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It came up in another thread but probably deserves it's own thread... How safe do you find Birmingham? Is it a nice place? Is it better or worse than it used to be?

This isn't tied to the events of the weekend but a general view on the atmosphere, people and how safe you feel. Is it better or worse than other major cities?

Personally, in the ten odd years I've lived in the area and the 30 odd years I've been visiting the area I've been impressed with the improvements to the area aesthetically and the variety of restaurants and shops etc. On the flip side, I feel less safe at night than ever before and think the general rate of crime feels higher. I've personally been the victim of crime several times in recent years.

How does that compare to other places? I feel much safer in New York for example, but maybe the UK isn't much different city to city?

Is Birmingham a place you'd choose to live? I'm beginning to quite strongly dislike it...

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I can’t say I’ve ever felt unsafe in Birmingham to be honest and I’ve lived here for 31 of my 34 years. 
 

It’s not perfect but it’s better than 90% of the other cities in the UK and it’s getting better and better. It’s a far different place than it was 10-15 years ago imo

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I don’t live in Brum so can’t answer specifically but I don’t think I’ve ever  been anywhere in the UK where I haven’t felt safe , even when we used to cross the river sometimes and head into  Staines massif territory .

Back  in the 80’s coming out New Street Station and heading up the escalator  into the bullring could be an intimidating place some nights  ... I guess that area would be a prime example of how Birmingham has improved very much for the better 

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Feel less safe these days but this may be a result of modern media. Thinking back early 90s it was a proper shithole. The old Bullring was a dive and there were always older youths around ready to 'tax' our little group. I know several people who aren't enthusiastic about raising children in and around Birmingham and Saturday night's events aren't going to help. There just seem to be too many scrotes carrying knives these days. 

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I moved from Selly Oak in 2003 and don’t regret the move one bit. I have no strongly negative views of Brum.  It’s like any big city.  The centre is eye catching, generally safe and has all that you need.  But there are other areas that are dire.  

I miss not being able to pop out to a sushi restaurant, browse the shops and seeing a major artist play a concert.  


But I don’t miss my garage being covered in graffiti,  the house being broken into or gangs of lads hanging around making a nuisance of themselves.  

I still visit Brum.  I like it. I have fond memories of it.  But I don’t miss living there.  

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36 minutes ago, Mandy Lifeboats said:

I moved from Selly Oak in 2003 and don’t regret the move one bit. I have no strongly negative views of Brum.  It’s like any big city.  The centre is eye catching, generally safe and has all that you need.  But there are other areas that are dire.  

I miss not being able to pop out to a sushi restaurant, browse the shops and seeing a major artist play a concert.  


But I don’t miss my garage being covered in graffiti,  the house being broken into or gangs of lads hanging around making a nuisance of themselves.  

I still visit Brum.  I like it. I have fond memories of it.  But I don’t miss living there.  

Where did you move to Mandy?

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I mentioned before I only pop into the city a couple of times a year and I’m not really a fan. 
Last year I took the family to Thinktank (which is great) but have to pass through some pretty dodgy areas walking to it from the station. Maybe we didn’t take the optimal route but I was really regretting taking my wife and kids through some of the areas.

Theres a few really nice, expensively renovated areas with bars, shops and restaurants but the majority is dirty, old and rough (like most other cities I expect). 
I’m quite fortunate I live in a good sized town that has most of the amenities of the big city but without a lot of the poverty, gangs, crime of the city.

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9 hours ago, tonyh29 said:

I don’t live in Brum so can’t answer specifically but I don’t think I’ve ever  been anywhere in the UK where I haven’t felt safe , even when we used to cross the river sometimes and head into  Staines massif territory .

Back  in the 80’s coming out New Street Station and heading up the escalator  into the bullring could be an intimidating place some nights  ... I guess that area would be a prime example of how Birmingham has improved very much for the better 

It was that narrow walkway from the palisades that was intimidating and that was in the day time! 

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1 hour ago, Genie said:

I mentioned before I only pop into the city a couple of times a year and I’m not really a fan. 
Last year I took the family to Thinktank (which is great) but have to pass through some pretty dodgy areas walking to it from the station. Maybe we didn’t take the optimal route but I was really regretting taking my wife and kids through some of the areas.

Theres a few really nice, expensively renovated areas with bars, shops and restaurants but the majority is dirty, old and rough (like most other cities I expect). 
I’m quite fortunate I live in a good sized town that has most of the amenities of the big city but without a lot of the poverty, gangs, crime of the city.

I don't think that area is that bad, but give it a few years and it'll be the next area to be really nice I reckon. It's the part that's all going to be redeveloped as part of HS2

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20 minutes ago, Stevo985 said:

I don't think that area is that bad, but give it a few years and it'll be the next area to be really nice I reckon. It's the part that's all going to be redeveloped as part of HS2

It was more the streets we passed through between New Street and the museum. I can imagine the area by Thinktank looking lovely. 

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3 minutes ago, Genie said:

It was more the streets we passed through between New Street and the museum. I can imagine the area by Thinktank looking lovely. 

If you went down Moor Street Queensway it shouldn't be too bad. If you cut through Digbeth then the streets probably weren't that nice. 

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Like so many places now, i noticed the increase in beggars when i was last in town. Quite forward and sometimes aggressive too. Quite unnerving. 

I used to work in town many years ago but would hate to do so now. I guess I'm just a lot older and less streetwise now.

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10 hours ago, mottaloo said:

Like so many places now, i noticed the increase in beggars when i was last in town. Quite forward and sometimes aggressive too. Quite unnerving. 

I used to work in town many years ago but would hate to do so now. I guess I'm just a lot older and less streetwise now.

Oh yeah, I forgot that. I have nothing fundamentally against beggars and will often buy a sandwich for them or something, but the increase of hostile beggars is notable. The Belgrave Middleway junction is full of beggars and ladies wanting to clean your car windows - many quite aggressive. Again, is this Birmingham or national?

 

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21 hours ago, Stevo985 said:

I can’t say I’ve ever felt unsafe in Birmingham to be honest and I’ve lived here for 31 of my 34 years. 
 

It’s not perfect but it’s better than 90% of the other cities in the UK and it’s getting better and better. It’s a far different place than it was 10-15 years ago imo

I agree and disagree with parts of this post. I think birmingham is rough in places and is unsafe.

But it is better than alot of cities. Not sure i would go as far as saying 90% but certainly better than a host of the uk ones.

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I went to VP some months back, taking the 6am flight from Dublin. It had been a few years since I’d made the trip because I moved across the Atlantic. A bit of time had passed.

Spending a the Saturday morning and afternoon in Birmingham was a bit depressing. It seemed to have stagnated, a bit grim, and lacking any sense of optimism. I don’t say that to be mean, just being honest.

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I left Brum 21 years ago and headed to that lundun. For quite a while I was fiercely defensive of Birmingham but I’m the last few years I’ve struggle to keep it up. Maybe my trips back aren’t a good indicator but I find it a slightly troubling spot for a night out. My last night out in Brum was at the Jam House and I hated it. Seemed to be full of guys wearing shirts two sizes too small who made it their business to deliberately push past you in such a way as to guarantee they were going to spill your drink but doing so in such a way as to dare you to make a fuss. Probably the only time I’ve been out out in Birmingham for about five years but it didn’t make me fancy going back any time soon. 
 

Then again, I’m entirely too old for nights out like this so I should probably just admit defeat and not bother. 

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8 hours ago, choffer said:

I left Brum 21 years ago and headed to that lundun. For quite a while I was fiercely defensive of Birmingham but I’m the last few years I’ve struggle to keep it up. Maybe my trips back aren’t a good indicator but I find it a slightly troubling spot for a night out. My last night out in Brum was at the Jam House and I hated it. Seemed to be full of guys wearing shirts two sizes too small who made it their business to deliberately push past you in such a way as to guarantee they were going to spill your drink but doing so in such a way as to dare you to make a fuss. Probably the only time I’ve been out out in Birmingham for about five years but it didn’t make me fancy going back any time soon. 
 

Then again, I’m entirely too old for nights out like this so I should probably just admit defeat and not bother. 

That's a shame. I like the JQ (one of the better places for a night out in Brum imo) and always had good experiences at the Jam House

(except for the time I went there with my then new GF and she got so drunk she forgot who I was and I nearly got arrested because people thought I was trying to abduct her when all i was doing was trying to get her into a taxi. Then she vomited in my lap on the taxi drive home (which cost me £50) and then got in the bath fully clothed when we got back and ruined her outfit. Good times!)

Edited by Stevo985
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51 minutes ago, Stevo985 said:

That's a shame. I like the JQ (one of the better places for a night out in Brum imo) and always had good experiences at the Jam House

TBF my brother plays there a lot and he said he'd never seen it like that before but it didn't make me want to rush back. 

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I love it here and can't really imagine living anywhere else, I think the city is improving all the time and will continue to do so over the next 10 - 20 years (if working from home sticks around, I can see it being really good for Brum as the economy will likely become less London-centric). We're also the youngest city in Europe, and I think that can be a positive thing over the coming decades.

Brum has its problems, the same as any other major city and I can see why it would be a bit intimidating at night for those visiting from elsewhere, but I've never really felt unsafe here. A lot of the issues described here (knife crime, homelessness, begging etc.) are issues that are on the rise generally right across the country and can be attributed in large part to political and economic decisions that have been taken over the past decade. Birmingham is consistently one of the ten most deprived boroughs in the country, and the poorest areas of the city are amongst the poorest places in the UK (and likely among the poorest places in northern Europe) - so cuts to services are likely to be more acutely felt here then in many other places. I still think there's more cause for optimism than pessimism, and feel that the improvement in the city centre itself has been really noticeable over the past 10 - 15 years - hopefully that improvement can have a trickle down effect on some of the more deprived suburbs in years to come.

I'm perhaps more of a glass half full person, but even if you consider the deprived areas of the inner city (Handsworth, Aston, Newtown etc.), you're talking about some of the most racially, ethnically and culturally diverse places on the planet. Combined with high levels of poverty, it's not surprising that there are problems - but relatively speaking those areas are fairly harmonious when you consider the incredible diversity within them. In many other places on earth that would be a recipe for all-out conflict and civil war, so I think there's a lot about Brum that should be celebrated, which unfortunately is something that we don't do as well as other cities.

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33 minutes ago, icouldtelltheworld said:

I think there's a lot about Brum that should be celebrated, which unfortunately is something that we don't do as well as other cities.

I think that's an important point and one I've seen discussed here before. I've now been away longer than I ever lived in Brum so see it with a bit of a distance but I can't think of many cities (or towns of a decent size) that people seem to be less proud of. I often find Brummies to be almost apologetic of where they are from. There's so much to celebrate in the city and it's history but unless your surname is Chinn nobody is doing it. 

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