There seems to be a lot of contention around the topic of safety when it comes to the UK, some people argue that the UK is a very safe place to live, provided you keep your wits about you like any other place. Others disagree and claim there are plenty of areas peppering the UK that could be considered very dangerous to live in or work around.

Getting to the bottom of things, “safety” is a subjective term to begin with, what one person deems “safe” another may see potential risks. So, from a definitive, objective standpoint, there is no safe area in the UK… In fact, there are no safe areas in the world as true safety implies a complete lack of risk or threat to your person which is technically speaking, impossible. This is where the disparity comes in, as this is a poor way to look at things, we are instead going to focus on just how safe the titular areas are in the UK.

Manchester and London, both deemed capitals to some extent, one in a more official sense and another in a more colloquial sense, which of these two thriving cities can be considered a safer place to be. We are working off of 3 metrics for this analysis, living, working, and visiting, each are self-explanatory but it is good to define our criteria before diving into the numbers.

All data from this article will be extrapolated from which provides crime percentages in relation to the national average. Also note that these figures were taken from the 2019-2020 timeframe and so COVID may have had an impact on the numbers discussed.



Living in Manchester

There are two predominant things to worry about when it comes to living in a location and the crime rates associated and that is theft from the person and burglary. Fortunately, in Manchester, neither of these are of too bad a problem, despite theft from the person being the most problematic crime in Manchester in relation to the rest of the country, it still only sits at 93% of the national average, just under the average. This does still mean it is a threat though, with 2.2 thousands cases committed in the last year. Burglary on the other hand sits at 51% of national average, making it an exceptionally rare event even in relation to the rest of the country.

Working in Manchester

Working in Manchester brings with it fear of shoplifting for those grabbing lunch or working in the shops themselves and vehicle crime for when cars are left in public spaces for long periods of time a day. Shoplifting is also massively lower than other areas, sitting at only 38% of national crime rate making it the 2nd lowest crime rate out of 104 postcode areas. Vehicle crime is also very low, sitting at 54% making Manchester a very safe place to work relatively speaking.

Visiting Manchester

The 3 figures I will look at in this section will be drug use, anti-social behaviour, and violent crime as all of these can make a trip to Manchester very unpleasant. As far as these 3 figures are concerned, they sit at 46% for drug use, 44% for violent crime and 38% for anti-social behaviour. Now whilst these figures may seem exceptionally low, it is worth taking precaution as these figures are taken in the time frame of coronavirus.



Living in London

Whilst it seemed to be all good news for Manchester, London doesn’t look quite so lucky. Theft from the person is their (relatively) biggest issue, currently sitting at 378% of national crime rate, you are almost 4 times more likely to get robbed in London as you are anywhere else. Burglary also doesn’t look good, sitting at 144% of the national average, it is easy to see why there is so much unease around living here.

Working in London

In lighter news, shoplifting competes at 94% of the national average meaning it is strictly speaking less likely that a shop will be robbed here than anywhere else, however vehicle crime is up a massive 197% which may make you think twice before parking in that public car park.

Visiting London

Both drug use and anti-social behaviour are markedly higher than average, sitting at 185% and 152% respectively, however, violent crime is actually fairly low, currently at 84% of the national average meaning you may get some unpleasant experiences with rowdy people but violence is relatively uncommon.


In conclusion, Manchester is clearly seen as a winner in this affair, do remember to take these results with a pinch of salt due to obvious pandemic related reasons but all in all, when comparing the two capitals, Manchester is markedly more safe, even when comparing last years figures (although they are quite a bit higher than this years)


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