North East Crime

Written by Nyah Mallen

24th May 2024

Making up one of the nine official regions of England, the North East is known for its thriving culture, rich, historic heritage and stunning landscapes, the region has much to offer. However, given its prominent nightlife, concerns for how safe the region is begin to pop up.

In this article, we will cover the North East crime rate, and what this means for tourists, residents and businesses.

What Is The Crime Rate In The North East?

A study from the year leading up to December 2023, by the Office for National Statistics, shows that the North East crime rate is 109.2 per 1,000 people. However, it is worth noting that this figure excludes fraud. Of the crimes committed during this period, 109,793 of these were cases of violence against the person.

Unfortunately, when compared to the data of previous years, there is a clear trend which reveals the North East’s steadily climbing crime rate. This is likely a result of the increasing stress the Northumbria Police face, who are responsible for much of the North East’s policing.

North East Crime Trends

As it is with crimes of all categories, there are rises and falls in the types of crimes committed over the years. Here, we take a deeper look into which crimes have seen an increase from April 2023 to March 2024, and which have begun to decline, according to Plumplot.

Which Crimes Have Increased?

  • The North East region has seen a total increase of 73.0% across its crime categories.
  • Shoplifting crime has seen the largest surge over the year, seeing a staggering annual change of 33.6%.
  • Robbery follows in second place, spiking by a concerning 15.4%. However, even with the annual increase, robbery remains at a somewhat healthier 63.0% of the national crime rate.
  • The smallest increases have been the possession of weapons offences (9.8%) and theft from the person crime (4.2%).

Which Crimes Have Decreased?

Whilst the region has seen decreases across more crime categories than increases, they only totalled 61.6%. Unfortunately, the current outlook for the crime landscape in the North East of England is not very positive.

  • Public order crime saw the largest annual decrease, improving by 17.4%.
  • Shortly following is bicycle theft crime, which decreased by a similar 13.0%.
  • Even though antisocial behaviour (ASB) and criminal damage and arson crimes have both seen minor annual decreases (1.5% and 6.8% respectively), they still sit at a terrifying 171% of the national crime rate.

A Summary Of Key Statistics

Below, you can find a summary of the key points and statistics you should know about the North East crime rate.

North East Crime Trends

You can find a thorough breakdown of the crime rate statistics on Plumplot.

Where In The North East Has The Highest Crime Rate?

Of the three counties in the Northeast, Cleveland has the highest crime rate. With a population of roughly 580,000, Cleveland has a concerning crime rate of 137.0 per 1,000 people. This figure does not include fraud crimes.

Violence against the person and theft offences account for the majority of crimes committed in the county. In the year ending December 2023, there were an estimated 29,612 incidents of violence against the person and 23,563 cases of theft.

For a further look into the crime rates of areas in the region, consider reading our article on the worst places to live in the North East of England.

Is The North East Safe?

With the alarmingly high North East crime rate, residents are beginning to voice their concerns over the safety of the region. It can largely affect students’ decisions to study there, as well as tourists’ desires to visit.

In this day and age, it isn’t uncommon for media outlets to bring the most attention to crimes and more negative news. However, this is what makes it all the more important to understand the real impact that these crimes are having and put into perspective how frequently they are really happening.

In a recent census performed by the Office for National Statistics, Cleveland was revealed as the most dangerous place to live in the North East. Cleveland is one of three counties in the North East, made up of Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, and Stockton-on-Tees. This, unfortunately, does not provide a good outlook for how safe and secure the North East is.

north east crime

However, it does begin to look better when considering the other counties within the region, Durham and Northumbria. Their crime rates are considerably lower than Cleveland’s, with Durham’s being 104.7 per 1,000 and Northumbria’s being 100.2 per 1,000. This helps to reduce the overall North East crime rate.

Because the North East gains the majority of its bad reputation from one of its counties’ high levels of criminal activity, it becomes even more important to look at the larger picture. When considering travelling to the North East, either as a tourist or a student, you could always avoid Cleveland and instead visit one of the other two counties. They share just as much heritage between them and as many things to do, ensuring you still get the authentic North East experience.

What Is Being Done About North East Crime?

City Safe Project

In May 2024, the City Safe Project is being launched in Newcastle in an attempt to crack down on the Newcastle crime rate, with extra focus on antisocial behaviour. The Northumbria Police, Newcastle City Council and NE1 have come together to better Newcastle’s city centre.

In a statement released by the local council, the force will be made up of three teams of police officers. The first team will focus on engaging with the local community, learning about and addressing any glaring issues they have. The second team is much more oriented around enforcing, ensuring that residents and visitors are following the law. The third and final team are deterrence workers, who will collaborate and work with young adults within the city centre.

North East Regional Organised Crime Unit Network

Since October 2013, the North East Regional Organised Crime Unit Network (NEROCU) has been working with the police forces across Northumbria, Cleveland and Durham. This is in an attempt to tackle serious and organised cases of crime.

The unit takes highly-specialised teams of the existing police forces’s members. From here, they ensure the Government’s CONTEST strategy is enforced across the North East. The four steps of the strategy are:

  • Protect
  • Prepare
  • Prevent
  • Pursue

By taking on this role, NEROCU helps to protect the communities of the North East region from serious cases of crime.

North East Crime Rate

So, What Can Be Taken Away From The North East Crime Rate?

Even with its high crime rate, North East crime should not spoil the region’s colourful nightlife and gorgeous landscapes that it has to offer. No town, city or region will ever be completely risk-free. There are many courses of action you can take to help protect yourself when travelling, so don’t let statistics bog you down too much.

As important as it is to practice safety tips and be aware of potential harm, it shouldn’t stop you from going to places you feel like you would enjoy visiting. A steady balance should be drawn between being carefree and overly stressed.

If you would like to learn more about the crime landscape within the North East, visit our North East news page. There, you will find articles like Why Is Crime So High In Sunderland? and Top 10 Most Dangerous Areas In Newcastle.

Or, if you would like to stay up to date with the latest security tips and tricks, consider taking a look at our Region Security Guarding YouTube channel.

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