People urged to get to know who their neighbours are

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AS police encourage people to keep an eye on their neighbours over the Christmas and New Year period a shocking report claims less than half of people under 50 know their neighbours by name.

The report, by Saga, claims that research conducted shows around 40% of under 50’s admit they don’t know their neighbours well enough to say hello, while one in five admit they only know their neighbours by sight and only 22% count their neighbours as good friends. Less than one in ten are likely to sit down with a neighbour for a cuppa and mince pie.

That is in sharp contrast to older generations with 45% of over 50s counting the people next door as good friends. The over 50s seem to be at the heart of neighbourliness, often lending a hand to take in parcels (94%), putting the bins out (58%) and watering the plants for their neighbours (37%).

The research also reveals that this is not the way people want it to be - a third of under 50s actually wish they could get to know their neighbours better.

Emma Soames, from Saga, said: “The over 50s are much better at neighbourliness: they feed pets, put out the rubbish and know their neighbours name.

“Being friends with neighbours can improve your home security if you are out at work all day or going on holiday you can be confident that someone will keep an eye on your home for you.”

Sergeant Warren Downs, of Rye Police, said: “For many of us Christmas is a happy time spent with friends and family; however for many it can be a lonely time with nobody to talk to.

“Please keep an eye on any elderly neighbours over the coming weeks who you feel may need support during the winter months.”