Radio Sandwell Local News

Benefits Street: James Turner Street sign stolen

2014-02-14 21:49:32

James Turner Street
The street sign for James Turner Street 'Benefits Street' in Winson Green has been stolen

Thieves have pinched the James Turner Street sign from the road where the infamous Channel 4 documentary Benefits Street was set.

Residents woke to find only a bare metal stand nailed to the wall outside Oasis Foundry Academy School, fuelling fears souvenir hunters could try and sell the metal plaque on the internet.

The sign at the opposite end of the street remained in tact this evening.

Ray Bennett, who has been a lollipop man on James Turner Street for nine years, said: "I can't believe the sign has gone.

"I got here this morning at about 8am and the sign wasn't there. I reckon maybe some took it just to say they had it, you know for the glory of it.

"You cannot believe how many people stop here to have their picture taken with it.

"It is just continuous. It could have been the council I suppose who took it to stop people coming here.

"I know the school have tried as it is bit fair on the kids. "It would be tough to get off as it is rivetted on."

James Turner Street

Another resident, who only gave her name as Janet, said: "I bet someone has taken and might even sell it.

"I can't believe it. This is a normal street like any other I don't get all the fuss."

Another neighbour added: "It was only a matter of time before the street sign was nicked. It's been seen around the world so will probably go for a few quid on eBay.

"Residents around here are worried they're door numbers might be ripped off by souvenir hunters.

"I met one girl who travelled all the way down from Scotland to have her picture taken by the sign and meet White Dee and other residents.

"It's a huge show and has generated a lot of fans. Since the show aired the number of taxis bringing tourists down the street has gone through the roof.

"I wasn't ever featured in the show because I didn't want the fame but some of the residents like White Dee are considered celebrities now.

"It's crazy how the show has changed people's lives."

West Midlands Police said they had not received any reports of the theft.

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