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Families in a small village live in fear of being burgled because it has one of the worst rates for the crime in the whole of the country.

More than 6,000 people live in Goldthorpe, South Yorkshire, but it’s become something of “modern-day ghost village” with derelict buildings on many of its roads.

It has some of the highest burglary rates in the entire country, fourth by number alone in Yorkshire.

Irina Opris and her family lost gadgets, Christmas presents and jewellery in a burglary in December last year, reports Yorkshire Live.

Irina has since become very anxious in her own home.

The mum said: “It happened last year. He took the laptops, tablets, all my jewellery, the Christmas presents which were packed and with name tags.

“I felt betrayed because I had always been a good neighbour, me and my husband are both working, we have a four-year daughter.

“I felt very anxious after that because he watched me, he followed me to know when I’m coming home for my lunch.

“He probably was in my backyard when I was home. For few weeks I didn’t leave the house because I was sure he’s there, watching.”

Others in Goldthorpe, which recently saw a pub close down, are afraid to leave their properties unattended due to the crime rates.

A burglar scaled a wall this month and stole Mercy Anne’s son’s bicycle.

The shameless act was captured on CCTV but no one has been arrested for it.

Likewise, Irina’s burglary was caught on camera.

“We knew who is, we said to Police. Our neighbours have him on camera. They said is in system and if my husband will be able to go and recognise him but they never contacted us any further,” Irina said.

“It is happening a lot on this area that’s why I don’t know if you noticed but most of the people have CCTV, alarms because of that.

“The fact that the Police and Council are not very active is not helping either.”

Liam, 27, a handyman who lives in Elizabeth Street describes burglaries as common and finds a police sign warning thieves to be comical relief.

Liam said: “It has not happened at my particular address but it is very common in this village. You have to always have someone home, and always be on guard.

“The funniest thing is, if you look down this road, you will see a sign warning thieves, as if they would read and think twice. It is crazy.”

Mercy Anne said: “Our street is a good street but its people who come and make trouble. It’s only a matter of time before people who have things stolen will take it into their own hands.”

South Yorkshire Police, Barnsley Council and John Healey, Labour MP for Wentworth and Dearne were all approached for comment.

Mercy Anne’s name has been changed to protect her identity