Apparently four in ten of us wouldn’t ‘trust’ our neighbours to keep an eye on our homes when we’re on holiday. Is this just another meaningless statistic, or have we really lost our sense of neighbourliness?
Survey results by Legal and General paint a pretty grim picture of this country’s streets and neighbourhoods.
A quarter of us don’t trust our neighbours at all, let alone to watch our homes when we’re away. A little hypocritical when a third of us don’t think we should take any responsibility for security in our neighbourhoods.
And one in five of us wouldn’t bother doing anything if we saw someone acting suspiciously around a neighbour’s home, because of fear, embarrassment, ‘assuming they had a right to be there’ or indifference.
Have things really got this bad?
Is now the moment to start harking back to the ‘good old days’ when cheery neighbours were forever chatting to one another over the garden fence like in everyone’s favourite Australian soap opera?
Presumably this problem of trust is tied up with whether we actually know who our neighbours are, or worse, if we’ve been forced to get to know them too well.
And so the results aren’t that surprising when half of us know more about the daily lives of our favourite celebs than the lives of our neighbours.
Everybody needs good neighbours
I’d hardly say my neighbourly relationships have been of Ramsay Street proportions, but I can’t help think things are more positive on the ground than on paper.
Living in a house that’s been converted into a flat, it’d be difficult for me not to get to know my immediate neighbours. We’re not the best of friends, but our joint effort to do up the property’s hallway has helped us get to know each other.
As did going through the unpleasant experience of living alongside an anti-social, later evicted, neighbour. This, rather than making me less trustful of those living nearby, actually helped to forge stronger relationships with everyone else.
Because, after all, neither you nor your neighbours can depend on Facebook friends to watch your home when you’re not there…