Thursday, 7 May 2009


I don't live in what you would call a nice neighbourhood. Even people living in villages surrounding the town where I live 'know' where I live if I just say: behind the hospital. Their response (almost invariably) is: ooooooh, the Star area*!! Not such a good area is it!?!

And no it isn't such a good area. A few years ago, the police even started patrolling the area of its own accord! Anyway, the council, the police and the housing association have been working really hard over the last few years to make the whole area a nice area. They cleaned up paths and alleys, they got rid of debris and shrubs and they did a major overhaul on all association-owned houses. Different colour houses (mine's pink), extended back-yards, fencing and of course the insides: new bathrooms, new kitchens, new (double-glazed) windows, new outside doors. Insulation all over the place and all at a cost of nearly nothing. It's included in the rent.

However, even though their efforts to make a better neighbourhood have worked, it's only up to a point. It's still the cheapest area of town, making it a haven for low-income or no-income people. And especially with no-income comes crime. Occasionally a show is being given on the green in front of my home. Groups of men shouting and fighting. According to a neighbour, recently even shooting! So, I wasn't that surprised when I saw police ribbon out last night.

Isn't it a great neighbourhood?

*It's called the Star area, because all streets have something to do with the solar system: Saturn Street, Meteor Street, Comet Gardens etc.


  1. Oh man! Do you know what happened?
    How do you feel if you have to go out at night?

    I'm happy to be living in a very small village, in a rather nice neighbourhood even. Last year one house in our village was broken into. Shocking!

  2. I know how you feel. We used to live in an area like that.

    In our own little square, there was a family who had been relocated for torching their own house twice, and banned from the local shops for persistent shoplifting. Their nine year old son (according to the local police) was responsible for around 40% of the local small crimes - he was below the age of criminal resposibility, but the policeman I spoke to said that as soon as he was old enough he would be 'inside' for sure.

    Next to them a man had his motorcycle set on fire one night. And next to us was a known burglar who was arrested one night for chasing his own mother through the streets with a knife.


  3. Keeps you on your toes, eh?

  4. According to my neighbour, there was some shooting. The police were trying to find shells or even bullets...


Any weighty (and not so weighty) comments are welcome!