Neighbourhood Watch

Researchers found millions of people describe their relationship with their neighbours as nothing more than exchanging a few niceties, yet would still trust them to enter their property while they were away.

And while forty per cent of the 2,000 people studied would allow a neighbour to enter their home and feed their pet while away, just one in four would let a neighbour babysit their child.

In fact, more than a quarter have had a full blown argument with the people next door.


The figures emerged in a study carried out by home security specialist Yale.

A spokesperson for Yale said yesterday: “A long time ago, many people would live in a neighbourhood where they knew everyone and would consider all of their neighbours as good friends.

“Nowadays, because of the nature of people’s jobs, attending university and an unpredictable housing market, people have to move a lot and the neighbourhood feel has started to disappear.

“It’s great to know that generally, most of our respondents are happy to leave a key with a neighbour and don’t feel uncomfortable about approaching them.”

But the average person has two people who live nearby that they struggle to trust, results showed.
While a fifth of Brits have had to deliver subtle hints to their neighbours to prevent an all-out domestic dispute.

That’s led one in seven to go as far as to write a letter of complaint to the people next door.

The most common reasons to complain to a neighbour revolve around noise levels and parking.

Other potential sparks include overgrown garden hedges, pets and balls being kicked over into the garden.

Playing music loudly, disputes over the bins and noisy kids in the garden were also high on the list.

And one in five cheeky respondents has actually trimmed their neighbours hedge or tree without having permission.

One in ten describes the people next door as ‘complete strangers’ and over a third of people haven’t spoken to a neighbour in more than a month.

Perhaps it’s no surprise then that a similar number would like to change their neighbours if given the chance.

But community spirit isn’t necessarily lost - eight in ten would report someone who was acting suspiciously around their neighbour’s property.

The Yale spokesperson said: “Despite many of us having content relationships with our neighbours, there are occasions when neighbours don’t get along and sometimes they might not feel that it would be any of their business to report suspicious behaviour.

“Being part of a community and having neighbours you can trust can truly enhance your life and it’s nice to have people to rely on if needs be, so it’s important not to lose that.

“Feeling happy in your home should also be a top priority, so taking action towards keeping your property secure should be simple and greatly add to that peace of mind.

“Yale offers a comprehensive range of security products from traditional locking solutions, innovative digital door locks and wirefree home alarms to cover all your security needs.

“You can also check the safety of your neighbourhood using the new Yale Crime Watcher app, which maps crime in your area by using a simple postcode look up function. In addition, it also provides advice on securing your home.”

One in ten people have even had an affair with a neighbour, results showed.

And a fifth of suspicious people believe a neighbour has received a parcel of theirs and kept quiet after something they ordered didn’t turn up.

A sixth of people hides a key somewhere outside of their home – but only entrust one neighbour with knowing the hiding spot.


1 Noise Levels
2 Parking
3 Music
4 Bins
5 Kids in the garden
6 Overgrown garden hedges
7 Pets
8 Dog mess
9 Door slamming
10 Balls kicked over in to the garden