Lockdown transformed people into 'nosy neighbours', poll claims

Almost half of adults keeping a closer eye on neighbours during pandemic

Steve Richmond
Tuesday 16 June 2020 17:03

Britain has been transformed into a nation of "nosy neighbours" after being stuck at home during lockdown, according to a poll.

In a study of 2,000 adults, 41 per cent admitted to keeping a closer eye on their neighbours’ movements since the pandemic struck.

Spying on those not observing lockdown rules or not clapping for the NHS - and looking out for groups of youths hanging around were among the most common things people had been observing.

It was also found nearly half of respondents considered themselves to be nosy, having always kept an eye on street activity.

But 14 per cent admitted to having picked up habit since the start of lockdown.

A spokesperson from Swift Direct Blinds, which commissioned the research, said: “Much of the nation has quickly adapted to being at home more than ever in their lifetime.

“It’s only natural at times that residents have looked out of the window to see who is speaking to who - and doing what."

During lockdown, respondents estimated they had spent upwards of 10 minutes a day gazing out the window checking on other people’s movements.

One in 10 also admitted to rationing their used alcohol bottles and cans in their recycling boxes so neighbours did not think they were drinking too much.

Nearly one-third peer out of the same window each time, with six in 10 preferring to mix it up and switch windows.

When out on the street, 36 per cent admitted they enjoy having a look through the front room windows of houses when walking by.

But nearly half of those polled saw their alertness to events on their doorstep as a sense of duty from a neighbourhood watch sense – while nearly one-quarter said they just do it out of nosiness.

Following the end of lockdown, 48 per cent said they will continue their observations.


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