FAMILIES living on what they've dubbed "Britain's worst street" say people are so scared of their neighbours they've moved away for good.
Terrified locals allegedly subjected to years of torment from the "house from hell" on a road in Middlesbrough have finally had enough.
Several have allegedly already sold up to escape the relentless criminal damage, drug taking and general anti-social behaviour.
But more are packing up as the violence reportedly escalates.
Mum Cheryl Fortune, who has lived on the street for nine years, said: "For five years there's been violence, drug dealing and people causing problems.
"All the riff-raff seem to end up in that house – drug dealers, addicts, prostitutes.
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"People have had to move away.
"My mother lives close by and she's had to move from her house after 45 years due to the trouble.
"My kids are 16 and 18 and they have asked if we can move too because they're old enough to understand now and they don't feel safe."
The 44-year-old, who works with children with special needs, said without the troublesome property the area is lovely.
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"It's a shame as it's a quiet street otherwise. We never had any trouble at the beginning," she added.
"There's a real community spirit and people look out for each other, but these people have damaged property.
"They broke into one house with a weapon and stole a baby's backpack from the hall, and cars have been broken into and windows smashed.
"It's terrifying when it's happening so close to home."
Despite the police and local authority intervening, Cheryl feels like the problem is only getting worse.
"It won't end until the landlord stops moving these people in," she added.
"I hope they sort out the house and move a nice family in because we are all frightened of who will come next."
We love this house but we can't stay here any longer
One neighbour, who has lived on the road for eight years, has reached breaking point.
The householder, who wanted to remain anonymous, said they are selling their family home after years of misery.
"We love this house but we can't stay here any longer," they said.
"It's affected our sleep, mental health and our property.
"My wife's car has been crashed into, our windows have been smashed and someone broke through our door wielding a machete once.
"We had to build a fence because druggies were sitting on the wall at all hours, even when children were playing in the street.
"The noise, shouting and fighting right outside our house was unbearable.
"We will be sad to leave as otherwise it's a nice street and everyone is lovely, but we really have had enough of living in fear."
A total of 38 complaints were made in just two months about the house in question, according to TeessideLive.
The most recent tenants were evicted last week.
Two people were also arrested after officers found heroin and crack cocaine at the address.
''NOTHING BUT TROUBLE'
Among those to raise concerns about the occupants was asbestos remover Derek Womack.
The 61-year-old bought his house 17 years ago and specifically chose the cul-de-sac as it was once peaceful.
But now, he says things have "completely changed".
Derek said: "When I moved here it was an idyllic place to live.
"Neighbours have always been spot on and it's been so quiet.
"But it's been nothing but trouble for years now – lads fighting, prostitution, drug dealing.
"A lot of really good people have had to leave the area due to the problems from the house. It's not on."
Derek said he regularly hears men fighting in the street in the early hours of the morning, despite sleeping in the back bedroom.
And "so many people" enter and leave the house there's never any quiet, he claims.
"It's hard to know who actually lives there sometimes," he added.
"One girl seemed to have a string of men going in and out constantly.
"There's young kids around here and it's not a good environment when there's people dealing drugs and off their faces.
"One time I had just got home from work and one lad was walking down the street waving a machete.
"He said to me 'if that effing dog comes near me, I will cut you up'."
We can't stay here any longer. We have had enough of living in fear.
Like Cheryl, he thinks it's about time the property was rented out to a family.
And Luke Bowes, who lives nearby, agrees.
The dog trainer claims he has witnessed some distressing incidents through his home security system and thinks enough is enough.
"It's been a nightmare, so much trouble," the 28-year-old said.
"One time I was just sitting and happened to glance out the window and saw a woman came running down the street with a man running fast behind her.
"He caught her, punched her in the face, and then they both walked away as if nothing happened.
"There was definitely a lot of drugs involved, both being taken and being dealt.
"There's always dodgy characters hanging around the street.
"I've heard people are having to move, which is a shame, but I don't blame them."
Following an order at Teesside Crown Court to evict two tenants at the property, Middlesbrough Neighbourhood Sergeant John Sproson said: "Working with partners we are now able to ensure that the misery caused by the individuals stops and those living in the vicinity can live more peacefully.
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"It is unacceptable for people to behave in a way that makes others live in fear, and it won’t be tolerated in our area."
Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston added: "Let’s have more of this please and hopefully we’ll see the troublemakers kicked out of town – for good."
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