Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Guildford Street in Grimsby, UK:

A street in a North East Lincolnshire town which has been the scene of arson, drug dealing and violence for years is to be pulled down.

All fair and well, right? Well let’s see what one resident had to say to the BBC about the area he calls home:

John Harrison, who lived in Guildford Street for more than 30 years, said life in the area had become difficult.
“This was like little Beirut,” he said.
“In fact this was worse than Beirut, but no more. It’s going to be better, it’s going to be like Buckingham Palace.”

And here I thought Beirut was at the very bottom of the scale. John Harrison, please do expect a certificate in the mail (if your house isn’t torn down).

Speaking of the BBC, on a related note, I had the pleasure to speak to a journalist from their Online Services about the “Looks Like Beirut” awards on Wednesday. I’ll let you know how that turns out 🙂

Update – February 20, 2010: The BBC Article I was interviewed for is now online. Why is Beirut still a byword for chaos?