It was today announced that the number of homicides, gun crimes and knife crimes has increased in England and Wales, and that the general crime rate is up nine percent on 2015. The number of homicides has increased by 21 percent, knife crimes by 14 percent and firearms offences by 13 percent.
With Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) stating that government cuts have left police forces in a “perilous state”, we wanted to know which parts of the UK are the most dangerous.
Using data showing crime rates per police force from UKcrimestats.com, we listed the top ten counties with the highest rates of crime since January 2017.
For the latest stats, please see our 2018 update.
10 Thames Valley
Though not strictly a county, Thames Valley includes parts of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, covers 2,200 square miles and has a population of over 2.2 million. Since January, Thames Valley Police recorded a total of 13,698 crimes – including 1,212 burglaries, 101 robberies, 97 weapons offences and 2,743 violent crimes.
Located in the North West of England, Lancashire encompasses the cities of Chorley, Preston, Lancaster and Blackpool. With a population of 1.4 million, the Lancashire Constabulary is responsible for policing 1,189 square miles. A total of 14,029 crimes recorded were recorded in the area, including 1,064 burglaries, 2,681 violent crimes and 5,536 incidents of anti-social behaviour.
Located in the South East, Kent borders Greater London, Surrey and East Sussex. Kent Police are responsible for 1,443 square miles and cover Maidstone, Gillingham, Dartford, Ashford and Rochester. The county has a population of 1.7 million people, and has seen a total of 14,427 crimes since January. This includes 1,043 burglaries, 4,089 violent crimes, 267 drug offences and 97 robberies.
The sixth largest police force in England and Wales, Northumbria Police are responsible for 1,936 square miles and police a population of 1.4 million. Covering Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland, South Tyneside and North Tyneside, Northumbria Police recorded a total of 15,104 crimes – including 85 weapons offences, 2,984 violent crimes and 65 robberies.
Covering 1,400 square miles, Hampshire includes the cities of Southampton and Portsmouth. The Hampshire Constabulary look after a population of 1.9 million, and have recently seen several police stations being closed and sold. The area recorded a total 15,541 crimes since January, including 1,142 burglaries, 2,984 violent crimes and 97 weapons offences.
5 South Yorkshire
The southernmost county in the Yorkshire and Humber region, South Yorkshire has a population of 1.3 million and covers 599 square miles. Consisting of four metropolitan boroughs – Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield – South Yorkshire is the tenth most densely populated county. South Yorkshire police recorded 16,727 crimes, of which 1,232 were burglaries, 144 were robberies and 3,102 were violent crimes.
4 West Midlands
With a population of nearly three million, the West Midlands is the second most populous county in England. Encompassing Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton, the West Midlands covers just 348 square miles. Still, West Midlands police recorded a total of 21,416 crimes, including 4,372 violent crimes, 131 weapons offences and 2,600 burglaries.
3 West Yorkshire
Home to the fourth largest police force in England, West Yorkshire is an inland county covering 783 square miles. Home to Bradford, Leeds and Wakefield, this relatively small county has a population of 2.2 million. West Yorkshire police recorded a total of 24,767 crimes, including 2,420 burglaries, 233 robberies and 126 weapons offences.
2 Greater Manchester
With a population of 2.8 million, Greater Manchester is the third most densely populated county despite only being the thirty-ninth largest. The county encompasses one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the United Kingdom and comprise ten metropolitan boroughs: Bolton, Oldham, Bury, Rochdale, Tameside, Stockport, Wigan, Trafford, Manchester and Salford. The Greater Manchester Police recorded 31,670 crimes, including 2,963 burglaries, 7,245 violent crimes, 130 weapons offences and 477 robberies.
1 Greater London
Greater London consists of 32 London Boroughs and 33 Local government districts. Despite being only 606 square miles, Greater London has a population of 8.6 million – making it the most populous English county. The Metropolitan Police – the UK’s largest police force – is responsible for maintaining law and order, and recorded a total of 78,616 crimes. This includes 6,605 burglaries, 2,048 robberies, 16,447 violent crimes and 339 weapons offences.
Want to learn more? Check out The Top 10 Most Dangerous Boroughs to see which parts of London are the most crime-ridden. And take a look at Staying Safe In London – Top Tips For Tourists for advice on how to stay safe in the city.
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