We live in the real-life Peaky Blinders suburb – gangsters outside our door are scarier than on the show | The Sun
RESIDENTS who live in the inner-city suburb where Peaky Blinders is set say life in the area is much more dangerous than in the show.
Small Heath in Birmingham features as the backdrop for the award-winning gangster drama, but locals have revealed that the real-life gangsters in the area are much scarier.
Homeowners say people live in fear of gangs fighting running wars on the crime-ridden streets which become no-go areas after dark.
Dad-of-one Andi Khan, 33, said in reality the area is home to drugs dens and still a crime hotspot more than 100 years on from when the series was set.
He said: "The show portrays Small Heath as a pretty rough area and to be honest it still is even now.
"Me and my mates joked that some scenes showing these run-down industrial slums weren't that different to how they are today.
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"We've still got gangs running riot around here, although they are a bit different to the ones seen in the show.
"If anything the reality is scarier and more dangerous.
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"There's not just one or two gangs running the show around here, there's multiple gangs, usually young lads, clashing all the time. most of the time over drugs.
"People are going around with guns these days rather than razor blades. It has got worse over the last ten years, perhaps ironically since the show began."
The BBC drama, starring Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby, was based on a real street gang based in the city at the turn of the 20th Century, it concluded last year after six thrilling series.
In the programme, Small Heath is home to the Garrison Tavern pub, Charlie Strong's yard and the Shelby Home and Betting shop.
Despite attracting tourists to the area, people claim the legacy of the show has had no effect as not a penny has been spent on regeneration.
Sandra Delaney, 57, has worked in Griffin's Sandwich Shop next to the run-down Garrison Tavern, once a bustling pub for Birmingham City fans, for just over a year.
The mum-of-four, from Stetchford, Birmingham, said: "People travel from all over the world to come and visit Small Heath because of the Peaky Blinders sets.
"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, with rubbish lining the streets.
"It's a shame though because the Garrison pub has now also been turned into some kind of hostel so people can't even really go and enjoy the film set.
"But I wouldn't say these issues aren't any worse than they are in other areas of Birmingham."
"I think kids want to think they are the next Peaky Blinders – it's ridiculous really."
Another local resident, who did not wish to be named, said: "I don't go out after dark. It's proper dodgy and I don't think Peaky Blinders helped its image.
Welder Harry Danks, 36, a dad-of-one, from Solihull, added: "I'm a Birmingham City fan so I'm in Small Heath a lot.
"Peaky Blinders has helped the image of Birmingham as a whole I think and brought tourists in.
"It's a cool show that's got a worldwide following.
"It has brought people to Small Heath too but the area has not seen any improvement as a result of the exposure. It's still as rough as it's always been."
In January, figures show 380 crimes were reported in the Small Heath and Highgate areas including 136 violent and sexual offences.
Just two weeks ago a rapper who boasted in one of his songs about stabbing a teenager to death in Small Heath was jailed for life.
Abdirahaman Yussuf, 20, plunged a blade into the chest of Yahya Sharif, 18, who was ambushed as he got out of his car on December 10, 2021.
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