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A city voted one of the ten worst places to live in England has been dubbed as ‘lawless’ by locals – who said the only shock is that it wasn’t in the top five.
Bradford, West Yorkshire, was savaged in an online poll released last week, despite boasting a university and stunning city centre architecture.
Many locals said the kindest thing they could say about the place was how quickly you could get to Leeds and Manchester.
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After being told of the city’s placement in the “worst cities” poll, one anonymous local: “I’m surprised it wasn’t higher".
"I’d rate it in the top five,” they said. “I’ve moved around the country and there are some rough places, but it is bad here. It’s lawless.”
The city’s notorious Holme Wood housing estate came in for particular criticism.
Several taxi companies have listed the estate as a 'no-go' area because of frequent attacks in drivers
During the afternoon, young men could be seen roaming the estate on horseback, while a large pile of half-burned rubbish lies on a field near a children’s play park.
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The man added: “A CCTV camera has been installed in the bus stop because it’s always vandalised. It’s only been in a few days and it’s been vandalised as well.
“Every taxi I get, the drivers refuse to straight into the estate. Gangs of yobs will stand on the street corner and throw bricks at cars.
"One guy got out of the car and got a baseball bat out, then some youths came down with a sledgehammer.
“It has its eruptions. Violence is a regular occurrence. The police turn up and they all scarper.
"They’ve got no chance of catching them, because they know all the alleyways and shortcuts that police cars can’t get down and they’re gone.”
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Pockets of the run-down 1950s housing estate rank highly on the of the Government's Index of Deprivation, but not everybody felt unsafe in the area.
Nigel Wood, who runs the local chippy, said he was proud to be from Bradford and disagreed with the city’s spot in the top 10.
The 50-year-old said: “It’s a bit rough and ready, but I’ve always lived in Bradford and I’ve lived in this estate for most of my life.
“The people are nice in Bradford and it’s the people that make the city. The community spirit is there.”
In the city centre, which was blasted in the poll as being full of fast food outlets and ‘the local junkie desperate for his next fix’, police could be seen speaking to street drinkers.
Student Kennedy Kandjii, 31, said: “There’s nothing really happening. It needs a glow up.
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"I’d go to Leeds for shopping and Manchester is only 40 minutes away, so that’s good.”
A midwifery student who identified herself only as Dua, 21, said a friend of hers was stabbed to death in the city centre a couple of years ago.
But she insisted she didn’t feel unsafe walking through the city centre, adding: “I got a lot of offers from around the country, but I chose Bradford because of the social deprivation here. They actually help people here.
“I feel safe here, I can walk through the city centre. I’ve never felt unsafe, but I do know what goes on. My friend got stabbed to death two years ago.”
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In the city’s Ravenscliffe estate, another area blighted by anti-social behaviour and where bus companies are regularly forced to cancel routes, horses can be seen tied to trees.
Local Brian Vinn, 56, who has lived in the street for 15 years, said: “I think 10th is about right. Everywhere has bad places, it’s just that I live in one.
“Buses were stopped coming on the street because they were getting stoned, taxis were stopped. Every now and again, it’ll flare up.
“You have young kids and they get to around 21, they get money and they buy quad bikes and they come whizzing down the street on them.
“It gets bad in the summer, you get kids causing trouble on the estate and we have the police here every couple of days, but they haven’t got a prayer. They won’t catch people.”
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