Neighbourhood Watch schemes traditionally involved the whole neighbourhood meeting in kitchens and living rooms to discuss issues of safety and security in the local area. It’s now 35 years since Neighbourhood Watch came to the UK and it’s still alive and well, but yellow window stickers and formal gatherings are a thing of the past – neighbourhood watch has gone real-time, using all the latest tech. So we commissioned a survey to find out more.
We now use online and mobile apps to talk with our neighbours, setting up Facebook and WhatsApp groups to update everyone of any suspicious activities in one go. The convenience of being able to update people while on the move means it fits in well with our hectic lifestyles. Nearly a quarter of us like that we can find out about things happening in our street, as and when they're happening.
It’s not all about safety and security though, 19% of us use an online group to arrange social activities with our neighbours. With a fifth of Brits saying they felt online groups help to develop a sense of community. And pleasingly, 21% of us know everyone in our street on first name terms and 95% know at least some of our fellow residents.
The majority of us have direct contact numbers for our neighbours, and a number of us help our neighbours by collecting their mail, looking after pets and putting out their bins while they’re away on holiday.
Resident’s of Liverpool were found to be the most caring, with 66% saying they’d call their neighbour straight away if they saw something suspicious happening, while Plymouth neighbours are the friendliest with a quarter using group chats to invite each other to social events.
Jon Craven, our CEO at Together Mutual Insurance, said: “It might be tempting for us to think that Neighbourhood Watch groups are a part of a bygone era, but moving them online is a great idea and will ensure that vital community activity continues to help protect our homes.
Together Mutual Insurance provides cover for your home and possessions, should the worst happen.