Crime rates are often a pivotal factor in choosing an area to settle down in. Whether you’re looking to start a family, start a business, or you’re planning for the golden years of retirement, the crime rate of the region you choose is often a reflection of its safety, and the positive or negative trends you can expect to see should you choose to live there.
That’s why Churchill Support Services are fully committed to providing a comprehensive, unbiased overview of crime rates across the UK, so you can make an informed choice on where you choose to set up shop, or lay down roots.
Here, we’ll look at England’s sunny South West and its crime statistics. We’ll draw your attention to the key stats and facts on crimes in the region, and what you’ll need to be aware of for the safety and security of your business or home.
As one of the UK’s leading providers of security services, we understand how important your safety is. That’s why we endeavour to provide the most objective overview of crime in any given area, using empirical data from local policing reports and independent analysis firm Brighton Analytics.
We’ll then display this data as a ratio of crimes per 1000 people. Displaying the crime rates like this allows us to account for the size of that part of the South West, as well as take into consideration the population of the area.
As part of our comprehensive exploration of the region, we’ll look at the major towns and cities in South West England, as well as the most prevalent crimes in that area.
One of England’s most picturesque corners, its little surprise that the South West attracts some of the largest tourism numbers outside of the capital. The most expansive coastline anywhere in the country squirrels away tropical-esque beaches with crystalline waters, with gentle tides that carry the intrepid surfer or wayward seal.
Further inland, we find some of the UK’s most abundant heritage, from the monolithic and enigmatic Stonehenge to the cobbled, labyrinthine streets of Bath and Bristol. Burgeoning local economies harbour boutique shops alongside flourishing local businesses that cater to everything from the iconic Cornish pastries to Cheddar cheese from the eponymous gorge and village.
It’s this melding of both culture, cuisine and commerce that means the South West sees one of the lowest amalgamated crime rates of any major region in the UK at 74.8 crimes per 1000 people.
Within that rate, there are still statistics that are pertinent to any decision to move to the area. Violent crime is the most prominent issue in the area, with 116,495 incidents reported over the last year, making up almost 40% of the total crime.
There’s also substantial reports of theft (82,720 incidents) and public order offences (35,611 incidents) that highlight the need for effective South West security.
Of course though, this is just the regional average, and individual cities and towns could have higher or lower rates of crime. Let’s examine some of those key places in detail, and see how they compare to the region’s overall rate of crime.
A once-and-still thriving market town in the heart of Devon, Barnstaple’s heritage lies in its prosperous market hall which dates back to the Victorian era and attracts a sizeable crowd on a weekly basis. That popularity comes in spite of Barnstaple’s slightly higher crime rate of 84.9 crimes per 1000 residents.
As part of that rate, the town sees substantial figures across violent crime (977 offences), antisocial behaviour (621 offences) and criminal damage (260 offences), all of which prompt concerns for security in Barnstaple.
As far as historic British cities go, there’s few that command the same gravitas as Bath. A UNESCO World Heritage site in its own right, and the flagship attraction of its county Somerset, the city has its undoubted draws in terms of its architecture, its retail opportunities and its natural beauty.
Plus, with a crime that lies below the area’s average at 71.9 crimes per 1000 residents, Bath is one of the safer choices in terms of crime rates. However, attention should still be paid to the high numbers across both violent crime (2839 offences) and antisocial behaviour (1464 offences).
Situated on the idyllic Dorset coastline, the port town of Bournemouth is best known nowadays for its position as a premier seaside resort, attracting both sunseekers and sightseers in equal droves. Sadly though, that seaside charm doesn’t mask a higher rate of crime, with Bournemouth experiencing 90.6 crimes per 1000 residents.
Within that rate, we find high statistics across violent crime (7492 incidents), antisocial behaviour (6371 incidents) and vehicle crime (2087 incidents), as well as a rate of bicycle theft (452 incidents) that’s more than double the regional average.
One of Somerset’s most ancient towns, and the centre for the annual Guy Fawkes Carnival, Bridgwater’s relatively unknown status outside of its county helps to mask the town’s soaring crime rate. At 130.8 crimes per 1000 residents, it’s one of the highest across the region.
Violent crime (2358 incidents), antisocial behaviour (1058 incidents), and public order offences (779 incidents) lead the town’s most prominent statistics, but it’s the town rate of bicycle theft (104 incidents) that’s a huge concern for Bridgwater security – it’s triple that regional average.
A city steeped in heritage, and one of Gloucestershire’s primary attractions, Bristol is a central hub for both its county, and for the country as a whole. Ranging from major television studios, to some of the UK’s more vibrant nightlife, the city has its major draws. Those huge positives come with a major drawback, however – the city’s crime rate sits at a substantial 97.7 crimes per 1000 residents.
Digging deeper, there’s high figures across violent crime (21,477 offences), antisocial behaviour (9850 offences) and criminal damage (5551 offences), all of which highlight the need for effective Bristol security services.
Synonymous with the infamous horse racing event of the same name, Cheltenham offers much more than its illustrious sporting history, boasting a rich and vast selection of festivals from literature to classical music. However, in spite of its abundance of culture, the town’s crime rate peaks at an alarming 97.9 crimes per 1000 residents.
There’s high figures across both violent crime (4805 incidents) and antisocial behaviour (2271 incidents), but of equal concern for business security in Cheltenham is the substantial rate of shoplifting (888 incidents) – almost double the countywide average for Gloucestershire.
As one of Wiltshire’s most prominent market towns, Chippenham offers a haven for shoppers and sightseers alike, particularly with its bustling biweekly street markets and quaint streets. It’s this mixture of a thriving local economy and a good recognition of its roots that leads to Chippenham’s low rate of crime – 64.8 crimes per 1000 residents.
Of course, that’s not to say that Chippenham is crime free. There’s still worrying trends across both antisocial behaviour (1070 offences) and violent crime (1043 offences), both of which are above the countywide average.
A sleepy town in the southern reaches of Devon, Christchurch is a relatively unheard corner of one of England’s most charming counties, offering a quaint way of life along the fringes of the English Channel. That quaintness equates to one of the lower crime rates nationwide, at just 44.3 crimes per 1000 residents.
As part of that ratio, though, there’s still a need for effective Christchurch security, especially when considering the numbers across violent crime (944 incidents), antisocial behaviour (758 incidents) and criminal damage (326 incidents).
One of England’s most verdant counties, Cornwall is the epitome of British countryside. From hideaway coves and shimmering beaches, to winding streets and sun-drenched promenades, the county holds pride of place as one of the UK’s most stunning areas of natural beauty.
Plus with the lowest crime rate country-wide of just 40 crimes per 1000 residents, it’s not only the sunshine and sea breeze that make it an attractive prospect to homeowners and businesspeople. Of course, there’s still standout statistics, namely in violent crime (11,398 offences), antisocial behaviour (7291 offences) and criminal damage (3333 offences).
A historic cathedral city nestled in the heart of Devonshire, Exeter represents a key hub for education and culture across its county. Plus, with such an emphasis on its cultural significance, it’s not a surprise the city has a comparatively low crime rate – 60.9 crimes per 1000 residents.
There’s still inherent risks to security in Exeter, and especially so with the high figures across violent crime (3512 incidents), antisocial behaviour (2262 incidents) and criminal damage (765 incidents).
A harbour town perched upon the banks of the River Exe, you’d expect Exmouth’s position as one of Devon’s most populous towns to come with a similarly soaring crime rate. However, Exmouth bucks that trend, with a comparatively low rate of crime of just 41.9 crimes per 1000 residents.
However, with high rates across violent crime (834 offences), antisocial behaviour (528 offences), and criminal damage (144 offences), there’s still a pressing need for effective Exmouth security services.
One of the key feeder towns for the sprawling city of Bristol, Filton has both history and modernity in equal measure, with key archaeological finds dating the town back to the Roman Empire. What’s startlingly modern, though, is the town’s climbing crime rate of 91 crimes per 1000 residents.
Violent crime (384 incidents) and antisocial behaviour (183 incidents) are the town’s most prominent issues, but of equal concern is the rate of bicycle theft (51 incidents), which is more than triple the countywide average.
One of the UK’s major cathedral cities, and one of its most ancient and ceremonial, Gloucester couples the convenience of modern city living with the grandeur and splendour of period architecture. However, with that melding of cultures comes a worrying crime rate of 118.5 crimes per 1000 residents.
As part of that rate, there’s soaring figures across violent crime (8771 incidents), antisocial behaviour (2942 incidents) and public order offences (2454 incidents), all of which reinforce the need for security in Gloucester.
Often synonymous with its county Dorset, the port town of Poole sits on the shores of the English Channel, offering a gateway to the infamous Jurassic coastline of its county, as well as a rich maritime history. It’s with this natural and historic beauty in mind, then, that Poole boasts a stable rate of crime – 61.7 crimes per 1000 residents.
Poole does have its problems with crime, however. Violent crime (3996 offences), antisocial behaviour (4091 offences), and criminal damage (1231 offences) are the 3 most prominent issues, but the town also has a rate of shoplifting (817 offences) that’s over 30% higher than the county average.
Perhaps most renowned for its dominant naval base that’s the largest across Western Europe, Plymouth is much more than a military hub, especially given its verdant coastlines and strong academic connections in the city’s university. And, with a crime rate of 64.4 crimes per 1000 residents, there’s even more to make the city an attractive prospect.
In spite of that, though, Plymouth security is still of paramount importance, given the high figures across violent crime (8841 incidents), antisocial behaviour (4774 incidents), and criminal damage (1950 incidents).
Few cities embody Wiltshire like the cathedral city of Salisbury. It combines the natural beauty of its three confluent rivers with the manmade majesty of its towering spires and parapets in the city itself. However, in spite of its splendours, Salisbury still faces its issues with crime, sitting at an alarming 89.4 crimes per 1000 residents.
Digging deeper into that rate, we find there’s substantial numbers across violent crime (1485 offences), antisocial behaviour (1112 offences) and criminal damage (472 offences) that spark concern for Salisbury security.
A bustling market town at the foot of the Cotswold Hills, Stroud is perhaps best known for its famed farmer’s market, drawing in substantial crowds each weekend. However, what’s not quite as fore-fronted is the town’s worrying crime rate of 129.6 crimes per 1000 residents.
Violent crime (859 incidents), antisocial behaviour (345 incidents) and public order offences (292 incidents) are the most pressing issues for the town, but a soaring rate of drug crime (45 incidents) that’s more than double the county average also sparks warranted concern.
A rapidly expanding town that best epitomised the post-war population boom, Swindon’s popularity has since plateaued, with the Wiltshire town still offering much to its residents and visitors alike in terms of its roots in culture and sport. It’s that stable popularity that leads to a similarly stable crime rate of 76.2 crimes per 1000 residents.
Of course, that doesn’t mean there’s no concern in terms of Swindon security. With rising statistics across violent crime (6559 offences), antisocial behaviour (4283 offences) and criminal damage (1454 offences), it’s crucial you’re aware of the ever-present issue of crime in the town.
With a history that dates back over a thousand year, Taunton’s architecture and religious sites are its key attractions to the visitor, but with a flourishing economy, it also appears to be a great opportunity for business and home owners, too. Unfortunately, beneath the surface lurks an alarming crime rate – 112.5 crimes per 1000 residents.
Within that rate, we find high statistics across both violent crime (2785 incidents) and antisocial behaviour (1262 incidents), as well as a rate of bicycle theft (286 incidents) that’s more than three times as high as the countywide average.
Tucked away on the Devonshire coastline, the seaside town of Torquay has earned a well-deserved nickname of the English Riviera, thanks in equal parts to its milder climate, bustling harbour, and seafront shops. That flattering moniker is muted slightly, however, by Torquay’s slightly inflated crime rate of 89.8 crimes per 1000 residents.
Violent crime (2167 offences), antisocial behaviour (1322 offences), and criminal damage (634 offences) all head up the list of the most prevalent crimes in the town, and underscore the need for effective security in Torquay.
One of Wiltshire’s most historic market towns, largely thanks to its close proximity to the network of rivers and canals that criss-cross the county, Trowbridge has long maintained its place as one of the area’s most important ancient settlements. That reputation has unfortunately not held firm, with the town facing a substantial crime rate of 86.1 crimes per 1000 residents.
The main issues facing Trowbridge security are violent crime (1475 incidents), antisocial behaviour (1010 incidents) and criminal damage (345 incidents), but statistics in shoplifting (328 incidents) that are over double the countywide average are also equally alarming.
An iconic seaside destination on Somerset’s northern coast, Weston has cultivated a reputation for seaside getaways, and to this day represents a stalwart choice for UK holidaymakers and day-trippers alike. It’s unfortunate, then, that the town has a pressing issue with crime, with 91.6 crimes happening per 1000 residents.
The town’s main problems lie in violent crime (3823 offences) and antisocial behaviour (1631 offences), but there’s also a clear and present issue with drug crime (161 offences), which is more than 80% higher than the county’s average.
Perched along the Jurassic Coast, the seaside resort of Weymouth thrives on the tourism that its idyllic surroundings bring in. While there’s undoubted benefit in its harbourside attractions, that’s undercut slightly by the town’s rate of crime – 71.2 crimes per 1000 residents.
High rates across violent crime (1987 incidents), antisocial behaviour (1913 incidents) and criminal damage (527 incidents) are all key factors when considering your Weymouth security needs.
A quaint town that feeds into the larger cities of Bath and Bristol, Yate’s biggest attractions for those outside the town are its bustling shopping centre and local amenities. Plus, with a crime rate that’s below the regional average at 64.4 crimes per 1000 residents, it’s got its undoubted benefits.
However, that’s not to say Yate is issue-free. Substantial figures across both violent crime (672 offences) and antisocial behaviour (345 offences) are the key concerns, but a rising rate of robbery (16 offences) is a pressing problem, especially as it’s more than 50% higher than the county average.
Known for its pivotal role in military history during the Second World War, Yeovil has since taken a place as one of Somerset’s more populous areas, alongside a burgeoning local economy. It’s with that population increase, however, that the town has seen a sharp spike in its crime rate, reaching 128 crimes per 1000 residents.
The primary contributors to the rising rate are violent crime (1844 incidents), antisocial behaviour (1031 incidents), and public order offences (727 incidents), all of which underscore the need for effective Yeovil security coverage.