We spoke to Portsmouth residents living in the city’s ‘most-avoided’ areas

WHILE reputation has given two areas of Portsmouth a bad name to others in the city, it is not something residents agree with.

For many walking through Buckland on a sunny afternoon, the area does not seem rife with crime or youths causing trouble.

Somers Town has a bad reputation with many Portsmouth residents

Somers Town has a bad reputation with many Portsmouth residents

With their children in tow, parents are chatting and looking forward to a weekend in their homes in what participants of a Community Safety Survey named the second most avoided area of the city.

Only Somers Town beats it with Commercial Road coming in third.

Around 1,200 people took part in the survey, carried out every two years by the Safer Portsmouth Partnership, and were asked their fears and experiences of crime.

Residents are not put off by the findings, with many hailing the area as having ‘a real community feeling’.

And while the kids are occasionally screaming and playing to close to the roads, there are no expletives spoken and young gangs of teenagers in school uniforms are not misbehaving.

Police cars and officers are not on every corner although its numerous blocks of flats and narrow streets could come across as intimidating.

Many residents understand where the bad reputation comes from but argued it is not all doom and gloom.

Rebecca Sampson has lived in Buckland for seven years since giving birth to her eldest daughter.

The 28-year-old said: ‘I used to get embarrassed when telling people where I lived in but now I like it here. There is a community here – you can count on anyone to help you.

‘Yes there is the occasional trouble but Fratton and areas of Southsea are the same.

‘It is no worse and things are a lot better.’

Ralph Jacobs, 68, moved to Buckland 44 years ago. He added: ‘There is a community feeling here. You see the same people who say hello. 

‘Buckland has a bad name but not among us residents. Crime has been a problem in the past but it is never serious, just anti-social behaviour.’

One resident, who asked not to be named, said people hear about one incident and assume every day is like that.

Meanwhile, Somers Town residents accept the reputation and said recent crimes, including serious assaults, were going to stay in people’s minds.

Jody White, 23, said: ‘There has been a few serious crimes here which gives the whole area a bad name.’

A 27-year-old added: ‘Loads of places in Portsmouth I would avoid at night because of crime, it is not just Somers Town.’​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​