The Cost of Community Conflict – Report Launch
NEW REPORT FROM MEDIATION HERTFORDSHIRE
Discover the hidden Cost of Community Conflict in the UK: Mediation Hertfordshire’s latest report sheds light on the impact of conflict on our society, affecting everything from health and housing to education and community safety. While the most significant cost of conflict is the distress it inflicts on individuals, the financial burden on local and national government is undeniable, straining budgets and resources. Author Victoria Harris says: “If conflict is a natural part of life, what could we be doing differently to create a more restorative and conflict-confident society that benefits individuals and the services that we all rely upon?”
Conflict exacts a cost on every community, a fact understood by all but rarely explored. This new report from Mediation Hertfordshire takes a significant step towards examining the impact of conflict in the UK, and advances ways to reduce that cost to benefit both individuals and the services that support them. Mediation Hertfordshire are committed to raising the voice of community mediators and this research follows on from Transforming Community Conflict, their 2021 report, which laid bare the reduction in community mediation services since 2005.
What is apparent from this new research is that the growth in demand for conflict resolution, outside of the court process, continues unabated. It is clear, too, that the cost of that conflict to individuals and the services that seek to support them is huge. This report provides an overview of the deeply pervasive nature of conflict, which can have a corrosive impact across the mainstays of our social fabric: from health to housing, and from education to community safety.
Author Victoria Harris, a Trustee at Mediation Herts and co-chair of the CMC Working Group for Community Mediation, says ‘The most important cost of conflict is the deep distress it brings. In a very real sense that cost is unquantifiable – the personal hurt experienced, rupture of relationships, souring of community spirit and a legacy that weighs heavily for years and in some cases generations. It cannot neatly be quantified. However, in another sense, the cost of conflict can be examined in terms of money spent by national and local government to repair and respond to the damage caused by conflict. In areas such as health, housing, education and policing there are bills to be paid, and while conflict is not the only reason for damage to the social fabric, it unquestionably plays a role. This report seeks to amalgamate evidence from a variety of sources to show just how huge the bill for conflict might actually be.’
This report also looks at what happens in other countries where the national provision of community mediation, accessible to all citizens and delivered locally, is embedded and asks ‘if conflict is a natural part of life, what could we be doing differently to create a more restorative and conflict-confident society that benefits individuals and the services that we all rely upon?’.
If you would like a digital copy of the report please email Mediation Hertfordshire.
To be part of this conversation why not join the CMC Working Group for community mediation by emailing Victoria Harris.