The 25 Most Dangerous Areas In The North East (2024)

The North East of England is a rustic treasure, too often overlooked by those living elsewhere. Stretching from the urban jungles of Newcastle and Tees Valley to the sweeping landscapes of Northumberland National Park and the eastern expanses of Hadrian’s Wall, the region is a thriving cultural and economic hub, which boasts a sizeable population of over 2.65 million.

Despite that rich industrial and historical heritage that the North East is renowned for, the region suffers greatly from the tight grasp of crime , which has taken hold of cities and outlying villages both. Whether you’re looking to settle down with your new family, or embark on an exciting new business adventure, understanding the key crime figures in your area is essential for maintaining your safety and security.

This will not only keep you informed when deciding where to lay down your roots, but also allows you to prepare and take precautions to ensure the most common security threats are thwarted. That’s something that Churchill Support Services are specialists in, and as the UK’s #1-ACS Approved Contractor, we offer a broad range of security solutions that can ensure your premises and personnel remain safe.

In our latest deep dive, we’ll break down the most dangerous areas in the North East, outlining exactly what you need to be aware of for your home and business security, as well as examining the most recent crime trends and worrying weapon offence figures.


Overview Of Crime In The North East

Overview Of Crime In The North East

Sadly, the overall state of crime in the North East is a grim one. Soaring crime rates combined with relatively low population figures makes the North East the 2nd worst region in the UK for criminality, with an overall crime rate of 110.5 offences per 1000 people. These figures tally up to a shocking 296,542 offences across the area, and while this is generally lower than most other regions in the UK, diminished population figures largely offset any regional reductions in crime. As a result, the North East has some of the highest crime to population ratios of anywhere in the UK.

Much like neighbouring regions, violent crime (39%) and theft offences (30%) make up the bulk of the North East’s crime statistics. These are closely followed by other major concerns like public order offences (11%) and criminal damage and arson (13%), while more serious incidents like sexual crimes (3.5%), drug offences (2.5%), and weapon possession (0.9%) are reported at lesser frequencies.

Worryingly, crime across the area is not showing any signs of slowing, with an overall 6% increase since the previous year. That includes dramatic rises in certain types of offences, such as a 45% increase in instances of shoplifting, and a 20% increase in robbery. Very few crimes are following a downward trend in the North East, and those that are falling are only doing so by a couple of points. All of this combines to paint a bleak picture, with crime worsening across the board, which will undoubtedly send ripples of concern through the community.


The 25 Most Dangerous Areas In The North East Revealed

Delve into our rankings of the most dangerous areas in the North East with the list below.

25. Jarrow

Crime Rate of 143.5 Per 1000 People

Just east of Newcastle, Jarrow rests on the southern bank of the River Tyne and acts as a major crossing point, with both traffic and pedestrian tunnels running underneath the water. The area is deeply historic, with both monasteries and abbeys in the town’s vicinity. That heritage of holiness has done little to prevent the rising crime figures, however, with a troubling rate of 143.5 offences per 1000 people – adding up to a total count of 4,227 offences.


24. Amble

Crime Rate of 145.1 Per 1000 People

A quaint coastal village in Northumberland, Amble lies where the mouth of the River Coquet opens up into the North Sea. As you might expect, the settlement has a strong maritime presence, with harbours, boat clubs, and two piers all helping to define the area. Unfortunately, crime in the area is problematic, with a crime rate of 145.1 offences per 1000 residents, which translates to 850 illegal incidents in the previous year.


23. Wallsend

Crime Rate of 146.4 Per 1000 People

The town of Wallsend gets its name, quite literally, from being the site where Hadrian’s wall ends. The settlement is built upon the site of the Segedunum, a Roman fort that was constructed to guard the eastern flank of the wall right up to the River Tyne. That strong presence of law and order has since been lost, with the town suffering from 6,628 criminal offences in the previous year, breaking down into a crime rate of 146.4 crimes per 1000 citizens.


22. Newton Aycliffe

Crime Rate of 148.0 Per 1000 People

To the west of the Tees Valley lies Newton Aycliffe, a small town constructed specifically to relocate citizens in bombed out cities following the Second World War. The town’s unique design is a rare sight among many other settlements in the North, but sadly, its high crime rate of 148 offences per 1000 residents is all too common. These figures amount to a total count of 3,814 offences in the previous year.


21. Blyth

Crime Rate of 150.2 Per 1000 People

Another town on the Northumberland coast, Blyth shares a similar maritime tradition to other settlements nearby. It has been involved in the construction of warships and civilian vessels alike, while Blyth’s port (which is situated on the other side of the river) handles up to 1.5 million tonnes of cargo a year. Regardless, the town faces a crime rate of 150.2 offences per 1000 people, which totals 5,968 instances of crime.


20. Sunderland

Sunderland Crime Statistics

Crime Rate of 151.1 Per 1000 People

One of the North East’s largest cities, Sunderland sprawls out on either side of the River Wear. The city has boasted a diverse portfolio of industries and sectors during its time, from trading in fish and salt in Sunderland’s early days, before moving onto shipbuilding and glassmaking, and finally developing an automotive industry in the late 20th century. With a crime rate of 151.1 per 1000 residents, which totals a whopping 25,435 offences, the criminal elements of the city seem to have also developed rapidly.


19. Newbiggin-by-the-Sea

Crime Rate of 154.0 Per 1000 People

As the name might suggest, Newbiggin lies on the coast, with its built-up area curving around the bay of the same name. The town features a large beach as its centrepiece, which has elevated the town into an attractive day trip destination during the summer months. Despite this, Newbiggin has garnered a troubling crime rate of 154 crimes per 1000 people, working out to 917 illegal incidents across the year.


18. Willington

Crime Rate of 159.2 Per 1000 People

A lesser-known town in County Durham, Willington lies just to the east of the North Pennines. With the area’s colliery closing in the 20th century, and a suffering coal industry acting as a backdrop across the entire region, Willington was hit particularly hard which may help explain these worrying crime figures. Over the past year, the town suffered from 905 offences, which breaks down to 159.2 crimes per 1000 citizens, which is deeply concerning for local residents.


17. Hartlepool

Crime Rate of 163.1 Per 1000 People

A major portside town, Hartlepool is just beyond Tees Valley and therefore lies within the boundaries of County Durham. The town’s seafront boasts a dockside, a marina, and a fishery, all of which connect Hartlepool’s residents to the North Sea beyond. Unfortunately, illegal activity is rife in the settlement, with a crime rate of 163.1 per 1000 people which amounts to a total count of 14,347 offences.


16. South Shields

Crime Rate of 164.1 Per 1000 People

When seaborne vessels near the mouth of the River Tyne, it’s likely that the first thing they see is South Shields Lighthouse, which guides them away from disaster. The town itself is located on the south bank of the river, with a spectrum of parks and beaches on offer to residents. While this aspect of South Shields may sound appealing, the worsening crime rate of the area is certainly not, with 164.1 offences per 1000 people, which correlates to a total of 12,032 individual counts.


15. Houghton-le-Spring

Crime Rate of 164.9 Per 1000 People

Just one town among a suburban sea of smaller settlements southwest of Sunderland, Houghton-le-Spring is renowned for its traditional feast held every October. This originated in the Middle Ages, but has persisted until the present day, involving a ten-day festival with fireworks and even an ox-roasting event. Despite reporting only 2,070 criminal offences in the last year, the town’s small population means the corresponding crime rate has risen as high as 164.9 per 1000 people.


14. Redcar & Cleveland

Crime Rate of 165.8 Per 1000 People

With beaches running from the mouth of the River Tees all the way to Saltburn, the area of Redcar and Cleveland is located in North Yorkshire, but has typically been classed as part of the North East. Either way, the area possesses a startling high crime rate of 165.8 offences per 1000 people, with those figures adding up to 6,243 individual counts of crime across the area.


13. Middlesbrough

Crime Rate of 170.2 Per 1000 People

Located in the very centre of Tees Valley, Middlesbrough rests largely on the banks of the River Tees, which weaves its way through the town. The area’s industrial heritage is well renowned, with ironworks, coal, and shipbuilding all part of that pedigree. As these industries have declined, so too has the safety of the town, now suffering a crime rate of 170.2 per 1000 citizens, which adds up to an enormous 25,233 total crimes.


12. Morpeth

Crime Rate of 172.3 Per 1000 People

More inland than many settlements on this list, Morpeth lies on the River Wansbeck in Northumberland. Evidence of human settlement here stretches all the way back to the stone age, whereas Roman artifacts have also been found in the town. Despite this, Morpeth remains a small town, with a disproportionate crime rate of 172.3 per 1000 residents. These figures amount to 2,485 offences in total across the full year.


11. Ferryhill

Crime Rate of 174.2 Per 1000 People

Only a small town, Ferryhill is named after the Ferryhill Gap, a natural break in limestone escarpment that defines the area. Accordingly, the town developed largely around the coal mining industry, but after the last mine was closed in 1968, Ferryhill has struggled to get back on its feet. This is reflected in nearby crime stats, with 1,543 offences being committed in the last year, working out to a shocking 174.2 crimes per 1000 people.


10. Murton

Crime Rate of 176.8 Per 1000 People

In what has become an unfortunate pattern across the North East, Murton was yet another coal mining town that has since fallen into decline. The discovery of coal in nearby fields had transformed the small hamlet, but when the colliery was finally closed, it had an equally negative effect. Today, Murton suffers from a crime rate of 176.8 per 1000 people, amounting to a full count of 1,281 crimes across the settlement.


9. Peterlee

Crime Rate of 177.5 Per 1000 People

Just northwest of Hartlepool, Peterlee was constructed to house nearby miners from surrounding villages in Easington. In line with this, the town was named after famous miner leader and county councillor Peter Lee, who lived in the area his whole life and became an important figure in the local community. He would perhaps be dismayed to see the town having such a high crime rate of 177.5 per 1000 residents, with 3,505 total offences in the last year.


8. Horden

Crime Rate of 178.9 Per 1000 People

A town interconnected to neighbouring Peterlee, Horden lies close to the Durham coast. While a nearby beach may be in walking distance, the town itself is separated from the sea by a stretch of grassland and low rolling dunes. In terms of crime figures, however, Horden is marginally worse than its neighbour – coming in at 178.9 crimes per 1000 people, which adds up to a total count of 6,807 offences.


7. Stockon-on-Tees

Crime Rate of 179.7 Per 1000 People

Gazing at Middlesbrough from across the river, Stockton is no less significant than this other major town in the Tees Valley. Renowned for being the home of the world’s first steam-hauled passenger train, Stockton has a rich industrial and locomotive history. Unfortunately, the area also boasts a sky-high crime rate of 179.7 per 1000 people, which works out to approximately 15,240 total crimes in the last year.


6. Stanley

Crime Rate of 180.8 Per 1000 People

Close to the boundary between County Durham and Tyne and Wear, the story of the town of Stanley is a familiar one. The area’s industrial past has slowly been replaced and overtaken by high street shops and commercial markets, turning the town into a sleepy suburb. Despite this, crime has still not fallen in the area, with a rate of 180.8 offences per 1000 residents last year, while reported crime reached 3,513 crimes in total.


5. Easington

Crime Rate of 181.8 Per 1000 People

Just a short distance away from Peterlee and Horden, Easington shares the area’s roots in the coal industry. However, unlike many other areas, Easington’s colliery held out until 1993 – when it became Durham’s very last coalfield to finally shut its doors. This recent shock sent ripples through the community, helping push the crime rate up to 181.8 offences per 1000 people, and resulting in 1,266 total crimes in the previous year.


4. Shildon

Crime Rate of 182.2 Per 1000 People

About halfway between Darlington and Durham, Shildon is perhaps best known for hosting the Locomotion railway museum. This is largely due to the town opening the very first railway station on the Stockton and Darlington line in 1825. Despite the draws for train enthusiasts, crime figures in the area are not nearly as appealing, with a rate of 182.2 per 1000 residents, amounting to a worrying count of 1,758 individual offences.


3. Ashington

Crime Rate of 182.2 Per 1000 People

Despite only being a short distance away from Newcastle, residents of Ashington and nearby towns have a markedly different way of speaking compared to the Geordie accent. This dialect is known as Pitmatic, or Yakka, and has evolved from mining jargon used in nearby coalfields. Once again, declining industry and economic troubles in the town have helped crime soar, reaching a rate of 182.2 offences per 1000 citizens, or 5,042 incidents overall.


2. Eston

Crime Rate of 184.3 Per 1000 People

Perched on the outskirts of Middlesbrough, Eston is the secret powerhouse of Tees Valley. The iron mines in the town were instrumental in developing the region’s steel industry, which eventually became a world-leading producer of iron and steel, with metal being used as far away as Sydney. It’s therefore a tragedy that the area suffers so horrendously from crime, with 5,460 offences in total last year, which breaks down to 184.3 crimes per 1000 people.


1. Thornaby-on-Tees

Crime Rate of 187.0 Per 1000 People

Officially the most dangerous place in the North East, Thornaby is on the other side of Middlesbrough compared to our previous entry. As the name might suggest, the River Tees runs alongside the length of Thornaby, dividing it from neighbouring Stockton. Illegal activity is of great concern in the town, however, with an egregious crime rate of 187.0 offences per 1000 residents, which builds up to a total of 4,366 crimes across the town.


Key Crime Trends Across The North East

Crime Trends Across The North East

On top of the most recent crime figures, we also took a look at stats from previous years to determine what the emerging crime trends were telling us in the North East. Unfortunately, we found that crime is worsening across the board, with a 6% increase from the last year. That is one of the largest increases reported across the UK, and with criminal activity showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon, the soaring rates are sure to cause worry for those living and working in the area.

Of particular concern is a 45% increase in shoplifting, a startling figure that is encouraging vendors to invest more heavily in their retail security. Other crimes seeing steep rises include robbery (20% worse), theft offences (15% worse), vehicle crime (14% worse), and perhaps most worryingly, drug offences (14% worse). It’s important to note that these figures, particularly theft-related crimes, are on the rise across the broader country due to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, which has tightened wallets and made theft seem more tempting.

Falling crime figures are much sparser, with only 4 out of 20 categories of crime seeing decreases in the last year, and even then, not by much. The largest fall is in bicycle theft (16% better), with marginal decreases in criminal damage & arson (2% better), public order offences (1% better), and non-residential burglary (7% better). Ultimately, these downward trends hardly make a dent to the overwhelming increases found in more serious and common crimes across the North East, like violent crime and drug offences.


Weapon Offences Across The North East

Weapon Offences Across The North East

With continuing debates surrounding Martyn’s Law and the increasing problems with weapon usage across the UK, we decided to look into the knife and gun crime stats in North East England.

Consistent with what we’ve found for other types of crime in the region, there are sharp increases in both knife and gun offences. Knife crime has risen by 12% from 2,165 offences to 2,433 offences, while gun crime has seen a slightly smaller rise of 10%, going from 339 offences to 374 offences. From these figures, it seems clear that weapon crime will continue to be an ever-present problem across the region, and with such discomforting trends already, residents should brace for further increases over the next few years.

With weapon crime already at record highs across the country, this news will not be received well by concerned residents in the North East, as well as the region’s police forces who are on the frontline of the fight against weapon crime.


How Do Churchill Source Our Data?

Churchill aim to provide a fair and unbiased view of crime in the North East, so we are committed to being open and honest about our methodology.  In line with this, our data is acquired from the open source website, where we hand count crime figures before comparing them with population figures from the 2021 census. From this, we calculate the ratio of offences per 1000 people living in that area, allowing us to take into account key considerations like population and urban density for the most accurate impression of crime in your area.

Our data covers a full calendar year from May 2023 to April 2024, and encompasses the overall crime figures in addition to breaking them down into different crime types and percentage changes from previous years. Additionally, our articles are updated regularly to ensure you have the most recent information on crime figures in the North East.

John Melling

Group Chief Executive Officer

John has a proven track record for motivating and leading high performance teams and has helped mentor and develop many people at Churchill who now hold key or senior positions within the business. John is committed to delivering only the finest services, exercising compelling leadership, maintaining good internal morale and striving to resolve any challenges efficiently and effectively.