6 Top Crime Hotspots in Manchester Revealed

Known as the “Capital of the North”, Manchester is a bustling metropolitan city full of history, culture and entertainment. However, just like its southern counterpart, the city also has a reputation for being one of the most dangerous in the UK.

The Greater Manchester Police receives around 200,000 reports of crime each year, with several areas of the city centre standing out as particular crime hotspots. If you live in Manchester or frequently visit the city, you’ll probably have some areas in mind. But if you’re visiting this wonderful city for the first time, you may be vulnerable to crime.  At Churchill Support Services, safety and security is our business. To that effect, we’ve had a look at the crime statistics and compiled a list of Manchester’s crime hotspots. There’s a lot more to these areas than just crime, of course, but it’s certainly worth being aware and taking extra precautions when out and about in the city centre.


  • Commercial District

Spanning the Arndale Centre, King Street and Deansgate areas, the commercial district is Manchester’s business and retail hub. But these high-end businesses and heavy foot fall also attract crime. Indeed, the Commercial District saw the highest number of reported crimes in Manchester city centre in 2018-19, including a whopping 805 violent incidents, 258 burglaries, 4,469 thefts, 319 robberies and 228 public order offences. A shocking 21 attempted murders were also reported in the area.

  • Northern Quarter

Famous for its bars, restaurants and retail stores, one of Manchester’s trendiest and chicest areas is hiding a dark secret; the Northern Quarter had the highest number of reported burglaries across the whole of the city centre, with an average of one burglary occuring every three days in 2019. With 885 incidents of theft and 71 cases of robberies, taking precautions to protect your property and assets is vital for businesses and people in this area.

  • Gay Village

Manchester’s Gay Village is famous for its vibrant nightlife and with its clubs, bars, and restaurants, is often the go-to area for a night out. Sadly, however, it’s also one of the city’s crime hotspots, especially for sexual assault and violent crime. In 2018/2019 alone, there were 481 reports of violent crimes in the Gay Village area, with offenses stretching from common assault up to the most serious classifications.

  • Piccadilly Gardens

Originally intended as Manchester’s green space, this area has gained an infamous reputation for crime and antisocial behaviour. The square seems to attract gang violence, with 90 incidents of affray (group fighting in a public space) occurring there in 2019- more than anywhere else in the city. Overall, 484 violent incidents happened in Piccadilly Gardens over a twelve-month period, making it a hotspot for violent crime and assaults- and an area best avoided at night and when on your own.

  • Chinatown

Perhaps the worst hotspot on our list for antisocial behaviour, Manchester City Council resorted to hiring private security to help patrol this area of Manchester. This move was part of the council’s strategy to crack down on violent crime, anti-social behaviour and drug dealing that’s be negatively impacting business owners and residents for years.  Overall, Chinatown saw 132 violent incidents, 40 burglaries, 394 thefts, 63 robberies and 56 public order offences in a 12-month period.

  • Castlefield

While Castlefield has a relatively low crime rate compared to some of the areas we’ve mentioned, it’s one of the few largely residential areas to make the list of our top crime hot spots. In 2019 there were 40 reports of burglary, 318 of theft and 38 of robbery in the area, as well as 101 incidents of violence. There was also a spate of muggings in the area that made residents so fearful, they resorted to setting up a ‘buddy’ scheme when walking to and from work.


Churchill’s Top Tips for Staying Safe in City Centres


Be aware of your surroundings

Criminals operating in city centres are largely opportunists. There’s a pool of potential victims to choose from and countless opportunities to strike; whether that’s taking advantage of large crowds, open windows or inexperienced tourists. In order to protect yourself and your belongings from opportunist crimes, make sure you remain aware of your surroundings and alert to situations that don’t seem quite right. Making calls, texting or listening to headphones can impair your overall awareness and leave you vulnerable to pickpocketing or mugging. Likewise, alcohol and drugs can also reduce your inhibition and reaction times, leaving you vulnerable and at a greater risk of crime.

Be assertive and move with purpose

As the old saying goes, fake it until you make it. Even if you’re new to the city or there as a visitor, ensure you move through the streets of Manchester with the confidence and assertiveness of a local. This involves having a plan of action and knowing where you’re heading before you step out onto the street, so you appear in control and less vulnerable.

Stick together

There’s safety in numbers so stick together with your friends or group and ensure you agree on a plan of action and also a backup plan in case you get separated. Avoid quiet backstreets and stick to popular routes and well-lit areas, especially if walking alone at night (which is not advisable, especially in the areas on our list).

Watch out for drive by robberies

One of the newest tactics used by criminals, drive by robberies often involve two wheelers such as bikes or motorcycles. If you’re walking close to the pavement, these vehicles can get close enough to snatch bags/property and drive off at speed. To avoid this, when walking on the pavement, always face oncoming traffic and keep aware of anyone trying to approach you head on.

Hide valuables

To prevent criminals from targeting you, keep your valuable items such as mobiles, expensive headphones and fancy jewellery hidden out of sight when on the streets of Manchester. If you’re on your new iPhone 12, an opportunistic criminal may see it and fancy it for themselves.


Are you a Manchester business owner looking to protect your business from incidents of theft, vandalism, and anti-social behaviour? If so, Churchill Support Services can provide a tailored security solution for you. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help safeguard your Manchester business.

Churchill Support Services is a leading cross-industry security company supplying professional and comprehensive security solutions to organisations seeking expert Security Guards, CCTV & Event Security, Key Holding & Alarm Response, Mobile Patrols and Thermal Imaging & People Flow.

To find out more about how Churchill Support Services can protect your business, contact us today.

Emily Macaulay

Director of Sales

Emily is responsible for business growth and account development via new sales. She leads the Business Development teams through strategic goals and objectives in line with business targets and strategy. Emily is a friendly, approachable and a respected senior manager at Churchill who always strives to deliver service excellence.