A FAMOUS eighties pop star is quitting his rural Waldron home because he’s frightened of ‘rampaging yobs.’
Gary Numan, 53, who lives in the depths of the countryside about half-a-mile from Waldron village centre, says he doesn’t feel safe and recent riots (at least 40 miles away from his home) were the ‘final straw.’
Numan is married to Gemma and the couple have three children, Raven, Persia and Echo. The family plan to relocate to Santa Monica in California where they reckon they will be safer.
The star is best known for his hits Cars and Are Friends Electric. He added: “The day after the riots, I got onto the lawyer and said, ‘let’s do it – get on with it’. I do love being English and I am not anti the country but I have got to think of the children.”
He said his wife and family had been subjected to vile insults while walking in local streets. And he told the Scottish newspaper, the Daily Record: “We live right out in the country. It is very rural and there are no big cities. You would think it would be the most peaceful place in the world and it is very pretty and relatively affluent. Yet the other day my wife was walking down the High Street and a bunch of kids between 12 and 14 were telling her that they would like to do to her. She had my children with her. You’ve got to be kidding.”
Locals reacted with amazement. A neighbour said: “I don’t know which High Street he’s talking about. We don’t have one here, and there are certainly no sports shops where you can break windows and grab designer trainers.”
Uckfield mayor John Carvey said: “It seems quite strange to me to think you would be safer in America than a sleepy village like Waldron.”
Father David Charles, the priest in charge of All Saints Church in Waldron, said: “There’s only a couple of hundred residents and they are mostly retired. If there are any gangs roaming about I’ve certainly missed them.”
Crime statistics for the two areas show that for the last available month Wealden had 30 incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour compared with 317 offences recorded for Santa Monica. The American city recorded 14 assaults with a deadly weapon compared with none in Wealden. There were 16 counts of grand theft auto and zero vehicle crimes in Wealden.
The family was popular in the village and locals say they are amazed and confused by his decision.
Heathfield Parish Council chairman and Wealden councillor Peter Newnham said: “They are living in a very beautiful and peaceful part of the country. Crime statistics are very low. So we are disappointed Mr Numan has a perception of our villages that we just do not recognise.”