Residents of Sulgrave, hailed as Britain’s most economical village, express their frustration at the uncontrollable decline in property values, attributing it to rampant crime in the vicinity. Situated just eight miles south of Newcastle, Sulgrave has witnessed a staggering 53.5 percent drop in property prices. Recent statistics reveal that the average property value has plummeted from £73,270 to £34,074 within the past year.

Ken Pringle purchased a spacious two-bedroomed flat in Sulgrave that spans over two floors for just £33k back in 2022

In 2022, Ken Pringle acquired a generously sized two-bedroom apartment in Sulgrave, spanning two floors, for a mere £33,000.

In 2022, Ken Pringle acquired a generously sized two-bedroom apartment in Sulgrave, spanning two floors, for a mere £33,000.Fly-tipped rubbish is strewn across communal spaces in Sulgrave, a suburb of Washington

In the suburb of Washington known as Sulgrave, communal areas are marred by the unsightly presence of fly-tipped rubbish scattered about.

Property prices in the area plummeted by more than 50 percent over the last 12 months, analysis showsLocals have different views on how bad crime is in Sulgrave. Pictured (John Webster, 69, a retired trainee store manager)

Opinions among Sulgrave residents diverge regarding the severity of crime in the area. Featured is John Webster, 69, a retired trainee store manager.

Some locals have compared Neville Court, Collingwood Court and Waterloo Court to a prison

Certain residents have drawn comparisons between Neville Court, Collingwood Court, and Waterloo Court, likening their ambiance to that of a prison.

Spikes can be seen on the walls which surround the Neville Court, Collingwood Court and Waterloo Court complex

Spikes are evident on the walls encircling the Neville Court, Collingwood Court, and Waterloo Court complex.

“Last month, a Christmas tree in one of the houses behind ours was intentionally set ablaze,” remarked an anonymous resident who resides a street away from the dilapidated apartment complex. Describing the block of flats as reminiscent of a prison, they noted its perimeter is fortified with a substantial metal fence and barbed wire.

Expressing reluctance to reside within, the resident expressed concerns over rumors that the police utilize one of the flats as a temporary holding cell due to the high incidence of crime, although they couldn’t verify the accuracy of this claim. They highlighted a noticeable police presence, with frequent patrols and responses to incidents.

Regarding the complex’s condition, they expressed disdain, suggesting it’s so dire that few would lament its demise. Grateful for their own verdant view, they noted the presence of two large trees in their garden, shielding them from the unsightly surroundings.

Despite the challenges posed by the apartment complex, the resident maintained a positive outlook on Sulgrave village itself. They acknowledged its affordability, with some flats available for rent as low as £350 per month, and emphasized the pleasant community atmosphere prevalent throughout the rest of the village. Having resided in the area for 13 years, they described it as a welcoming environment where children freely play in the streets, fostering connections among neighbors.

Mum-of-two Angel Kent (pictured) moved into a three-bed council house in Sulgrave nine months ago and pays just over £400 per month in rent

Angel Kent, a mother of two (depicted in the image), relocated to Sulgrave nine months ago, where she currently resides in a three-bedroom council house. Her monthly rent amounts to just over £400.

“Numerous residents have established long-term residence in their own homes. One neighbor, who preferred not to disclose their identity, expressed, ‘I’m currently paying £400 in rent, but I’m actively seeking a new place. After splitting with my partner last November, I resorted to staying in hotels until I found this affordable option. Sadly, the neighboring door seems to be frequently damaged, creating a distressing environment.’

On the contrary, some residents adamantly affirm their commitment to the budget-friendly village. Angel Kent, a mother of two, recently moved into a three-bedroom council house, paying slightly above £400 monthly in rent. She remarked, ‘Despite occasional residents who have been released from prison residing in the apartment complex, they largely keep to themselves and cause no trouble. In fact, they often offer assistance with the pram and greet you warmly. Even my uncle, who resides nearby, attests to their considerate behavior; whenever he asks them to lower their music volume, they readily comply.'”

The private apartment complex is made up of Neville Court, Collingwood Court and Waterloo Court and is surrounded by cast iron fences with spikes on the top (pictured)

The private apartment complex comprises Neville Court, Collingwood Court, and Waterloo Court, enclosed by cast iron fences adorned with spikes at the top (as depicted in the image).

Crime figures for Washington show the Concord and Sulgrave area had the highest number of incidents in 2022 (flats in the Waterloo Walk area)

In 2022, crime statistics for Washington indicate that the Concord and Sulgrave locality, particularly the flats within the Waterloo Walk

“I receive a pensioner’s discount on rent, making it very affordable. It’s a pleasant place to reside, peaceful and serene. However, I personally wouldn’t prefer to live in the flats.”

A retired civil servant, aged 69, who has been a resident of the village for 39 years, shared insights, saying, “Initially, we settled in the flats during the 80s as they were ex-council and available at a reasonable price. While there was a strong sense of community initially, many residents eventually moved away. Subsequently, we relocated just outside the complex into our current home. There’s been some instances of antisocial behavior within the flats, but fortunately, the associated crime tends to remain contained within the complex. It’s almost like a community within a community. Police presence is noticeable in the area. Although our house was slightly pricier than the average, it still represents good value for money.”

According to recent crime data for Washington, the Concord and Sulgrave area reported the highest number of incidents in 2022, with 1,154 offenses recorded. This area was particularly noted for being the most problematic in terms of burglary, drug-related offenses, public order disturbances, vehicle crimes, as well as violent and sexual offenses.

A spokesperson for Northumbria Police addressed the concerns, stating, “We recognize the detrimental impact that antisocial behavior, perpetrated by a minority, can have on our communities. To mitigate this, we conduct regular patrols to reduce such behavior in the Sulgrave area. Additionally, we actively participate in the Sulgrave Project, collaborating with partner organizations to address local issues effectively. We take a proactive stance against criminal activities and strive to identify and address offenders appropriately. Residents are encouraged to report any criminal activity or suspicious incidents via our website’s ‘Report’ page or by calling 101.”


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