Living in Birmingham’s most deprived area means one thing for its residents – you always have to have a weapon on hand to defend yourself with.
Drews Meadow Close, in Druids Heath, has become a crime hotspot where scared locals stay in after dark and prepare for the worst.
‘It is just an old hammer with a pry bar. You have got to have something,’ insisted Darren, who did not want to share his surname.
‘If you come down here after dark, around 7pm, that’s when they come out. I can see why the older folk don’t want to walk around here.’
Edging out from behind his front door after an attack less than 24 hours ago, he gestured to each of the five CCTV cameras constantly watching his home.
Darren keeps the hammer axe in his doorway in case anyone breaks in and takes a metal ‘fire brigade drop key’ out with him for protection.
Residents of the cul-de-sac keep weapons to hand in case their property is broken into, wear masks to hide their identity and keep multiple CCTV cameras running in a bid to improve security.
Only meters down from Darren’s heavily-monitored walkway, Robert Wyatt put up a ‘smile, you’re on camera’ sign beside his doorbell.
After trouble with gangs, two burglaries and an assault, the dad openly admits he is frightened.
He said: ‘There is a lot of violent people here, a lot of anti-social, bad behaviour.
‘My son, who is only 16, was assaulted not long ago. He got attacked for changing his tyre outside a garage. My poor son, he is still in school.’
Drews Meadow Close was his by nine violent or sexual offences in the monthly crime figures for November
Mr Wyatt stressed there is a lot of trouble from ‘gangs’ to contend with, and he is too scared to even take his dog for a walk.
To protect his home, he has filled his garden with plants to try to stop the youths loitering – along with cameras.
He said: ‘There are quite a lot of youths and gangs walking up and down. I have a problem because there is no fence round my garden.
‘They were all congregating round my garden, sometimes up to 15 of them.’
Some neighbours have displayed warnings not to approach their home as a ‘cold caller’.
Meanwhile, one homeowner has a ‘beware of the German Shepherd’ sign on their back gate to deter criminals.
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