Tuesday, 21 Mar 2023

Locals where Peaky Blinders is set say gangs ‘are far scarier’ than in the show

People living in the area where Peaky Blinders is set say today’s gangs are far scarier than the ones in the hit show.

The Birmingham district of Small Heath features as the backdrop for the award-winning gritty gangster drama.

But locals reckon the deprived suburb is similar to the 1920s slums seen in the series.

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Dad-of-one Andi Khan, 33, said: “The show portrays Small Heath as a pretty rough area and to be honest it still is even now. We’ve still got gangs running riot around here. If anything, the reality is scarier and more dangerous.

“People are going around with guns these days rather than razor blades. It has got worse over the last 10 years, perhaps ironically since the show began.”

The BBC drama, starring Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby, was based on a real street gang which reigned in nearby Digbeth at the turn of the 20th Century.

In the programme Small Heath is home to the Garrison Tavern pub, Charlie Strong’s yard and the Shelby home and betting shop.

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The show’s creator Steven Knight grew up in Small Heath and said he would hear stories of the real Peaky Blinders when he was a kid.

Sandra Delaney, 57, works in Griffin’s Sandwich Shop next to the now run-down Garrison Tavern.

She said: “People travel from all over the world to visit Small Heath because of Peaky Blinders. But I think they are very disappointed when they get here. The area needs a lot of TLC and drugs are rife in this area.

“There is also a lot of litter and fly tipping in the area. It’s a shame.”

Meanwhile, another area of Birmingham has also been highlighted as a neglected blighted by crime.

The road in Birmingham is more akin to a "Third World slum" or a scene from 'The Last of Us' – a post-apocalyptic TV drama – according to residents living close to Crawford Street, in Saltley.

"Crater-like" potholes, waves of rubbish and burnt-out vehicles are said to fill the infamous street – and it's got into the condition it has because Birmingham City Council allowed it to fall into disrepair, claim locals.

Wahid Khan 33, lives on the next street along and says the road is a hotspot for fly-tipping, drug-taking and other criminal behaviour.

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"Honestly, you would not believe this place. It reminds me of the post apocalyptic scenes from The Last of Us," said the dad-of-one.

"I saw it described as the most neglected street in the city but I'd go one step further than that and say it's the most neglected street anywhere in the country."

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