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.