Gloucester Road is the most dangerous area in Bristol

Watch yourself walking back from Lakota

Grimy Gloucester Road has been revealed as the student area most affected by crime within Bristol.  

The area had a whopping 433 reported crimes in the last academic year, surpassing Queen’s Road, which came second with 335 reported crimes.

The areas around Stoke Bishop halls had relatively low levels of reported crime last year. Champagne fuelled antics or aggression at living on a recently converted building site may have caused the gap in criminal activity between the Wills and Hiatt Baker compared to that of Badock and Churchill.

Idyllic but dangerous?

Gloucester Road is a modern, edgy area of Bristol. The streets adorned with graffiti and the many bric-a-brac shops are a far cry from the polished terraces of Clifton. Despite having the highest proportion of reported crimes, the road has a strong sense of community and a vibrant atmosphere.

Ben, a languages student, shared his experiences of living on the road last year.

“Living on Gloucester Road last year was a really great experience. You’re close to Stoke’s Croft, and there’s a surprising amount of students living in the area, which makes it nice when you find you know people who live there.

“Despite its bad reputation, Gloucester Road is safe. There are people on the streets 24/7- and having come back from Lakota at all times of night I can assure you this is true.

“To be honest, I feel safer walking through this area alone at 4am than I do in Clifton. It’s comforting to know that if anything were to happen, 20 different people would see it.

“There’s a good sense of community, and people look out for each other.

“Sure, it has the reputation for being full of criminals, but that’s probably because some students are afraid to leave Clifton and see that just because somewhere is diverse, and a bit rough around the edges, it doesn’t mean that it’s a hub for crime.”

Rough around the edges

The road certainly is diverse, with plenty of independent shops and quirky eateries.

Ibraham, a security guard at a convenience store on the road, assured us of the safety of the area.

“It’s okay here. There’s CCTV and security around the road, it’s not like it’s a side road, it’s a main road.”

Certainly, there seems to be a constant security presence, with mobile CCTV units driving along the road frequently.

However, not all locals are as convinced about the charm of the unique area.

The staff at a pub on Gloucester Road told us that crime had been quite an issue on the road, in particular, one bizarre incident of theft at their establishment.

“We have CCTV footage of our lavender plants being pulled up and stolen, some at 3am, and then the rest at 5am. On a few occasions, we’ve caught customers trying to take drugs in the toilets, and the police sometimes come in and ask to look at our CCTV.

One time, a homeless man broke into our toilet and slept in there. We didn’t realise until the morning, so we make sure we keep it really secure now.”

It’s obvious that a hub of activity will always attract a diverse group of people, and the risk of crime seeping in will increase. Gloucester Road is noisy, busy, and a little intimidating, but don’t let the horror stories put you off. Throw on your clashing tracksuits and your best day-glo scrunchie, and go and see the danger for yourself.