The latest stats apply to the year ending September 2018, giving us the best idea of where the most dangerous areas across England and Wales are in 2019. Rather than rank areas in terms of the total number of crimes committed, we’ve looked at crime rates in proportion to population for each of the 43 policing areas across England and Wales – ranking them based on the number of offences committed per 1,000 people (excluding fraud).
So, here are the most dangerous areas in England and Wales.
Greater London is policed by the MET, with the exception of the City of London. The force has around 50,000 full time personnel who are responsible for maintaining order in each of the 33 boroughs of London. Though crime in London often makes headlines, the capital is in fact only the tenth most dangerous area across England and Wales. With a total 826,308 crimes committed in the city, London has a crime rate of 93.7 per 1,000 people.
Unlike most counties, the county of Durham does adhere to the expected naming form – which would be Durhamshire. Instead, the county simply takes on the name of its principle town and cathedral city, Durham. County Durham covers 1,051 square miles and has a population of 630,000. With 62,878 crimes recorded, County Durham has a crime rate of 99.8 per 1,000 people, making it the ninth most dangerous area of England and Wales.
Today classed as part of Yorkshire and The Humber, Humberside has a population of 929,000 and stretches as far north as Bridlington, across to the Isle of Axholme and down to the outskirts of Grimsby. Though no longer a ceremonial county (Humberside was formally abolished on April 1, 1996), the area is still policed by the Humberside Police. Humberside has a crime rate of 101.7 per 1,000 people, making it the eighth most dangerous area in England and Wales.
The southernmost county of Yorkshire and Humber, South Yorkshire consists of four metropolitan boroughs: Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield. The landlocked county lies on the east of the Pennines and covers an area of 599 square miles. The area is one of the least prosperous in Western Europe and has been targeted for funding from the European Regional Development fund. With a crime rate of 102.5 per 1,000 people, South Yorkshire is the seventh most dangerous area of England and Wales.
A ceremonial county in North West England, Lancashire covers an area of 1,189 square miles and has a population of 1,490,500. Eighty percent of Lancashire is classified as rural, though the county does contain plenty of geographic diversity – and is home to Blackburn, Darwen, Burnley and Preston. Unfortunately, it’s in urban areas such as these that most crimes are committed. Lancashire’s crime rate is 102.6 per 1,000 people, making the area the sixth most dangerous in England and Wales.
Kent is a south-eastern English county and is home to the historic city of Canterbury as well as the county town of Maidstone. Covering 1,442 square miles, Kent is the tenth largest county in England and has a population of 1,832,300. Continually occupied since the Palaeolithic era, Kent is one of the warmest parts of Britain and holds the record for the hottest temperature ever officially recorded in the UK (38.5°C). With a crime rate of 107.8 per 1,000 people, Kent is the fifth most dangerous part of England and Wales.
Cleveland – literally “cliff-land”, referring to its hilly areas – is situated in the North East of England. Although no longer an official administrative county, Cleveland is still policed by the Cleveland Police who cover Hartlepool, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton and Middlesbrough. The county is twinned with Cleveland, Ohio, and boasts an extremely varied geographic terrain. But, with a crime rate of 109.5 per 1,000 people (including 33.6 rate for violence against the person crimes) Cleveland is the fourth most dangerous area of England and Wales.
Northumbria Police serve a population of around 1,500,000 and are one of the largest police forces in the UK. Bordering Cumbria to the west, County Durham and Tyne and Wear to the south, and the Scottish Borders to the north, the Northumbria area covers more than 2,000 square miles. Though not an official county, Northumbria Police recorded a total of 159,904 crimes, including 13,283 violence against the person crimes. This gives Northumbria a total crime rate of 110.4 per 1000 people, making it the third most dangerous area of the UK and Wales.
With a population of 2,798,800, Greater Manchester encompasses one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United Kingdom – and includes the boroughs of Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, Manchester and Salford. With so many people in such a relatively small area (Greater Manchester covers an area of only 493 square miles), it may not be surprising that the county has a high rate of crime. With a total of 338,127 crimes recorded, Greater Manchester’s crime rate is 120.8 per 1000 people, making it the second most dangerous area in England and Wales.
West Yorkshire consists of five metropolitan boroughs – Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield – and has a population of 2,307,000. Landlocked with eastward-draining valleys, West Yorkshire borders Derbyshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, North Yorkshire and South Yorkshire. It is the fourth most populous county despite being only the 29th largest (covering 2,940 square miles). Police recorded a total of 284,271 crimes in West Yorkshire, giving it a crime rate of 123.2 per 1,000 people. This is the highest of all areas across England and Wales, making West Yorkshire the most dangerous county.
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