In April, Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne awarded a three-year £200,000 contract to Sussex Mediation Alliance to provide an alternative to the criminal justice route for neighbourhood disputes. The group now receives referrals from Sussex Police and works to reduce conflict between parties, helping to lessen the burden on police time and resources.
During 2019-20 the alliance offered support to 693 people to resolve neighbourhood disputes ranging from noise complaints to harassment and parking disagreements. In lockdown months they have seen a 196% increase in referral numbers compared to the same time last year – supporting 285 people in this time.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions the Sussex Mediation Alliance are providing support via telephone and video conference. All services are working to resume face to face meetings – you can find out more about mediation and the services on offer here: http://sussexmediationalliance.org.uk/
For ideas on how to respond to neighbour disputes watch this short animated video: https://www.bhims.org.uk/top-tips-for-neighbour-disputes/