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My parents' aggressive neighbour

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AuntieBulgaria Fri 25-Sep-20 08:15:38

My parents' neighbour has recently become aggressive and paranoid and I don't know how to help them.

They have lived next door to this couple and their adult son for over 30 years. The wife died last year. My mum invited the man and his son over for Christmas dinner this year - so they were all on good terms until really recently.

The son (in his 50s) has accused /reported my parents for having an illegal bonfire, for trespassing on his property and causing criminal damage. He has shouted and sworn at my parents (who are in their 70s). He dug out a hedge between their houses and replaced it with big metal panels. He has phoned the council and told them my dad is dumping trade waste.

My parents have phoned the police when he was shouting and swearing and have logged incidents with a PSCO. When the PSCO has attended, this is when the son has accused my dad of criminal damage to his property.

They have documented things with a local solicitor and sent him a lawyer's letter as they wanted to put up a wooden fence to disguise the metal panels that he had put up. They paid for the new fence but he interfered while it was being installed complaining about where on the boundary it was going etc etc.

Most recently they trimmed their side of a shared hedge. Somewhat predictably, this has caused another bout of angry shouting - which this time caused my father to get angry in response, leading to the son challenging my dad to a fight.

The son has health problems related to diabetes, his mum died last year (he has always lived at home) and his dad is in his late 80s and not in good health. I think maybe the son has got mental health problems. He's certainly not behaving in a rational manner. I can't imagine the lockdown helped.

It's causing my parents huge amounts of stress. They are not sleeping well. Dad has lost a lot of weight. They loved their garden and worked hard on it but they feel afraid to go in it in case he pops up over the fence and starts having a go. They worry that he can hear their conversations and if they go away from the house that he might cause more damage or do something else.

The father doesn't seem to be well enough to intervene. There is a sister but she lives in Australia. The police haven't really done anything other than log the incidents - they have to remain 'neutral' I suppose so mum and dad don't feel especially reassured.

I live about an hour away and don't know how to help. They haven't been telling me what's been happening all the time because they don't want to worry me. I feel like some kind of social carer should be involved, like they need some kind of mediator that might be able to recognise / work with someone with his mental health issues.

Is there anything I could be doing?
Sorry for the long post.

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