As temperatures soar and the heatwave continues, across the country, the summer is also hotting up in other ways. Our service experienced a very busy July. We received 43 new referrals during the month. That is twice the figures we had in April. Thirteen of those relate to antisocial behaviour and four for noise nuisance. Tempers appear to have been fraying.
We specialises in mediating neighbour disputes and are used to seeing an upward trend in enquiries during the summer months, but this July proved to be their second busiest on record. People are likely to be outside a lot more during the hot weather, so there is an increased chance of people meeting each other in circumstances that could result in altercations. In fact, hot and especially humid weather is known to be associated with increases in aggression, as well as a lower general mood. That’s because trouble sleeping, dehydration and restrictions on our daily actives — such as being cooped up inside all day to avoid the sweltering heat — may all contribute to a worsening mood in hot weather. Our mediators are here to help cool things down and restore some normality. We currently have cases relating to loud music, dogs barking, children screaming, trampolines, noisy DIY and verbal abuse. Because of our busy workload we are currently recruiting more volunteer mediators, particularly along the coastal strip of West Sussex.
We distributed a Press Release on the heatwave issue and this attracted interest from SpiritFm and BBC Radio Sussex.