What Can We Learn from Crime Rates In The UK

Written by regionadmin

10th January 2022

What Can We Learn from Crime Rates In The UK

Crime Rates In The UK

Crime around the world has been increasing but what can we learn from the crime rates in the UK? The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to look at the UK crime rates in your area and see what is going on around you. Crime rates in the UK have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic over the past 12 months as national lockdowns have 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

First, let’s take a look at the areas with the lowest crime rates in the UK. These are:

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

North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire is currently at the top of our list of areas within the UK with the lowest crime rates. North Yorkshire:

  • currently has a crime rate of 47.5 per 1000 residents.
  • has 15,448 instances of violent crime.
  • has 19,009 instances of anti-social behaviour.
  • has only 30% of violent crimes.
  • has only 32% of crimes realting to anti-social behaviour.
  • violent crime has increased by 16.2% from 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.


Wiltshire is second on our list of areas within the UK with the lowest crime rates. Wiltshire has:

  • a crime rate of 50.7 per 1000 residents.
  • 14,474 instances of anti-social behaviour.
  • 16,322 instances of violent crime.
  • 20% of crimes releating to anti-social behaviour.
  • 22% of violent crimes.

Devon And Cornwall

Third, on our list are Devon and Cornwall. In Devon and Cornwall:

  • there are 51 crimes per 1000 residents.
  • has only 85% of the crime rate compared to the national average.
  • has 12,881 instances of violent crime.
  • and has an increase of 6.7% in violent crime.


Fourth on our list is Surrey. In Surrey:

  • there are only 55.6 crimes per 1000 residents.
  • there is only 6% of violent crime.
  • cities such as Chertsey have a crime rate of 102 per 1000 people, which is higher than the crime rate in the county.
  • smaller towns such as Worplsedon have a crime rate of 25 per 1000 people.
  • knife crime has seen an increase of 632% from 2010 to 2021.

West Mercia

West Mercia is fifth on our list. In West Merica:

  • there is a crime rate of 56.5 per 1000 residents.
  • there are 3707 instances of violent crime in Herefordshire.
  • there are 2553 instances of violent crime in Shropshire.
  • there are 39,112 instances of violent crime.
  • there has been 8212 reports of criminal damage and arson.
  • and 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.

5 of the Highest Crime Rate Areas in the UK

Next, let’s take a look at which areas in the UK have the highest crime rates. These are:

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


Cleveland is currently the most highest area for crime in the UK. At the moment Cleveland has:

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

West Yorkshire

Second, on our list is West Yorkshire. West Yorkshire currently has:

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

Greater Manchester

Third, on our list is Greater Manchester. Greater Machester:

  • currently has a crime rate of 107.9 per 1000 residents.
  • has 108,345 instances of violent crime from July 2018 to June 2019.
  • has had an increase of weapon possession and bike theft.

West Midlands

Fourth on our list is the West Midlands. The West Midlands:

  • currently has a crime rate of 102.9 per 1000 residents.
  • has 132,476 instances of violent crime from April 2020 to March 2021.
  • violent crime has increased throughout the year
  • knife crime is 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.


    Finally, the fifth area on our list is Merseyside. In Merseyside:

    • there has been a crime rate of 96.7 per 1000 residents.
    • there has been 64,588 instances of violent crime from November 2020 to October 2021.
    • its anti-social behaviour has decreased from 5065 in October 2020 to 1784 cases in November 2021.

    What Can We Learn From This Data?

    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.

    To stay updated with all the latest crime news check out our news page where you can find articles about youth crime and what gun crime is really like in the UK.

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