A street in Liverpool has become an unlikely viral sensation after a TikTok video highlighted the realities of life on the derelict estate.
The clip, which has so far been viewed over five million times, was created by a user who found Primrose Court in Huyton while scrolling on Google Street View.
Derelict homes with windows boarded over, graffiti and rubbish on the ground are soundtracked to music from horror film Dead Silence.
The creator of the clip, which shows the homes as they stood in September 2019, can be heard saying over the top: "Look at the f****** state of this street in Liverpool."
Residents who live on the estate have now described what life is like living on Primrose Court – where people fear for their safety because of gangs torching houses and settings fires in the street.
Homes have been hit by a spate of crime and anti-social behaviour in recent years which has caused many people to move out of the area all together.
One man, who lives in the area, said anti-social behaviour had got worse on Primrose Court over the last few months.
He told the Liverpool Echo that gangs of teenagers and young people are targeting the derelict house, lighting fires and hiding suspected stolen goods inside them.
He told the paper: "There's 10-20 of them coming from other places around and they are making a big mess in the area. They are burning the area, burning the street, setting fires in the entrance so no one can go out.
"When there's bigger rubbish like big sofas and furniture they set fire [to it] in the middle of the street so no one can come out and in."
The man said he's afraid to report these incidents to the police for fear of the repercussions it could have for him and his family.
In 2019, a house was put up for auction on Primrose Court with a starting price of just £1.
But every time someone new moves into the area, the resident said they soon move out again in the space of a few months.
He added: "I want the area to be much better. We want the council to put something like lighting in the area and cameras…
"The lighting will help because these people do things at night. If there is light in the area it will reduce the amount of crime.”
Another man, who did not want to be named for safety reasons, said crime on the estate is so bad it's not safe for his daughter to visit him.
He said: "All the time people are bringing their rubbish and they make fires. I can't describe it to be honest with you, it's looks like Beirut.”
Some residents claim people are coming to the area to fly-tip and are hiding furniture in the gardens of the empty properties where it is out of view.
In a statement in December 2020, Knowsley Council said: "Funding has been secured from the Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership and will be used to tackle arson in the area through improved lighting and CCTV."
When asked for an update on this funding, a Knowsley Council spokesperson said that CCTV is being installed but “further funding is needed to regenerate the area”.
They added: "There has been a reduction in the number of anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping incidents in the area over the last 12 months and any reports that have been received have been followed up and appropriate action taken.
"Merseyside Police continue to patrol the area and has conducted a number of search warrants which has resulted in the seizure of controlled drugs, cash and stolen property.”
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