Top 10 Most Dangerous Areas in England and Wales

Written by Nyah Mallen

17th November 2022

England and Wales are one of the three legal jurisdictions in the UK. In total, it makes up half of the UK’s countries. In a census done by the Office for National Statistics, it is estimated that the population was around 60.2 million people in mid-2022.

Between the two countries, there are 70 counties. In this article, we will be covering the top 10 most dangerous areas in England and Wales.

It is important to remember that crime occurs often in the UK, and many areas are more dangerous than others. However, this does not mean you shouldn’t visit these areas. Be more cautious when visiting to avoid any unwanted incidents.

The Top 10 Most Dangerous Areas In England And Wales

10th – London – 105.3 Crimes Per 1,000 People

At the top of our list ranks the capital of England, London. With tourist attractions such as the London Eye and Big Ben, and more. With its strong influence in the art, fashion and entertainment industries, it’s no surprise that London is as popular as it is.

Such a culturally diverse and domineering country naturally attracts a large population. London currently has a population of 14.9 million, but a reported crime rate of 105.3 crimes per 1,000 people. According to crimerate, it most commonly suffers from violence and sexual offences, with roughly 30 out of 1,000 people being affected.

Concerningly, despite London’s crime rate landing around 31% higher than the UK’s, it ranks far from having the worst crime rate in England and Wales.

worst crime rate in england and wales - london

9th – Merseyside – 105.7 Crimes Per 1,000 People

Ranking only marginally worse than London on our list is Merseyside. Highly urbanised and known for its sporting, music and cultural institutions, Merseyside has wormed its way into the 9th spot.

With a modest population of 1.42 million, it impressively ranks higher than London. Much like the capital of England, Merseyside battles against its common violence and sexual offences crimes. It holds a slightly higher crime rate, with around 47 out of 1,000 people being affected by these incidents.

8th – North East – 109.2 Crimes Per 1,000 People

Hiking our way to number 8 one of the most dangerous areas in England and Wales is North East England. Home to cities and towns like Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead and Durham, the region is known for its natural beauty and variety of urban centres.

In a population census in 2021, it was found to have a population of 2.65 million. Not unlike the earlier entries on the list, the North East suffers most from violence and sexual offences. There were an estimated 19,015 incidents in 2023, contributing to a crime rate of 27 per 1,000 people.

However, it is still far from having the worst crime rate in England and Wales.

7th – Yorkshire & The Humber – 110.4 Crimes Per 1,000 People

Coming in at number 7, we have Yorkshire & The Humber. This county covers a large section of northern England and is home to an estimated 5.48 million residents. Whilst a far cry from London’s population, it beats many of the other spots on this list.

Similarly to the North East, Yorkshire & The Humber is known for its stunning scenery but with the addition of cosy towns. Unfortunately, this does not prevent it from battling against its growing crime rate, placing as the 7th most dangerous area in the UK. This is due to its crime rate of 110.4 crimes per 1,000 people.

Continuing with the trend so far, its most common crimes were violence and sexual offences, happening to roughly every 33 per 1,000 residents.

most dangerous areas in england and wales - humberside

6th – Humberside – 111.3 Crimes Per 1,000 People

Next on the list at number 6 is Humberside. With an unfortunate crime rate of 111.3 crimes per people, it still falls relatively shy of being one of the most dangerous areas in England and Wales.

Sadly, it had seen an increase in violent crime by 6.8%, as recorded by the Humberside Police in March 2023. The area also suffered from a 12.4% jump in sexual offences, comparing poorly to the 0.7% national rise.

Given the trends, it is likely the crime rates will continue to increase as the year progresses, giving Humberside one of the worst crime rates in England and Wales.

5th – South Yorkshire – 112.6 Crimes Per 1,000 People

As we move closer to the top spot on the list, South Yorkshire takes spot number 5. This means counties from Yorkshire & The Humber have taken 3 consecutive spots.

South Yorkshire is home to cities like Sheffield, Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotherham, and a population of 1.4 million as of 2022. The county has seen an unfortunate crime surge in the last few years. This likely comes as a result of the lacking infrastructure and funding that is provided to major cities.

Sharing the same pattern with all other places on the list so far, South Yorkshire’s most common crimes are also violence and sexual offences. There were a reported 58,395 incidents in 2023. This translates to a crime rate of 42 for every 1,000 people for those offences alone.

4th – West Midlands – 115.7 Crimes Per 1,000 People

The West Midlands takes the next spot on this list, ranking at number 4. Home to plenty of major cities in the UK, like Birmingham and Wolverhampton, its population is roughly 2.9 million. This makes it the second most populated county after Greater London.

Still sticking to the trend, the most common crimes that take place in the county are violence and sexual offences. It was found that around every 31 people per 1,000 were affected by the incidents.

3rd – Greater Manchester – 122.0 Crimes Per 1,000 People

Moving on to the final 3 spots on this list, Greater Manchester comes in at 3rd. The highly urbanised county has a high population of 2.8 million people.

As of December 2023, Greater Manchester has had a crime rate of 122.0 crimes per 1,000 people. In a study performed by Statista, it was found that there were 141,336 reported cases of violence against the person in 2022/23. This saw an increase from 136,091 the previous year.

The rising reported crimes in the county are what gives it one of the worst crime rates in England and Wales.

Worst Crime Rate England And Wales - Manchester

2nd – West Yorkshire – 126.6 Crimes Per 1,000 People

Just falling shy of the highest spot on the list is West Yorkshire. Home to major cities such as Leeds and Bradford, the county has a population of 2.3 million.

On average, West Yorkshire reported a staggering crime rate of 126.6 crimes per 1,000 people. Sadly, every 58 out of 1,000 residents have reported some type of violence and sexual offences. This makes it the county’s most commonly committed crime. In total, there were 136,015 cases in 2023.

1st – Cleveland – 137.0 Crimes Per 1,000 People

Ranking highest on our list at spot number 1 is Cleveland. With cities under its belt like Middlesbrough, Redcar and Yarm, the county is the smallest populated area on the list. In the census by the Office for National Statistics, they estimated Cleveland’s population to be 579,300 as of mid-2022.

Unfortunately, the county holds the highest crime rates across all the categories, with its shocking crime rate of 137.0 crimes per 1,000 people. In addition to this, violence against the person remains the highest committed crime In Cleveland, with 47,692 reported incidents as of December 2023.

These statistics are what earns it the worst crime rate in England and Wales.

A Summary Of The Worst Crime Rates England And Wales

Area In England And Wales Crime Per 1,000 People Ranking
Cleveland 137.0 1st
West Yorkshire 126.6 2nd
Greater Manchester 122.0 3rd
West Midlands 115.7 4th
South Yorkshire 112.6 5th
Humberside 111.3 6th
Yorkshire & The Humber 110.4 7th
North East 109.2 8th
Merseyside 105.7 9th
London 105.3 10th

As you may have noticed, none of the counties in Wales have ranked on this list. This is because each of the counties in Wales had a crime rate of less than 100 crimes per 1,000 people. The highest-scoring county in Wales for 2023 was Gwent, which was recorded to have 98.1 crimes per 1,000 people.

top 10 most dangerous areas in england and wales

So, What Are The Top 10 Most Dangerous Areas In England And Wales?

Cleveland remains as one of the most dangerous areas in England and Wales for another year. Additionally, there has been a noticeable and consistent increase when compared to the crime rates from last year.

Ensure that when in these areas, whether a resident, business or tourist, you are practicing the proper safety measures to keep yourself secure.

For more information on crime and safety, why not check out our blog? There, you can find articles such as Knife Crime Is Rapidly Increasing; 4 Tips On How To Stay Safe In 2024 or The Most Dangerous Areas In The UK.

Additionally, if you’re looking for more security tips, tricks and content, why not take a look at our YouTube channel?

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