Britain’s ‘concrete jungle’ city so harmful locals ‘do not dare use ATMs’

Locals in “the UK’s most depressing town” have said they don’t even dare use cash machines because they’re afraid they’ll be followed by muggers.

Slough is a place of extremes, with people sleeping rough in the shadows of buildings housing some of the world’s biggest corporations.

Urban explorer Wendall visited the town still most famous for being the location of BBC sitcom The Office to find out what it’s like to live in the “concrete jungle” in the heart of Berkshire.

READ MORE: UK town where hooligans ‘smack you then say sorry’ is ‘best place to be homeless’

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He described it as a “pretty miserable and edgy place,” which is “one of the most depressing places” he had visited in his travels so far.

The first local he spoke to said life in the town was “s***,” adding that Slough had gone dramatically downhill since the Covid-19 pandemic and it was “quite dangerous” to walk around, especially after dark.

The YouTuber found piles of rubbish around the towering corporate headquarters
The YouTuber found piles of rubbish around the towering corporate headquarters

A couple of other Slough residents felt the same way, complaining that the town was overrun with aggressive beggars. One said: “You can’t walk up the high street now without hearing ‘Give us a fag mate, give us two bob, lend us a pound, give us this, give us that’ from the young kids sitting in doorways.

He said he had taken to cutting through back streets to avoid walking on the high street and didn’t dare venture out after dark.

“I don’t use the cash machine,” the pensioner added, explaining that criminals would watch for people withdrawing money and follow them until they had an opportunity to beat them up and take their money.

One local said he was afraid to withdraw cash in case he was mugged
One local said he was afraid to withdraw cash in case he was mugged

Slough is known for its high crime rate – figures for all crime categories are annually above the English average and figures for some offences – such as car theft, robbery and sexual offences, are more than twice the national average.

Another Slough local said the town had a serious problem with homelessness. “It’s a bit dismal,” he said. “If you come down around about nine o’clock in the evening there’s a half-mile queue of people waiting for food. It’s very sad.

“You’re seeing this everywhere now but Slough – especially the Town Centre itself – has become hard.”

John Betjeman published his notorious poem about Slough's urban blight in 1937
John Betjeman published his notorious poem about Slough’s urban blight in 1937

Wendall himself is a seasoned traveller, who has recorded mini-documentaries in locations from Croydon to Benidorm, but he says Slough is definitely one of the worst places he’s been. He continued: “I expected a grim, brutalist, depressing place but I didn’t expect it to feel as rough walking the streets in the middle of the day.”

He added that Slough had “probably one of the most intimidating and edgy town centres” that he had ever been to. Properties in Slough had an overall average price of £449,347 over the last year, as against its near neighbour London with average sale prices topping £700,000.

Former poet laureate Sir John Betjeman came to regret his famous poem which began “Come friendly bombs, and fall on Slough,” but there’s no denying that years of local authority neglect and insensitive planning have created one of the country’s most unattractive towns.

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