What Can We Learn from Crime Rates in the UK
Icon2 what can we learn from crime rates in the uk

Written by regionadmin

10th January 2022


Crime Rates in the UK

The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to look at the crime rates in your area and see what is going on around you.

Crime has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic over the past 12 months. National lockdown has resulted in a change in the types of crime we’ve seen, as well as the amount we’ve seen.

With over a million reports of anti-social behaviour and almost 2 million instances of violent crime reported in the UK from December 2020 to November 2021, it is more important than ever that you have all the information for where you live, where you work and where you visit.

How is this data calculated? CR is best understood as “Crimes per 1000 resident people as per the latest official Census over a selected time period”. This is calculated by dividing the population by 1000 and then dividing by the number of crimes. This results in a crime rate per 1000 residents.

Did your area not make our list and you would like to know about it? All statistics are publicly available from UK Crime Stats and the Office of National Statistics so take a look!

5 of the Lowest Crime Rate Areas in the UK

  1. North Yorkshire
  2. Wiltshire
  3. Devon and Cornwall
  4. Surrey
  5. West Mercia

5 of the Highest Crime Rate Areas in the UK

  1. Cleveland
  2. West Yorkshire
  3. Greater Manchester
  4. West Midlands
  5. Merseyside

North Yorkshire

  • 47.5 per 1000 residents
  • 15,448 instances of violent crime
  • 19,009 instances of anti-social behaviour
  • 30% are violent crimes
  • 32% are anti-social behaviour
  • Violent crime has increased by 16.2% in the period of December 2020 to November 2021
  • A steady decline in anti-social behaviour from March 2021 to the end of the year – from 2236 cases from 956


  • 50.7 per 1000 residents
  • 14,474 instances of anti-social behaviour
  • 16,322 instances of violent crime
  • 20% are anti-social behaviour
  • 22% are violent crimes

Devon and Cornwall

  • 51 per 1000 residents
  • 85% of the crime rate compared to the national average
  • 12,881 instances of violent crime
  • An increase of 6.7% in violent crime


  • 55.6 per 1000 residents
  • 6% of violent crime
  • Cities in Surrey such as Chertsey had a crime rate of 102 per 1000 people, making it higher than the crime rate in the County
  • Smaller towns in Surrey such as Worplsedon had a crime rate of 25 per 1000 people
  • Knife crime has seen an increase of 632% from 2010 to 2021

West Mercia

  • 56.5 per 1000 residents
  • 3707 instances of violent crime in Herefordshire
  • 2553 instances of violent crime in Shropshire
  • 39,112 instances of violent crime across West Mercia
  • 8212 reports of criminal damage and arson
  • 816 instances of weapon possession, which is a steady increase since December 2020

What Does the Data Tell Us?

So, what can we take away from a quick look at these 5 places? Across the board violent crime makes up for most reported incidents in all these areas. Some areas may have seen a steady decline in violent crime, but it is still very prevalent. Alongside this Anti-social behaviour is another high-ranking category. Statistically you’re more likely to be a victim of violence even than any other type of criminal offense. Even in an area with a relatively low crime rate. In areas such as Surrey the knife crime increase alone is worrying. A report by the government in 2019 and statements by Metropolitan Chief of Police in 2018 cited social media as key elements in the increase. Last year London recorded its highest annual death toll from teenage homicides at 30. Previously the highest figure was in 2008 at 29.


  • 114.9 per 1000 residents
  • 29,397 instances of violent crime
  • Second highest rate for knife crime in the UK year ending March 2021
  • 122 incidents of knife crime were recorded per 100,000 of the population between April 2020 and March 2021

West Yorkshire

  • 111.6 per 1000 residents
  • 128,540 instances of violent crime
  • 42,356 instances of anti-social behaviour

Greater Manchester

  • 107.9 per 1000 residents
  • 108,345 instances of violent crime from July 2018 to June 2019
  • Most rates of crime stayed relatively flat throughout this period
  • Weapon possession and bike theft fluctuated throughout this period

West Midlands

    • 102.9 per 1000 residents
    • 132,476 instances of violent crime from April 2020 to March 2021
    • Violent crime has increased throughout the year
    • Knife crime in the West Midlands has the highest rate in the UK with 156 per 100,000 offenses involving a sharp instrument. A 41% increase on the rate of 118 recorded in 2019 to 2020.


      • 96.7 per 1000 residents
      • 64,588 instances of violent crime from November 2020 to October 2021
      • Anti-social behaviour has decreased from 5065 in October 2020 to 1784 cases in November 2021

What Does the Data Tell Us?

The take away from these 5 locations is much like the previous 5; violent crimes are on the rise across the country. This means that if you are unfortunate enough to be the victim of a crime, statistically it is likely to be a violent one. The statistics for knives being carried in places like the West Midlands is concerning. Also, it’s interesting to note that an area doesn’t have to be a large city to have a large rate of crime. Cleveland is an example of this. There is a lot that determines the rates of crime in an area ranging from deprivation, unemployment, and health-related issues (such as drug and alcohol dependency) and other socio-demographic and economic factors.

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