Everybody Needs 'Good' Neighbours

Neighbours, irrespective of whether you regard them as friends, causal acquaintances or just the people who live near you, play an important part in your overall happiness.

We all know that it’s a good idea to get to know the people next door or across the street – extending relationships beyond a casual hello and a wave can lead to an improved sense of community, a better living environment and maybe a new friend or two.

Yet, for all accepted social convention, some neighbours have differences that cannot be easily reconciled. This can, unfortunately, lead to disputes that turn your immediate area into a metaphorical ‘battleground’ – making life difficult for your family and surrounding occupants alike.

There are a variety of problems that could result in a dispute these can include, but are not limited to:

  • Excessive Noise
  • Drug Taking and Drinking on the Streets
  • Pets – Dangerous or Barking Dogs in particular
  • Litter and Graffiti
  • Vandalism
  • Racism
  • Intimidating Groups i.e. Teenage gangs
  • Unruly Children
  • Abandoned Cars
  • Fly Tipping

Disputes with neighbours can often leave people feeling powerless, presenting them with only two options – uproot and leave the house that may have taken years to personalise and make a home, or do their best to tolerate their neighbour’s behaviour. Considering that neither of these options is particularly desirable, the stress involved when dealing with such situations is often too much to bear.

Harassment

There should be no safer, more comfortable or pleasant dwelling than your own home. Everyone should be able to call their home their castle – The stress brought about by everyday life (work, bills etc.) is enough of a problem – the last thing anyone needs is the additional strain of a micro-war being waged at their doorstep.

Cases of harassment are many and shocking. A recent example, picked up by nearly all reputable British news sources, concerns Graham Speed, an unemployed fifty two year-old, who waged a campaign of humiliation via his poisoned pen.

Mr. Speed posted numerous accusations on various websites and sent several hundred emails and letters to fellow villagers.

Amongst those affected were one Dr Odiri Oteri, a gynaecologist at Lincoln County Hospital, whom Mr. Speed accused - via a letter sent to Dr Oteri’s wife - of fathering an illegitimate love child, and Shaun Braithwaite, manager of a Tesco store in Lincoln, who was accused by Mr. Speed of insulting disabled people before kicking him as he lay on the ground, having slipped on the shop’s floor.

Another case concerns a couple who, having purchased their dream home two years earlier, were subjected to frequent physical and psychological attacks from the residents of a nearby travellers’ site, their grim log of events describing gunshots, death threats, intimidation and trespassing.

Being the victim of harassment is extremely unpleasant and could, potentially, damage your home or work life ruining years or even decades of hard work. Fortunately, there is a means of combating the situation, namely an Anti-Harassment Injunction.

Take Action

Anti-Harassment Injunctions are a form of Preventive Injunction designed to preserve your wellbeing by making any form of harassment, whether it be abusive phone calls, excessive noise levels or intimidation, a crime, thus preserving your wellbeing through preventative measures – no need to move home or tolerate an unacceptable living environment.

Of course, many neighbourly disputes can be resolved through amicable, mature conversation. Many people who play music too loudly, for example, are often unaware that they are even causing a problem. Sometimes however, whether the situation is the result of ignorance, callousness or mere vitriol, more effective, punitive measures need to be taken.

Leaving your home is not a viable option, nor is doing nothing, attempting to utilise an unattainable level of tolerance and hoping that everything blows over. Threats, physical or otherwise, to you or your family cannot be ignored, when your safety or psychological well being is threatened – action must be taken.

What’s more, it’s not just threats to your home life that an Anti-Harassment Injunction can help with. Individuals suffering from bullying, stalking or even police harassment can utilise this injunction, ensuring their protection and peace of mind.

Amicable solutions should, of course, always be sought before any such action is taken but, for those who feel that the situation has moved beyond repair, an Anti-Harassment Injunction can provide a viable solution to your dispute.

Article: Everybody Needs 'Good' Neighbours

Created on: 2008-10-02 00:00:00