Neighbour dispute resolution works
Hedge wars have reduced drastically in Dénia since the local police started up an informal mediation service where neighbours are encouraged to talk to, rather than denounce each other. In the last three months, specialist resident conflict officers have intervened in 15 disputes, all of which have been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties.
The mediating officer acts as a 'neutral referee' and encourages each side of the argument to 'talk and listen', says Juan Antonio Tous, one of the team.
He says the majority of neighbour disputes relate to noise, use of public or shared spaces, failure to keep plots or gardens tidy and clean, boundary disagreements, and young people or children having rows.