Rather than rank areas in terms of the total number of crimes committed, I’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 10 of the most crime affected areas in England and Wales.
A ceremonial county in North West England, Lancashire covers an area of 1,189 square miles and has a population of 1,508,900. 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 89.3 per 1,000 people.
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 136,699 crimes, including around 13,000 burglary offences. This gives Northumbria a total crime rate of 93.4 per 1000 people, dropping it down the list compared to previous years.
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 ranks down the list compared to several other areas across England and Wales. With a total 843,472 crimes committed in the city, London has a crime rate of 94.9 per 1,000 people.
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 1,860,100. 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). Ranking higher than it should with a crime rate of 96.5 per 1,000 people, Kent is the seventh most dangerous part of England and Wales.
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 principal town and cathedral city, Durham. County Durham covers 1,051 square miles and has a population of 636,900. With 61,889 crimes recorded, County Durham has a crime rate of 97.2 per 1,000 people, making it the sixth most dangerous area of England and Wales.
With a population of 2,835,700, 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 278,374 crimes recorded, Greater Manchester’s crime rate is 98.2 per 1000 people, which is considerably less than previous years.
Today, classed as part of Yorkshire and The Humber, Humberside has a population of 932,800 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 99.4 per 1,000 people, making it the fourth on the list of 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 101.6 per 1,000 people, South Yorkshire is the one of the most crime affected areas of England and Wales.
West Yorkshire consists of five metropolitan boroughs – Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield – and has a population of 2,332,500. 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 275,103 crimes in West Yorkshire, giving it a crime rate of 117.9 per 1,000 people. At just .1 point per person lower than Cleveland, this is the second highest of all areas across 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 118.0 per 1,000 people (including 36.5 rate for theft) Cleveland is the most dangerous area of England and Wales.
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