The definition of a good neighbour was explored in a survey carried out by Neighbourhood Watch sponsor Co-op Insurance which covered 2,000 respondents in July this year.
77 per cent of those surveyed said that their ideal neighbours would behave respectfully at all times and 75 per cent that they would be tolerant and understanding of other residents’ needs.
74 per cent defined this further as being considerate by not making too much noise.
That survey also discovered that nearly one in twenty questioned went without ever seeing their neighbour for at least a month, while 12 per cent would not recognise their neighbours if they encountered them on their street.
Less than 30 per cent of those surveyed would introduce themselves to new neighbours, with nearly half (48 per cent) preferring a chance meeting, while one in six (16 per cent) would do nothing and almost one in 20 (three per cent) would ignore them completely.
The days when neighbours would chat over the garden fence or come round for cup of tea are increasingly appearing a thing of the past – only one in three questioned have been so invited. Men (68 per cent of those surveyed) are more likely to have visited a neighbour’s home, compared with women (65 per cent).
A generation gap is also apparent as half of the under-35s questioned had never set foot inside a neighbour’s house, in comparison to four out of five (77 per cent) of over-55s who had.
Over-75s are more than twice as likely (48 per cent) to introduce themselves compared to under-35s (20 per cent).
Community spirit is being eroded by our increasingly busy lives and the influence of TV, the internet and social media, all of which are reducing the time available for people to interact with each other, share experiences and develop valued relationships.
If we do not work at building community spirit, but instead allow ourselves to be drawn into living isolated lives, we will personally increase the chances of falling victims to cunning media-based fraudsters.
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