GETTING to know your neighbours may be a key factor in keeping your home safe and secure while you are away on holiday.

According to Jim Maddan, the chair of the Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network, friendly neighbours can help make a house appear lived in while the occupiers are away.

But sadly in the Midlands it seems there is a distinct lack of neighbourliness, according to a study by home insurance company Admiral.

Its research suggests only 27 per cent of people in the region make an effort to get to know their neighbours when they move house while a third of those asked wish their neighbourhood was more friendly.

Admiral home insurance conducted the research to find out just how well we know our neighbours and whether we ever help each other out.

It found that while most people in the Midlands are on speaking terms with the people they live next door to, they keep them at arm’s length.

Most of them (95 per cent) said they knew their neighbours but one in three (33 per cent) don’t know their neighbours’ names and only 29 per cent have a proper chat when they meet them in the street.

The lack of neighbourly love in the Midlands could even be a security risk, especially during the summer holidays, with few in the region relying on neighbours to keep an eye on their property while they are away.

More than half (57 per cent) of homeowners don’t even tell their neighbours when they are going away on holiday, despite this being good common sense.

Admiral’s research suggests there could be an issue of trust, with a mere 24 per cent of those questioned saying they would trust their next door neighbour with a key to their house. Only 34 per cent said they have looked after their neighbours’ house while they were away.

Mr Maddan said: “Neighbourliness seems to have slipped down the agenda in our busy lives. At this time of year when we are often away on holiday, it is vitally important that we share our plans with our neighbours, if only to ask them to feed the pets, water the plants or to make the house look lived-in. In this way burglaries can be prevented and we can do each other a good turn.”

However it’s not all bad news as 40 per cent of those questioned said, if they noticed something suspicious happening in their neighbour’s property, they would go next door to investigate.

A video in which Mr Madden offers some tips on keeping your home secure can be seen by visiting

The Midlands is not bottom of the league when it comes to neighbourliness. In London just 49 per cent of those asked said they knew their neighbours’ names, 38 per cent told their neighbours when they go away on holiday.