Britons prefer a nosey neighbour, study shows

Article date: 11 June 2001

NOSEY Harold Bishop is Britain's favourite neighbour, a newnationwide study shows today.

The widower from Aussie soap 'Neighbours' topped the poll,beating Britain's own Coronation Street meddler Vera Duckworth andEastEnder Pat Butcher into second and third places.

Emmerdale's troublesome Dingle family were voted the neighboursfrom hell - followed closely by the Battersbys from CoronationStreet and the newly arrived Slater family in EastEnders.

The 'Good Neighbour' study from leading insurer, Norwich Union,also shows that neighbours are thought to be the best sort of crimeprevention. Twice as many people would rather have a watchfulneighbour to keep an eye on their home than invest in a burglaralarm.

Rebecca Hartley, sponsorship manager at Norwich Union Insurance,said: "Our research shows that despite concerns that Britain islosing its community spirit, people are still very neighbourly.Homeowners place great importance on chatting to their neighboursover the garden fence, with more than half of those surveyedtalking to their neighbours every day."

John Howell, director general of National Neighbourhood Watch,said: "Good neighbours can make a real difference in the fightagainst crime and help to build a safer community for everyone. Theresults of Norwich Union's survey are very encouraging, with over athird of people saying that the best type of neighbour to have isone that they can trust to look out for their family and theirhome."

The study also shows:

  • More than a third of people consider their neighbours to be'friends'.
  • Only one in twenty people say they never talk to theirneighbours.
  • Neighbours in Yorkshire are the friendliest, with two-thirdstalking to their neighbours daily
  • Londoners are the least friendly neighbours, with only a thirdtalking to them daily and one in five never meeting or talking totheir neighbours

The 'Good Neighbour' study coincides with a reminder toNeighbourhood Watch members across the UK to send in their entriesto the Norwich Union National Neighbourhood Watch Awards.

Commenting on the awards, Rebecca Hartley added: "Through oursponsorship of the awards, we're recognising and rewarding thevaluable contribution that neighbours can make to improve communitysafety."

Entry to the Norwich Union Neighbourhood Watch Awards is open toall 10 million Neighbourhood Watch members.

Full details of the Awards and how to enter can be obtained fromthe National Neighbourhood Watch Association, Schomberg House,80-82 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5HF - telephone 020 7772 3348 ore-mail The closing date for entries is 31 July2001.


For further media information or to arrange an interview,contact Gabrielle Brewer or Matthew Buchanan at QBO on 020 73790304 or Liz Nicholson or Jenny Chapman at Norwich Union pressoffice on 08703 666 863

Notes to Editors:

  • Norwich Union commissioned Taylor Nelson Sofres to conduct anindependent survey of more than 1,000 adults. The survey wascarried out in May 2001.
  • Norwich Union Insurance is the UK's largest general insurer -insuring one in five households.
  • CGU plc and Norwich Union plc merged on 30 May 2000 to createCGNU plc, the UK's largest insurance group and one of the top-fiveinsurers in Europe with substantial positions in other marketsaround the world, making it the world's sixth largest insurerbased on gross worldwide premiums.
  • CGNU's principal business activities are long-term savings,fund management and general insurance, with worldwide premiumincome and retail investment sales from ongoing business of over£27 billion and assets under management of more than £210billion.
  • From October 2000, the combined life and pensions, generalinsurance and retail fund management businesses in the UK operateunder the Norwich Union brand, while the institutional investmentbusiness operates under the Morley Fund Management brand.
  • Norwich Union's news releases are available on thiswebsite.

There are eight award categories in the Norwich UnionNeighbourhood Watch Awards, with a £1,000 prize on offer foreach:

  • Co-ordinator of the Year
  • Urban Award
  • Rural Award
  • Community Service Award
  • Partnership Award
  • Police Award
  • Home Secretary Award for Young People
  • Scottish Young Persons Award

Certificates of Commendation will be given to the best entriesfrom every police force area in the UK. In addition, a 'NationalAward' will be given to the overall winner from amongst the eightCategory winners and will be announced at the presentation ceremonyto be held later in the year.

The Norwich Union Neighbourhood Watch Awards 2001 are sponsoredby Norwich Union in association with BBC Local Radio, the HomeOffice, the Association of Chief Police Officers and the LocalGovernment Association. The judging panel will includerepresentatives of all the supporting organisations.

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