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A Case Study in community mediation

The following is an actual case from the files of BCMS. The names and some details have been changed to maintain confidentiality but the actual issues are real.

The Davis and Ishmar case – referred on the 23rd January 2007 by Megan Williams,  Housing Officer,  Clipper Housing Association.

Mediators:  Chris Brightman and Jane Stevens.

Case information and notes

Mrs Davis and Mr Ishmar live next door to one another in terraced style Local Authority  housing in the Orpington area of Bromley.
There has been long standing ill feeling between both parties which started a couple of years ago when Mrs Davis’ son, Cliff, who was 13 years old at the time allegedly burgled Mr Ishmar’s  house for a dare and stole a bottle of orange. Mr Ishmar has told Mrs Davis that in his country a fitting punishment would be for the boy to be beaten in front of the victim, she has tried telling him that that is not the way things are done in this country. Mediators were able to establish that; The allegation of the burglary was unfounded there was no police involvement. It was later discovered that on the day in question the boy had been  away at his Aunt’s in Broadstairs and not return until the weekend after the event. 
The mediators addressed the allegations from both parties about noise being made at unreasonable hours; The noise issue came down to  a washing machine in Mrs Davis’ kitchen which appeared to be out of balance and therefore vibrating and causing noise – She has agreed to have this sorted out.   Mr Ishmar  sometimes had his TV on quite loud to cover the noise.
Car parking issues were raised by both parties; Spaces on the allocated parking area for the homes are not marked so it was agreed in the end that  being courteous about parking would go a long way to resolving the problem. 
Mrs Davis had alleged that her son had been assaulted possibly at the instigation of Mr Ishmar. After some discussion mediators established that Cliff had admitted to his mother that it was some local lads who had hit him and that he wanted his mum to think that it was someone older so he said it was Mr Ishmar who was involved.   He has since apologised to Mr Ishmar.

Mrs Davis feels that if she could continue to discuss things with Mr Ishmar, neighbour relations would improve greatly.  Mr Ishmar agreed to talk about any future issues with Mrs Davis.
Case closed on the 27th February 2008

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