We live on Channel 4's Benefits Street where thieves are such a nightmare plants are BOOBY TRAPPED… we've had enough | The Sun

RESIDENTS living on a road made famous by Channel 4's Benefits Street say thieves are such a nightmare they booby trap plants.

The fly-on-the-wall documentary followed a year in the lives of residents of James Turner Street in Winson Green, Birmingham.

The street was chosen after it emerged 90 per cent of residents were at one time claiming benefits.

Nine years on from the series, local businessman Steve Haywood has detailed how he has to booby trap his plant pots to avoid them being stolen.

The roofer, who has lived in James Turner Street for more than two decades, has a storage yard on the road.

But he sold up his other business premises due to a rise in anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping and drug crime, The Express reports.


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Steve had a good relationship with some of the residents featured in the show, including White Dee and Fungi, but admitted the road has deteriorated even since the documentary was filmed.

He said: "Things were getting that bad on the street we were having plant pots etc stolen during the night. We resorted to booby trapping the hanging baskets.

"We’ve had to move out, we were constantly getting trouble with fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour.

"We’ve still got a storage area, but it was no place to have a business, so we relocated but kept the yard. Some days I come to the yard and outside our gates there are just piles of rubbish."

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He also said he is "constantly seeing rubbish dumped", and despite continual efforts to clear it, the litter returns each week.

Steve said many of the residents mada famous by the documentary have now moved away, while he revealed Fungi has died.

White Dee went on to feature in Big Brother and now lives in a different area of Birmingham.

Steve said he witnesses drug deals on a regular basis when working in the street.

He also revealed how some of the properties are multiple-occupancy and are used to house recently-released prisoners from nearby HMP Birmingham.

Residents, though, have renewed optimism around a green enterprise project opposite a primary school in the road.

It will provide a space to grow plants and allow residents an area to go for a hot beverage and socialise.

Steve said the area had been "dented" by the Channel 4 documentary and admitted it is likely to take at least a decade for things to change.

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Local councillor Majid Mahmood said there was "no reason or excuse" for the fly-tipping in the area.

He said the council "shares the concerns of residents and businesses" and blamed "irresponsible people" for draining the city's resources.

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