A community has been turned into a ghost town as one of the UK's highest burglary rates has left residents so scared that they never leave their homes.
Goldthorpe in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, which has a population of around 6,000 according to the 2011 Census, has been plagued by robberies for the last few years – with many residents claiming that it is all down to people they know.
This has forced many residents to flee the town, and businesses to close, Yorkshire Live reports.
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And for some, the toll of the burglaries is becoming too much.
One of the residents, Irinia Opris, had her home broken into just before Christmas last year – and the callous thieves nicked her Christmas presents.
They said: “He took the laptops, tablets, all my jewellery, the Christmas presents which were packed and with name tags.
“I felt betrayed because I had always been a good neighbour, me and my husband are both working, we have a four-year-old daughter.
“I felt very anxious after that because he watched me, he followed me to know when I’m coming home for my lunch.
“He probably was in my backyard when I was home. For few weeks I didn’t leave the house because I was sure he’s there, watching.”
Despite CCTV footage of many of the robberies, and the thought that the thief – or thieves – are known, nothing has yet been done about it.
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Exact crime figures for the area are hard to come by, but the Daily Star has contacted South Yorkshire Police for the details.
There is an argument among the remaining residents over who is to blame for the thefts not being dealt with, with some blaming the council while some pointing the finger at the police.
Another resident, Mercy Anne said: “I think the police are overstretched, the council don't give a crap about helping.”
Mercy Anne's son had his bike stolen, and claims to know who did it.
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There are even threats from residents who plan to take matters into their own hands unless “something is done” to stop the burglaries.
Mercy Anne (not her real name) said: “Our street is a good street but its people who come and make trouble.
“It's only a matter of time before people who have things stolen will take it into their own hands.”
The Daily Star has contacted South Yorkshire Police and Barnsley Council for comment.
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