I live in one of the most dangerous places in the UK - that's not just out of England, that's Wales, Scotland and Northen Ireland too. I am not saying where it is, or which city is, but where I live, is classed as one of the most dangerous places in the UK in terms of crime.
And I was actually worried about college this year because the area it is in, has a really bad reputation- and I was told "sketchy dudes" hang outside the college. That scared me.
But I wanted to share my experience in living where I live with you guys- this is my honest experience.
But before I do that I just want to give you a little background...
I've been here basically my whole life. I wasn't born in this city, but I have grown up here- I was supposed to be born in this city but my mum needed to be in the city she was from for family reasons- so I was born in that city.
But I've lived in this city pretty much since I was a baby and I know virtually nothing about the city I was born in- other than what I hear on the news.
I went to nursery here, primary school, secondary school, and now I'm going to college here too. As for university- I do have the university in this city as an option in my mind, but I have a few others in neighbouring cities/towns in my mind too- but we'll see when the time comes.
I live here with my family- my father, my mother and my little brother (oof I ryhmed). My father was also born in this city and he grew up here.
My paternal grandparents came to this city in the 1960s, and they worked in the factories and raised their children.
And here I am today, grown up here and am still studying here. :P
What Was It Like Growing Up Here?
Pretty nice. I have some awesome childhood memories here, at the library, at the local park, in the backstreet playing with the neighbours, at the Museums.
Places like the library, the local park, and the museums were free places we could go- and that was really helpful to a lot of people in our city- and because they were so easy to go to location wise and financially my parents took me and I know lots of other kids who went to those places too and it created wonderful childhood memories for us.
Primary school was great. I went to an amazing primary school, my parents sent me there because it was local and had a good reputation and my cousins went there too- so that was just a bonus. The teachers at my primary school were great and most of them are still there- so that's a surprise to me. I remember a lot- the paintings we did in reception, the little arts and crafts stuff we did in year 1, the puppet show we did in year 2, 'French and Spanish day' we had in year 3, how everyone was buzzing because we were allowed to take our own 'bookbags' into school in year 4, the swimming lessons we got in year 5, and the helping supervise the younger kids, and preparing for secondary school, the mini-exams called SATs we had, the after SATs week we had where we did a load of fun activities, and the last day where everyone cried in year 6.
Secondary school got off to a rocky start but turned out great. Whenever I tell people what secondary school I went to their face just drops and they sigh- because it doesn't have the best reputation and I remember being told in primary school that kids get stabbed their, they throw rocks at each other, bullying is the norm blah blah blah, and as an younger kid I used to believe anything I heard. And compared to my primary school, the place was huge. And I wasn't really used to going out my comfort zone so year 7 wasn't really a good year for me. When year 8 came, I found my group of friends and I was becoming more confident, year 9- I loved that year because we got to do some creative options I picked drama and I remember having to preform to the year below us, year 10 probably the best year of secondary school for me, our classes got mixed up- so I met more new people, we have some really funny memories from that year - like washing teachers cars for charity - and plus that was the year when my best friend moved here. And year 11 was great too, our English class was the best, staying back at the library with my friends, the school residential, prom- so many amazing memoies.
Now my secondary school was far from perfect. It was rated one of the worst schools in our city at one point (whilst I was going there) and we definitely had problems through the years with teachers not showing up and us having supply teachers, sometimes even being left in the classroom without a teacher at all because not even the supply teacher showed up, there was vandalism around the school and especially in toilet cubicals, fights often used to break out, some kids hid and smoked, and one time we had a bombscare and were locked in the 'Multi-Use Games Area' for an hour after school- but turns out there was no bomb, it was just an empty bottle of Lucazade.
But if you kept away from all the drama, all the drama would keep away from you- and I just got on with my work and had my own little circle of friends who did the same- we never used to stand in the dinner hall arguing or hair-pulling- we just used to stand in deformed kind of circle and talk about the most random things.
And nobody ever got stabbed in the school, nobody ever threw rocks at each other, bullying behaviour was not the norm and I can assure you nobody died there. All those rumours were fake and I soon learned that.
What about now?
I started college in September, and yes there were rumours about my college too- but I'd learned from my secondary school experience not to fully believe everything you hear- but was a little wary still because again, both the area it is in and the college itself did not have the best reputation.
None the less, I went into college with a positive mindset even though I thought I'd be the only one from my friendship group going. But at enrollment I saw one of my friends- he told me he was going there, but I thought he was trying to trick me like he always did. And then on the first day he was a no-show because he'd been told the first day was another day.
But my college isn't as bad as people say either. They do have good facilities there- the college library is AMAZING, I like independence the college gives us too. And my teachers are there most of the time- though today one was late (not his fault) because there was an accident on the way to college where he was coming from, and for some reason one of my other teachers wasn't here today- but she set us work still, so it ain't all bad. And they're usually on time and here most days.
What About The Area Your College Is In And Those "Sketchy dudes?"
So I catch the bus to college from my house- and everyone on the bus minds their own business, the only people who attempt to talk to me are some elderly people who will ask me how I am, and sometimes little kids with their parents.
I get off at the bus stop and it's a short walk to college, I walk to college by myself- and from the day I started college I have never been harrassed, or assaulted. The worst I have had is drunks creepily staring at me- and that's only happened about 3 times, and they never said anything to me.
When I walk to the bus stop, which I catch the bus to get home- it's a 15-20 minute walk for me. And again nobody has ever assaulted or harrassed me whilst I have been walking. Usually people just mind their own business. And I've seen plenty of girls who are walking along too- and nobody says anything to them, everybody just minds their own business.
The only time anybody has ever approached me, was one Friday I was walking home from college and this jolly man asked me how I was (even though I didn't know him) and then asked me if I go to the university- and I told him I didn't and I was studying my A-Levels at college. He told me my studies were very important and then said goodbye and went on his way.
It was a little bit random but I am sure he meant no harm. Why I probably stood out to him, is because as he was walking away I noticed he had a limp similar to mine, so he probably noticed my limp was similar to his.
And can I just say that where I walk for about 15-20 minutes to get the bus home, is probably one of the busiest areas in my city too.
What about the "sketchy dudes" that hang outside your college?
Within the first week of college I discovered: there are no sketchy dudes hanging outside the college.
The only people who hang outside the college are the guys and girls who are students there. Now I don't tend to hang outside the college myself, mainly because they smoke and I don't like breathing all that in- but let's say when I have to go there in the morning to get into the college smoke never gets blown in my face, and the people who smoke don't bother me or anyone else they just do their thing, and let others get on with it too.
What 'Crime' Has Affected Me?
The only 'crime' that really happens to me where I live- is people trying to get into and sometimes breaking into our garage- but it isn't as bad as it sounds, they don't take anything because there's nothing to take. We're not so stupid, that we'd put anything of value in there.
What Else Is There To Say About Where I Live?
I want to say something about the people here.
Well here we have a diverse population.
We have youth and elderly people. We have people with disabilities- that's pretty standard for any city.
In this city, we have white, South Asian, East Asian, and black people. To be more specific I've met people and have become friends with people:
We have ethnically British people.
Of Eastern European descent and Eastern European immigrants. .i.e. Hungarians, Polish, Lithuania, Russia.
Of other Western European descent and Western European immigrants .i.e. French, Irish, German.
Of South Asian descent and South Asian immigrants .i.e. Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi.
Of East Asian descent and East Asian Immigrants .i.e. Chinese, From Hong Kong.
Of Arab descent and Arab immigrants .i.e. Egyptian, Iraqi, Syrian.
Of African descent and African immigrants .i.e. Somalia, Kenya, Nigeria.
Of Caribbean descent and Caribbean immigrants .i.e. Jamaica
Then we have mixed race people too:
I've met Blasian people (half black half Asian), people who are half white half black, a couple of people who are half Indian half Pakistani, quite a few who are half white half Pakistani.
And then we have a diverse range of religions/non-religions too:
Christians, Muslims, Atheists, Agnostics, Sikhs, Hindus, and we have a very small Jewish population too.
In our city to be precise by ethnicity we have:
White: Over 250,000
(East and South) Asian: Over 73,000
Black: Over 5,000
Mixed Race: Over 10,000
Arab: Over 2,000
Other Ethnic Groups: Over 3,500
What Is My Point By Making This MyTake?
I am a 16-year-old partially disabled girl. I cannot defend myself physically and I have no choice but to go by myself on the bus, walking to college and do that 15-20 minute walk from college. Except for on Wednesdays when I have a couple of friends to walk with from college (and that's only sometimes)- but other than that, no.
And I live in one of the most "dangerous" places in the UK. And I used to be worried about walking through those streets on my own- before I started college. But now I've actually started college, am I still worried? No. I'm not scared, I'm not worried- I learned that the people that told me the rumours over-exaggerate and the streets aren't as scary as they seem.
The other day, on Halloween actually, I went to a meeting and by the time I got out it was pitch dark. I was by myself and I did at first looking at the big place and it was cold- so yes, I wasn't fearless. But the city lights made me less scared and there were guys in masks - probably teenagers and looking at them first I they didn't look like teenagers they looked scary to me, but as I got closer and heard them talking, I soon figured they were teenagers by the way they sounded and I walked past- not one of them said a single thing to me- and I soon realised they were in masks because it was Halloween and they were just messing around like most teens do.
When we first see things and hear things they sound scary. But the majority of the time, once we go out and explore for ourselves they're not as scary as they seem. Like I was worried about walking by myself from college- but it's actually a nice walk, I get a good bit of exercise out of it and I sometimes go into the library. I was scared of the place I went for the meeting, while it was dark, but the place was actually really pretty and watching the city go by in whilst it was dark was pretty too.
Plus, I feel like Britain is being portrayed as an extremely dangerous unsafe place- especially for women in recent times. I saw one user ask on here (something along the lines of): "I'm going to Britain next summer- so I worry about getting raped?"
And I live in Britain and obviously, my friends live in Britain. We live in "one of the most dangerous cities" in the UK most of us are teen girls and as I said I'm a teenager with a disability and none of us have that fear. We can walk freely around the streets of our city. Some of my friends go to a college in a neighbouring town and they usually have to be at the bus stop at 7:00 am in the morning- and they're still safe. And sometimes they won't get back until it's dark and they're still okay- nothing has happened to them.
And I'm not saying everywhere in my city is completely safe- I don't go down alleyways and stuff- but I can walk in most places I go by myself and so can my friends.
And I often hear rumours online about "Sharia patrols" patrolling Britain everywhere harrassing young girls. Now I live in a city with a large Muslim population, I go to some of the busiest parts almost every single day.
I don't wear a hijab, I wear English clothes .i.e. leggings, jumpers, jeans, tops, t-shirts with a coat or thin jacket, I walk by myself the majority of the time and you can't tell I'm Pakistani or Muslim just by looking at me. A lot of people assume I'm Indian or Bangladeshi- some even assume I'm black, some assume I'm mixed-race (half black half Asian)- and my two friends I sometimes walk with on Wednesdays they're both white guys- and NO "sharia patrol" has ever come up to me and said:
"Why are you not wearing a hijab?"
"Why are you wearing English clothes?"
"Why are you walking by yourself?"
"Why are you walking with white guys?"
Because they don't exist. Maybe 5 years ago in one city- sure, but not today.
And there are girls I see dressing revealingly i.e. crop tops, tank tops, short skirts and these girls are of various ethnicities and no "sharia patrol" has ever harrassed them for the way they dress either- if that happened we would have heard about it because she would have told us in college.
Now there are certain times I wouldn't go out alone, probably about 8:00 pm and after. Because I have no business being out at that time, and I cannot gaurentee it is safe.
Where I live now, it usually starts getting dark at around about 4:30 pm- and somedays college might finish late, or I may need to stay back for some reason, or I might have another evening meeting- the latest I'd probably stay at college is until 6:00 pm and by then, it's pitch dark. And I can walk the streets by myself safely, without fear of getting raped, or a sharia patrol harrassing me.
So no, if you come to Britain, you don't have to fear being raped. Especially if you stay in a place where there are lots of people and you don't decide to walk into an alleyway or somewhere like that.
This city does have a high crime rate, and a lot of crime does go on in the areas I walk in- but that doesn't stop me from going to college and nobody has ever hurt me or the thousands of other pupils whilst we're walking to college.
If I with a partial disability that makes me physically weaker and prevents me from being able to defend myself can walk in a place which is considered one of the most "dangerous places" in the UK- sometimes in the dark by myself and I walk with a visible limp, I'm 5'1, and have a petite figure- so anyone can see I am an easy target- and nobody has attacked me and I do this most days in the week- I'm sure it's safe for pretty much anyone.
Woah, another lengthy MyTake. :P
Thank you for reading :) <3