A TOWN has been described as "depressing" and a"festering cesspit" by residents.

The town of Chatham, Kent was branded the 39th worst in England in a recent survey.

Despite its location along the gorgeous River Medway, Chatham is a town preceded by its reputation as a breeding ground for violent crime.

Confiscation of samurai swords and monthly drug raids carried out by cops have led to a spate of arrests in recent years, Kent Online reports.

Elsewhere, there have been reports of thugs hurling fireworks at cars and robbers equipped with machetes have been arrested by cops.

One resident labelled the town's Luton area a "festering cesspit of Medway."

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Another local, doubling down, said: "It's a sad state of affairs and it's a depressing place to live really.

"Things just aren't the same any more. Even the pubs and clubs are slowly becoming extinct."

The town has also been dubbed the "worst location in the UK for exercise lovers", with a study by Forbes finding that Chatham residents are the least likely to walk or cycle when compared to the rest of the country.

It scored just 14 out of 100 in the fitness index – the lowest of any towns or city.

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However, a concerted effort has been made to reverse Chatham's infamous standing.

The Luton Arches railway bridge has attracted creative contributions – with art works injecting colour and character into the drab area.

Elsewhere, a huge redevelopment of several key landmarks is in motion, as well as extensive plans to rejuvenate the high street.

Sly, who lives near Luton Road, set up the White Road Estate Facebook group to push back against relentless criticism against Chatham.

He said: "I was fed up with people putting down the estate.

"It's actually a decent community and I'm sure there's decent people who live on Luton Road of all different ethnic backgrounds."

Chatham Central councillor and Medway Labour leader, Vince Maple, thinks the perception of the area is unfounded.

He said: "It's always disappointing when people who do not live in Chatham come up with comments and ratings of this nature.

"But I am proud to represent the Chatham. The people are lovely and I am happy to call it my home."

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