In our current (rental) house we got an ADT monitored alarm installed, and pay the monthly monitoring fee.
I am starting to think this is £££ down the drain because if the alarm does trigger, all that happens is that ADT call one of our keyholders whose job it is to come around to the house and see what's going on - which obv if you're actually being burgled is a bit harsh on the keyholder! We were sold on the idea of monitored alarms because we were assured they were the only ones police respond to, but we are just about to move and I am thinking we won't bother taking the alarm with us.
Surely it's just as effective to give a key to neighbours and ask them to take a look if they hear an (unmonitored) alarm going off? IF they see anything sus, they can call the police for us.
FWIW a lot of houses around here were burgled a little while ago - bank holiday and someone had obviously been watching what was going on. The one with the monitored alarm the guys broke in but scarpered when the phone rang and it was the monitoring people calling to see what was going on (they didn't answer obviously but knew that from the phone ringing this was likely to be a monitored alarm). Having said that, the firm doing the monitoring also provide "security" who come and check the place over if the alarm's triggered and the keyholder doesn't respond/is away.
We have an ADT alarm - I'm puzzled by your neighbours being called in the first instance. Has your alarm been triggered over your local limit and you've been taken off the police list temporarily (this happened to us when our builders set it off twice in a two month period, although you should be notified by letter that this is the case)? If we haven't answered the phone, ours is responded to buy police etc and the keyholder is called to give access.
We got it after we'd been burgled, which I understand is when most people get them, and I wouldn't want to be without it now, particularly as DH caught a man in our side alley the other afternoon - and it has a seven foot high security gate!