We live in one of the WORST towns in the UK – we're terrified of going out at night and the crime is horrific | The Sun
RESIDENTS of one of the worst towns in the UK have revealed that they're 'terrified' of going out at night as "crime rates have soared".
Redditch may have been the birthplace of pop icon Harry Styles, but locals say that where the glamour ends in the small Worcestershire town.
Having recently seen it ranked the second worst town in the country by the Office for National Statistics' (ONS) Personal Wellbeing survey, residents of gloomy Redditch say that life there is ruined by a high crime rate and lack of things to do.
The poll found that across the four categories of anxiety levels, life satisfaction, happiness and the feeling that things i life were worthwhile, the town came behind only Colchester in terms of the lowest average score.
Julie Orzol, 18, who works in her mum's bakery in the town, said that she wasn't surprised by the low ranking.
She told The Sun Online: "I’ve lived here most of my life, since I was two, and it’s gone downhill.
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"There’s been two horrible murders over the past two years which have shocked the community and makes everyone worry."
She added that young women like her fear going out and that even when they want to, they go to nearby Birmingham instead.
Likewise, van driver Ian Stevens, who moved to Redditch form Wolverhampton a year ago, said: "Everyone’s very friendly and seem pleasant but the town centre is getting run down and there’s not much to do.
"There’s just four pubs and a nightclub and the Golden cross which closed down remains a blight on the area, a bit of an eyesore.
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"It closed down because of a gun incident."
Ian, 47, continued: "You juts have to keep yourself to yourself. If you hang out with the wrong ‘uns you’ll get into trouble.
"It’s shocking when you hear of stories like the man stabbed to death in an Asda car park."
Another resident, 80-year-old Dave, has lived in Redditch all his life and said that it had changed a lot over the years, but not for the better.
There are virtually no shops open, other than in the indoor shopping centre, and locals are dismayed by the closures of high street staples like Marks & Spencer and Debenhams.
Ellie Smout, 24, who runs a festive market stall in the town centre with her mum Julie, said: "It's got it’s rough parts but it's fine in the shopping centre.
"It’s a bit slow trade wise, that is my only complaint. It’s less busy than usual because of the cost of living crisis and everyone seems to be going into Primark. It’s packed full."
Most of the people The Sun talked to pointed to the high crime rate as a key reason for the low quality of life in the area.
The town has seen two high profile murders in the past two years.
In March, software worker Ian Kirwan, 53, was stabbed to death outside a local Asda after challenging a group of youths for "messing around".
Meanwhile, in 2020, 22-year-old musician Colton Bryan was murdered at home in front of his girlfriend.
Three men were found guilty of his murder last March and sentenced to life in prison for the "vicious and unprovoked attack."
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