand... most of the time.
DROP IT: DJ at Rock Inn cuts the volume after seeing spotter's red laser light (bottom right)
In some cases bar owners have been arrested and forced to close for up to ten days at the height of the season.
A tout for one of the bars said: "This is a party resort so why do they have such a low limit? Who would come here if you didn't want loud music?"
LOOK OUT: A spotter (top) in the street outside Empire Bar and (above) with laser pen in hand
The spotters, who sit at the front of the bar or stand on the street, then give a signal to the DJ to pump the volume back up within seconds of police passing by.
The tout added: "Because there are so many bars next to each other the police find it hard to pin it down to one bar."
BLUE LIGHTS: Police noise patrols weave their way through the crowded Kavos strip
We saw several spotters this month at the front of a number of bars, often armed with a laser pen they would use to get the DJ's attention once they saw police vehicles approaching.
They then made hand signals and the volume quickly dropped.
Once police passed they made further signals and the volume gradually went back up.
A police officer said: "If we catch them breaking the limit, the owner is arrested and gets a ticket.
"If they get three tickets we close them down for ten days, and fine them."
CHECK: Noise level equipment on bar at Rock Inn (above) and staff using it before police arrive (top)
Earlier this month police hit the popular Rock Inn bar on the Kavos main strip and searched it with torches while drinkers carried on partying around them.
Bar staff were earlier seen using a device to record the volume of the music.
HELD: The owner of Rock Inn being arrested and put in police vehicle earlier this month
The owner was arrested and taken in the back of a police vehicle.
The next day, when back at the bar, he said: "They arrested me. If I get two more tickets they will close us down for ten days."
Police also launched a crackdown on tax payments by the bars.
CLOSED: Police (above) pass Buzz Pop (top) which was closed for two days after a tax visit
One bar, Buzz Pop, was shut down for two days after police inspected its books the night before.
Jim, 22, from Coventry, was mildly annoyed by the occasional drop in volumes.
He said: "I love it here, but I wish the feds (police) would knock it on the head. Why do they keep f***ing turning it down? Briiiiing it on!"
All pictures copyright Essex News and Investigations.
ESSEX NEWS AND INVESTIGATIONS OPINION
"Kavos is in infamous wild party resort. You wouldn't really go there if you wanted an early night. Who are the people complaining about the noise? Sure, the police need to patrol Kavos to deal with violence and anti social behaviour, but these noise patrols seem pointless with limited police success.
Why not up the volume limit to what the bars really play at, and what the punters want, and let police focus on trouble makers?"