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Britain's housing estates 'a national embarrassment'

Britain's housing estates are a "national embarrassment" with little being done to tackle crime, unemployment and gang violence, a think tank has claimed.

The Policy Exchange has called on the government to introduce "estate recovery teams" to help tackle social problems.

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Britain's estates can be helped by 'dedicated individuals'

The Policy Exchange's report into housing estates in Britain cites the work of "dedicated individuals" in tackling social problems.

The Halcon Estate in Taunton suffered decades of trouble, blighted by unemployment, severe drug problems, domestic violence and burglary.

Local police officer Andy Murphy, who grew up in the local area, is credited with transforming the estate.

  • He helped increase the reporting of crime by introducing a police base at a local supermarket
  • Established a children's centre providing parenting courses and increasing the number of youth activities
  • The Halcon estate has seen a 28% drop in crime since Murphy's reforms

The think tank uses this case study as an example of the effectiveness of small-scale and "locally-minded" projects.

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