I used to love Selly but am now petrified to live here

I’m scared to walk anywhere alone

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Let’s be honest: Selly Oak has never been the nicest or the safest place in the world. When walking around Selly you’re bound to dodge at least one puddle of vomit, and it’s very much accepted that you have to be vigilant when you’re walking around at night. Yes, it’s a shithole – but it’s always been our shithole.

But after the recent muggings I can now genuinely say I’m scared to live here.

In light of these violent attacks on some of the busiest roads, many students are now terrified of leaving the house or walking home alone – including myself. The fear takes over when you think about just how real these attacks are and how close they happen to your front doorstep. The winter is even worse when it gets dark at four in the afternoon and you walk back through Selly on your own. It’s just not safe.

Suddenly, the days of blasting music through earphones when walking home at 9pm are gone. I have to hold my keys in my fist to give me some sort of security, and I feel like I can’t take my time to enjoy the walk. And you know what? I’m sick of it. I’m afraid of where I live, and that’s not fair.

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After a long day on campus I want to walk home in my own little world, listening to music, without jumping a foot in the air when my friend taps me on the shoulder. I want to take my laptop to campus with me and not worry about being threatened by someone and having it snatched off me. I want to walk up my road on my own after Sports Night or Fab and not be terrified that someone will jump out at me. Is that wishful thinking? It very much looks like it is after the attacks this last week.

I feel so sorry for all of the victims who have suffered from these horrifying attacks in the place that I call home. It’s embarrassing. All this means that Selly Oak isn’t just our little shithole any more: it’s a genuinely scary place to be. And if something isn’t done about these bastards soon, even more people are going to get really hurt.