LOCALS with a high street once dubbed UK’s WORST have revealed what life is like there today – including the upside in the crime-riddled area.
London’s Streatham, which sits in the south west and borders Croydon, is one many areas that many would say has been gentrified in recent years.
Streatham high street, once labelled the ‘worst in the UK’
20 years ago Streatham high street was voted Britain’s worst street by a BBC and Commission for Architecture and Built Environment poll.
But more recently locals said they were being forced out by ‘posh newcomers’.
Now, residents have mixed reviews – some are reaping the rewards of house prices rising, while others say it’s seen crime rates skyrocket.
Many say Streatham has gone from strength to strength in recent years – with new independent shops and big chains shifting in and keeping the high street alive.
But others say they’re too scared to leave their house at night as they live in fear of criminals lurking the streets.
Ali Jones has called Streatham home twice in her life, and says it’s on the up.
The lawyer first moved to the area in 2006 and shifted away three years later, before returning in recent years.
Ali told HOAR Online: “I bought a house then for £350,000 – now it’s almost worth a little under £1m.
“When I got off the train I thought I was in the wrong place.
“It’s definitely for the better.”
She said it was the M&S outside the station that confused her – then she looked around and saw other chains, too.
That was something Jackie Jones noticed, too.
The mum-of-two went to school in the area, moved away, and only returned with her husband in 2015.
She said it had “absolutely” changed for the better in that time.
Jackie said there’s good schools, a lot for young families to do, and, she added: “It’s all very connected.
“It’s definitely been gentrified.
“You don’t have to travel far to get a coffee or nice pizza.”
Jennifer Labbett shifted to the town from America in 2006 – and calls it a “fantastic place”.
The live music venue owner said: “It’s definitely changed for the better.
“It’s a very good community.”
Jennifer added: “The violence is an issue, that’s the only negative.”
But it’s that violence that’s scaring some residents out of town.
Tony White moved to the area nearly five decades ago, and it was “lovely”.
But now, he says: “It’s a horrible place. I’ve been attacked twice.”
Pointing at his wife, Tony adds: “I go with her if she’s going out at night.
“It’s too dangerous.”
Now he says he “can’t wait” to move away.
Single mum Patrycja Zed feels the same after only living in Streatham for a year.
She said: “There’s a good community, nice bars, beautiful park.
“But I don’t go out after 9pm. After nine I’m inside. It’s a dangerous place.”
Jennifer Labbett, a local resident of Streatham
Jackie Jones returned to Streatham in 2015
Many people say Streatham has gone from strength to strength in recent years
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