A report from Lloyds TSB Insurance reveals that Brits’ attitude to community relations is more akin to loathe thy neighbour than love thy neighbour.
While 93% of homeowners claim to know who their neighbours only one in ten (7%) feel they can ‘trust’ them.
As a result, the insurer is calling on all homeowners to ditch their traditional British reserve and make the effort to get to know their neighbours better.
Of the 7% who don’t know their neighbours, 38% say it is because they value their privacy, whilst 14% claim they are simply too busy to make the effort to get to know them.
For an unfortunate 14%, testy neighbourhood relations are the result of respondents suffering from a bad experience with those living next door.
When asked to explain the reasons behind this breakdown in community spirit, nearly half (47%) believed that not knowing your neighbours is a condition of modern life.
A further 45% believe that in the current climate people are naturally becoming more and more suspicious of people that they don’t know.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom on Britain’s streets.
A third (33%) admit they would like to get to know their neighbours better, with those in the East, Midlands and South East most keen to improve neighbourly life.
Half (49%) of those surveyed agree that a close-knit community would make them feel safer and help to reduce crime in the community.
Phil Loney, managing director at Lloyds TSB Insurance, says: “With people moving around more often, it’s little wonder that we don’t feel we know our neighbours well enough to trust them.
“But it is encouraging that there is a general desire to know our neighbours better and a recognition that knowing those who live around us can help to make our communities safer.
“Spending time getting to know your neighbours is worthwhile as they can help to keep an eye on your property whilst you are away and it’s easy to return the favour.
“Whilst vigilant neighbours can be a valuable tool against crime however, they are no substitute for home insurance.
“Ultimately it’s essential to have both home buildings and contents insurance in the unfortunate event that you suffer a break in or vandalism to your property.”
When it comes to the ideal next door neighbours an older family was voted in as the most desirable neighbours (34%) followed by an elderly couple (29%). Perhaps unsurprisingly, students came in bottom of the class with only 1% of the vote.
The ideal celebrity or soap neighbours were found to be comedy show family the ‘Kumars from Number 42’ (27%) followed by the ‘Beckhams’ (25%). However, the ‘Slaters’ from Eastenders were the least desirable neighbours with just 6% of the vote.