LOCALS have described their neighborhood as the worst in London and said they are afraid to go home.
Harlington, adjacent to Heathrow in west London, is one of the capital’s most deprived areas and residents claim they have little choice but to leave.
Many people who live there are afraid to go home at night, and businesses struggle to stop thieves, drug users and drunks from causing them distress.
Farrah Whenman, the manager of the Harlington Hospice charity shop, 41, has struggled in recent years.
She said: “Things have only gotten worse. For me it can be scary at the end of the day because when we have to collect there are always people hanging around outside.
“So when I’m here, I’m going to turn off the store light so I can see out more than you can see in.
“If I don’t feel safe, I go out the back and wait, which I shouldn’t go through.
“My manager put us all on rape alerts because we don’t feel so safe.
“We have a large number of drug and alcohol users here, so there are actually times when I have to lock the door because they’re high outside and it can be really scary.
“More police work is definitely needed here. We don’t see them often and when we do, it’s for the wrong reasons.”
She added: “I also get a lot of people now coming in and stealing things.
“My old assistant principal was on a school run and found four of our hangers with our shop name on them and our clothes just thrown out in the street.
“We’re trying to give everything we can to the people who need it, but it’s hard.
“I’ve always loved my job and have been here for almost 12 years, but I’ve gone days I almost cried because I went home.”
DISTRIBUTION OF GARBAGE
As you walk through the area, rubbish can be seen strewn on the streets. Bottles, broken glass and plastic bags lie along the sidewalks and in the parks.
Mary Goff has worked at Charlington Hospice Charity Shop for over 20 years.
The 83-year-old said: “I’m sick of all this rubbish, I’d love to do something about it.
“Nobody ever cleans up anything. I always want to go around and tidy things up, but it’s impossible to keep track.”
Other businesses in the area are also frustrated by the village’s decay.
A local store worker, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “There are always people outside who are using drugs or who are drunk.
“So many people ask for money and if you say no they get aggressive and if a woman walks by they aim to get money.
WOMEN DON’T FEEL SAFE
“Most women don’t even go out here at night because they don’t feel safe.”
He added: “Shops get robbed every day, they clear out shelves sometimes as they all know the police won’t come because the police never come.
“One time it was filmed where actors were dressed up as cops and all the drunks disappeared in those days, which shows how much a police presence can have here.
“We need police and city council to do more.
“Nothing gets done. They don’t want to spend money on the city.
“NOT WILL BE DONE”
“It’s such a shame, the area used to be such a beautiful place. I would like to see this village back to where it was when I came back 25 years ago.”
Residential construction in the region is also an issue for the locals. A resident, who asked not to be named, said: “The problem is that private landlords don’t spend a dime. They just want the income.
“They don’t do house maintenance and they just leave these houses to decay and when they do something it’s cheap and rubbish.
“It’s just a vicious circle now, as the houses are getting worse and worse, fewer and fewer people want to move here.
“I have seen some houses that are completely devastated. Young families with children who work hard and don’t get any help from the landlord have a hard time keeping the houses in good condition.”
Many residents have found that fleeing the village is their only option.
A local said: “I’ve been here for 48 years but I’m actually moving away because the city has gone totally downhill in recent years.
“Before, there was everything you needed, you knew each other, you were friendly and you looked out for each other.
“Now I don’t feel safe at all and everyone I know has moved away, which has made me really miss the sense of community that there used to be here.”
She added: “No money is being invested so why would people want to live here?
“I feel like I’ve been evicted from my own town. There is so much drug activity down the street, during the day, outdoors that I find it crazy everyday.
“There’s drugs in the park, junk everywhere, it’s like nobody’s as proud of the area as they used to be.
“I used to go to the park to clean up sometimes because if I don’t do it, no one will.
“MORE BREAKS AND VANDALISM”
“Nothing in the area feels safe. The burglaries increased and so many cars and houses were vandalized. I don’t really go out at night because it feels so unsafe.
“We feel like we just exist and not live.”
While some locals are happy with the area, they’re still hoping for some positive changes.
Yosif Chalakov, 60, who works at Heathrow Airport, said: “I’ve been here for about 10 years. I’m happy in the area and feel safe, but I want it to be cleaner and more money definitely needs to be invested.”
The owner of the Flying Egg Cafe, Jay Singh, opened the cafe about eight years ago and is fed up with the direction the village is taking.
“DANGEROUS AND DIRTY”
The 40-year-old said: “The area was lively when I moved but the area has gone so downhill since then. It’s just so dangerous and dirty now.
“We don’t open in the evening because we would need additional staff. We have female staff and they don’t feel safe here after dark.
“There are a lot of alcoholics hanging out outside and we often see people urinating in the street.
“We often have people trying to steal from here and I know a lot of other places in the area are experiencing the same thing.
“Some come in drunk as early as 7 a.m. Once someone walked in and went straight to the kitchen and grabbed a knife.”
Mr Singh added: “Police are not around to help or assist us.
“In this neighborhood everyone has to take care of themselves. There is no support and the council just makes life difficult.
“You could stab someone and nobody would do anything, but I’m getting a fine for moving the breakfast sign.
“I’ve seen so many people leave and now there’s no sense of neighborhoods.”
Without investment and support, Harlington will continue this downward spiral, forcing many to seek new homes elsewhere.
It comes after Crewe was dubbed Britain’s worst city by locals.
Local residents called the city center “disgusting” and an “eyesore” after a leaflet compared it to a Hiroshima bomb site.
Earlier this year, Chatham, Kent, was awarded the dubious title of Britain’s ‘sloppy town’ by the financial experts at Forbes Advisor.
Local residents themselves have admitted it is a “s***hole” where the only form of exercise is drinking.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6912949/worst-neighbourhood-london-locals-terrified-leave/ Our neighborhood is the ‘WORST’ in London – we are terrified to go home and we have no choice but to move away