The situation on Glebe Street in Leigh became so bad that anti-social behavior, prostitution, drug dealing and threats made people move out
(Image: Paige Oldfield)
A street in Britain once branded ‘uninhabitable’ by locals suffered from so much anti-social behavior that residents only opened their doors to the delivery man.
Residents of Glebe Street in Greater Manchester once described how residents moved out because the anti-social behavior was so bad.
Residents of the street in the out-of-town town of Leigh spoke out about problems with prostitution, drug trafficking and threatening behavior.
Trouble peaked in late 2019 as authorities installed cameras and increased patrols to deal with the escalating situation.
But some felt it was too little, too late at the time, as one resident reported being threatened with a knife for making a fly-tipping report, while another said they were mugged when she was carrying her four-year-olds were traveling.
That Manchester evening news paid a visit to the seemingly quiet street this week. They found two girls happily playing with their dolls on the sidewalk while a man in his dressing gown watched people go by while sipping his tea from his door.
Three years later, the council says efforts to make the area safer have been a “huge success”. But do locals think life on Glebe Street has changed?
“Things are starting to be okay, two years ago it was bad,” said 23-year-old resident Andrei Preda.
“Before I went on holiday someone broke into my car and a week before they broke into my friend’s car. It was the same person.
“I see people on Facebook reporting thieves breaking into their homes and cars. I want to move.
“I feel disgusted. Two months ago I found that my wing mirror was worn and my car was scratched.”
“There are still problems on the street with noise and door knocking,” said another resident, who asked not to be named.
“People are trying doorknobs and someone broke into my neighbor’s car. People gather on the streets, it happens almost every day.
“I feel scared and insecure, especially with my daughter. We need to check the window before opening the door. If it’s not a delivery man, I won’t open the door.”
Jane Hurst also believes anti-social behavior on the street is still a problem.
“I’ve had some people banging on my windows really hard, it’s scary, especially at night,” added the 65-year-old.
“There was one last week. They are children, especially teenagers. It is frightening.”
Another resident, who has lived on Glebe Street for the past two years, believes life on the street will never change – and claims emergency services have a regular presence in the area.
“It was always the same, it will not change. I’m only here until I achieve something better,” he said.
“I’ve never had any problems, but the police and paramedics always come. I’ve been here for two years and I know things happen, you hear about them.
“I find a lot of glass and other things are broken and it’s not very clean. There is always rubbish everywhere.”
Back in 2019, the MEN reported how crime and intimidation had escalated to the point that many residents were too afraid to take to the streets.
Local residents believed that rampant antisocial behavior had not only created an atmosphere of fear and caused people to flee, but also hurt property values.
In August 2019, a meeting was held between council officials, police and community groups to address Glebe Street’s issues.
A “rapid deployment camera” was installed, additional patrols were deployed and promises were made to look into civilian enforcement action.
Although some problems on the road remain, there is confidence that the area is nowhere near as bad as it used to be.
“I’ve always been fine, I’ve lived here on and off for 12 years,” adds a 28-year-old resident. “It’s just quiet and the people are friendly.”
Another resident, 74, said: “We still get rubbish everywhere; We even have a garbage collector. There used to be people who sold drugs.
“Sometimes you hear loud music, but it’s not an anti-social hour. I’m just keeping to myself, it’s not as bad as it used to be – it was really bad.”
Approached by the MEN, Councilor Kevin Anderson, Cabinet Member for Police, Crime and Civil Emergencies, said: “Our work in Leigh West has been a huge success and has created a safer environment for residents.
“Through the combined efforts of the Place and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) and local councils, this funding has made real changes, including more surveillance cameras, better street lighting, home security kits and a crackdown on fly dumping.
“Although the Safer Streets program ended last July, that doesn’t mean we’re no longer focused on long-term improvements in this area of Leigh.
“Major initiatives launched during this time continue and we are committed to maintaining this momentum.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/life-uk-street-once-branded-27093644 Life on Britain's streets was once branded as 'unlivable' where people don't open their doors