BEGGARS and homeless people have seen Commercial Road rated as the third most avoided area in Portsmouth, according to a community safety survey.
Around 1,200 people were asked about their fears and experience of crime - with those questioned asked to rank the places they avoid in Portsmouth the most.
Somers Town was the most commonly avoided area, followed by Buckland.
Both areas are consistently first and second in the list.
But Commercial Road has risen to the third most avoided place - up from ninth in 2014.
Paulsgrove has dropped to sevenths place - from second in 2009, while Portsea has dropped to eight from third in 2001.
The Community Safety Survey is carried out every two years by the Safer Portsmouth Partnership Plan.
But Nelson ward councillor Ian Lyon – whose area includes parts of Buckland – said: ‘I don’t think it’s a cauldron of crime and violence.’
He added: ‘It’s obviously perception because there’s very little evidence that there’s greater crime in that area.’
People who said they avoided Somers Town and Buckland said they did so because of a bad reputation, fear of violence and people hanging around as well as gangs.
Those that added further comments about people 'hanging around' linked this to young people, drunks, adults from other ethnic backgrounds or the homeless.
Fratton was fourth most avoided, followed by Guildhall Walk.
Last year people responding to The News’ Big Cities survey said they had concerns about no-go areas in the city – a suggestion chief constable Olivia Pinkney said was not recognised by police in the area.
A report on the survey said: ‘As in previous surveys, overall, the most common reason for avoiding areas was a bad reputation rather than personal experience. What this perceived bad reputation is based on is often difficult to ascertain.’
It added: ‘However, while a bad reputation features highly, crimes and (anti-social behaviour) rates for these areas have also been previously higher than the average for Portsmouth and so there is some substance behind the residents' concerns.’
People taking part in the survey were most worried about being burgled, mugged, robbed or attacked.
The major survey found:
:: 50 per cent of people feel safe in Portsmouth.
:: 78 per cent of people thought anti-social behaviour was causing problems in their area.
:: Two out of three people experienced ASB.
Just 42 per cent of crimes were reported to the police - with hate crime victims least likely to inform police.
Councillor Dave Ashmore, cabinet member for community safety, said: ‘By reporting an incident, you might be able to prevent an incident from happening to someone else.
‘You will also help the authorities understand the extent of hate crime so they can respond to it better.’
The council yesterday said it was working to promote Hate Crime Awareness Week, which ends tomorrow.
Report a hate crime at report-it.org.uk
Places most commonly avoided – as voted in the Community Safety Survey 2018
The full list of places people said they would most commonly avoid, in ranking order, were:
:: Somers Town
:: Commercial Road
:: Guildhall walk
Nearly 600 people of the 1,200 surveyed completed the section about areas they most commonly avoid.