Whether you’re looking to lay down roots and start your family, or you’re a budding entrepreneur looking to kickstart their visionary new project, understanding the crime rate for any area is a crucial consideration.
It not only helps inform the area you opt for, but it can also help you make decisions that shape your family or your business’ future, especially with safety and security in mind. That’s an area that Churchill Support Services are intimately familiar with, especially as one of the UK’s leading providers of security solutions.
With this article, we’ll break down the key statistics on crime in the West Midlands, highlighting what we know you’ll want to be aware of for your home and business security, as well as exploring the safest and more dangerous areas of this area of England.
In the interests of providing a fair and unbiased look at crime in the West Midlands, we get all of our data from open-source police reports, as well as using independent researcher Brighton Analytics. This is all for the last year, so you can rest assured you’ve got the most recent information.
This is then shown as a ratio of crimes per 1,000 people living in that area, as this allows us to take into account key considerations like population and area size, while still helping you make a smart decision for your West Midlands security and safety.
We’ll look at all the largest towns and cities from this expansive area of the UK, and discuss what their crime rates are, as well as what the most common types of crime in that area are.
One of England’s richest areas, in both the financial and historical senses, the West Midlands encompasses much of what makes the UK an amazing place to live. Often referred to as the “Black Country” thanks to its deep-lying roots in the coal industry, the West Midlands offers bustling cities juxtaposed against meandering rivers and nature reserves.
Perhaps most closely associated with the bright lights of Birmingham and Wolverhampton, this western section of England offers far more than industry and retail. From the world-renowned geology of Wren’s Nest, to the viper’s nest of rivers that criss-cross the district’s rolling fields, the commercial delights of the West Midlands are counterbalanced by its natural beauty.
However, that geographical splendour masks a substantial crime rate – 99.7 crimes per 1000 residents in the West Midlands, or just below 1 in 10.
In terms of specific crimes, the most prevalent offences were violent crimes (250,520 incidents over the last year), making up just over 42% of the total crimes in the region. There’s also significant figures in theft (173,380 incidents) and public order offences (54,220 incidents) that prompt increased concern for security in the West Midlands.
It’s important to note, though, that while the overall rate for the region is relatively high, there’s no guarantee that the individual areas will match. Let’s break down some of the key places in the West Midlands, and how their crime rate stacks up.
A town that’s quintessentially Midlands, Aldridge has its origins in the Industrial Revolution as a hub for coal-mining and production in the infancy of industry. It’s this hard-working nature that contributes towards the town’s lower rate of crime – 75.5 crimes per 1000 residents.
That’s not to say there’s no cause for concern, though. The town still sees high numbers across violent crime (1186 incidents) and burglary (273 incidents), both of which underscore the need for effective Aldridge security.
One of Warwickshire’s quaintest market towns, Bedworth’s lengthy border with neighbouring Coventry means they’re often bundled together. Not only does that downplay the natural beauty and attractions of Bedworth, it also means the lower crime rate is often not considered.
At 78.7 crimes per 1000 residents, it is much lower than the region-wide average, but there’s still standout figures that prompt concern for security in Bedworth, such as high numbers in violent crime (1108 offences) and antisocial behaviour (582 offences).
As the second largest city in the United Kingdom, Birmingham sees its fair share of both visitors and residents. With a plethora of attractions that range from the Bullring shopping centre to the upper tiers of English football, the city undoubtedly has its draws for those interested.
However, what’s not as attractive is the city’s soaring rate of crime. At 143.1 crimes per 1000 residents, it’s more than 43% higher than the region’s overall rate, and serves to highlight the need for strong Birmingham security services.
In that rate, there’s climbing figures across violent crime (76,805 incidents), public order offences (15,439 incidents) and criminal damage (12,958 incidents), all of which are cause for concern for both homeowners and businesses.
A vestige of the decorated heritage of the West Midlands, Bloxwich is one of the more historic market towns across one England’s most storied regions. Unfortunately though, the town’s crime rate belies its smalltown exterior, with the rate reaching 125.9 crimes per 1000 residents, substantially higher than the average for the region.
That rate is predominantly made up by soaring figures in violent crime (3006 offences), criminal damage (965 incidents) and antisocial behaviour (604 incidents), all of which have a higher rate than what’s expected for towns and cities across the wider region.
With a storied past in the glass and steel-working industries, Brierley Hill has since modernised, and now plays host to one of the largest shopping centres in the UK. However, with that modernity comes an all-too-modern crime rate of 136.2 crimes per 1000 residents.
The most prevalent issues are violent crime (1943 offences) and shoplifting (497 offences), the latter of which is than one and a half times the countrywide average.
One of the quieter towns in its county, Bromsgrove has transformed through the years from the UK’s primary centre for nail making, to a well-preserved hub for history and culture in Worcestershire. It’s that charming nature that really helps secure the town as one of the safer areas of the West Midlands, with an overall crime rate of just 68.3 crimes per 1000 residents.
However, there are a few stats you need to be aware of before committing to a life in Bromsgrove. While they’re comparatively low compared to the region overall, there are still high numbers in violent crime (1306 incidents) and antisocial behaviour (836 incidents).
Perhaps most closely associated with its thriving brewery industry, the Staffordshire town of Burton-upon-Trent has a burgeoning economy that’s rooted in both history and modernity. Plus, with a crime rate that’s below the regional average (85 crimes per 1000 residents), it can be an attractive prospect for businesses.
However, that only tells a partial story, as alarming figures across violent crime (3478 offences), antisocial behaviour (1507 offences) and criminal damage (563 offences) mean there’s a pressing need for Burton-upon-Trent security services.
One of the quieter Staffordshire towns, largely down to its older population and close links to the county’s 17th and 18th century history, Cannock has built a reputation as a key feeder town for larger cities. That commuter population means a relatively stable crime rate too, at 72.9 crimes per 1000 residents.
The key components of that rate are still concerning, though. There’s climbing figures across violent crime (2561 offences) and antisocial behaviour (1284 offences) that warrant a boosted focus on Cannock security, especially if you’re new to the area.
One of the West Midlands’ most well-known cities, Coventry has its obvious draws for homeowners and businesspeople alike. It’s got an illustrious history as one of the longest-standing large settlements in the country, but it’s Coventry’s modern trappings that bring in its crowds.
From the city skyline that’s dominated by the cathedral spires, to its centres for arts and culture, Coventry’s place as a thoroughly modern city is marred by its substantial crime rate of 110.7 crimes per 1000 residents.
That rate contains significant numbers in violent crime (18,165 incidents), vehicle crimes (4991 incidents) and public order offences (3609 incidents), as well as a rate of bicycle theft (652 incidents) that’s almost twice the countrywide average.
The premier market town in the West Midlands, Dudley offers much more than just a retail odyssey. It’s often considered to be the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, and now brings in a steady stream of tourists for its zoo, castle and ancient ruins. What’s not as attractive a prospect is Dudley’s soaring crime rate – 137.7 crimes per 1000 residents.
High statistics in violent crime (5599 incidents) and public order offences (1168 incidents) are the key contributors to that higher rate, but there’s also climbing rates in criminal damage (1088 incidents) that prompt concern for Dudley security.
One of the more rural areas of the West Midlands, the areas of Malvern and Great Malvern are considered an area of historic conservation, thanks in part to the multitude of natural mineral springs and the Malvern Hills.
Unfortunately, though, the area still has its crime hotspots, with an overall rate of 85.9 crimes per 1000 residents, and considerable numbers across violent crime (1161 offences) and antisocial behaviour (731 offences).
A picturesque market town that’s home to beautiful natural gardens and a renovated town centre, Halesowen’s appeal is immediately obvious, and its low crime rate of 69 crimes per 1000 residents further compounds that.
That’s not to say there’s no threat at all, however. Substantial figures in violent crime (1865 offences) and criminal damage (325 offences) reinforce the need for good Halesowen security.
As one of the oldest cities countrywide, and the namesake of its county Herefordshire, the city of Hereford has an illustrious reputation. Nestled on the banks of the River Wye, the cathedral city couples rurality with modernity in a unique blend, but brings with it a slightly inflated crime rate of 103.4 crimes per 1000 residents.
That rate encompasses high statistics across violent crime (3022 incidents), antisocial behaviour (1532 incidents), and criminal damage (487 incidents), as well as a rate of drug offences (184 incidents) that’s more than twice the county’s average.
One of Worcestershire’s larger market towns, and located on the fringes of the sprawling Wyre Forest, Kidderminster is most often associated with its strong sporting connections. What’s not often mentioned, though, is the town’s high rate of crime – 103.9 crimes per 1000 residents.
While high, that rate is predominantly made up by two different types of crime, with soaring numbers across both violent crime (2577 offences) and antisocial behaviour (1379 offences), both of which spark an increased focus on Kidderminster security.
One of Staffordshire’s most prominent cathedral cities thanks to its towering, triple-spired cathedral that dominates the skyline, Lichfield proudly wears its heritage as a badge of honour, and rightly so. It’s got just as much to be proud of with its manageable crime rate, too, with the city experiencing 70 crimes per 1000 residents.
There’s still room for improvement, though. Lichfield still sees substantial numbers in violent crime (956 incidents), antisocial behaviour (460 incidents) and shoplifting (291 incidents) that mean security is paramount.
Often confused for its North East namesake, the market town of Newcastle-under-Lyme is found in the northern reaches of Staffordshire, burrowed in a valley carved by the Lyme Brook. While quaint in its setting, it’s a popular destination for homeowners and businesses, particularly given its stable rate of crime – 81.6 crimes per 1000 residents.
There’s naturally still cause for concern when it comes to Newcastle Under Lyme security, though. Excessive rates across violent crime (3338 incidents) and antisocial behaviour (1878 incidents) underscore the need for continued focus on resident safety.
The largest town in its county of Warwickshire, and perhaps most known for its links to market trading, Nuneaton has continued its long-standing reputation and cemented itself as a retail centre for its county. Its strong focus on industry also means it maintains a relatively stable rate of crime, at 79.7 crimes per 1000 residents.
There’s still a pressing need for strong Nuneaton security services, though, especially as high rates of violent crime (3293 offences) and antisocial behaviour (2071 offences) still persist.
Tucked away in the West Midlands Green Belt, the small town of Redditch is often grouped together with the larger city of Birmingham. That not only belies this Worcestershire town’s undoubted attractions, it also means many don’t realise it has a lower crime rate in comparison – just 84.5 crimes per 1000 residents.
That’s not to say that Redditch is crime-free, though. The town still has issues with violent crime (3502 offences), antisocial behaviour (1585 incidents), and public order offences (763 incidents).
One of just 3 towns across the UK to have bestowed with the “royal” prefix, this Warwickshire town has held its royal moniker for over 180 years, with the regency architecture to match its majesty-esque name. Sadly though, its name doesn’t mean it’s immune to a steadily climbing crime rate – 87.9 crimes per 1000 residents.
Royal Leamington Spa still faces substantial issues with violent crime (1951 offences) and antisocial behaviour (1007 offences), and a rate of bicycle theft (101 offences) that’s more than double the county-wide average.
One of Warwickshire’s largest towns, and a key centre for industry and business across the county, Rugby is one of the more industrious areas of the country, not least because of its roots in engineering. It’s this focus on manufacturing that helps secure the town’s lower rate of crime – 69.8 crimes per 1000 residents.
Of course, there are still certain areas that mean Rugby security firms are in demand. Violent crime (2355 incidents)¸ antisocial behaviour (1230 incidents) and public order offences (534 incidents) are all prevalent, and need measures in place to ensure they don’t develop into a more pressing issue.
Having expanded rapidly from sparse farming communities to its more modern place as a key market town, Sedgley has retained its rural roots while still ensuring it’s developed with the times. That rurality means a lower crime rate than the region’s average, with a rate of 81.4 crimes per 1000 residents.
That low crime rate unfortunately doesn’t mean an entirely safe locale, though. There’s still a substantial prevalence across violent crime (1241 incidents), criminal damage (275 incidents) and public order offences (252 incidents).
Arguably one of the best examples of medieval preservation not just in Shropshire, but across the UK, the market town of Shrewsbury has struck an equilibrium between heritage and innovation, coupling a modern town centre with timber framed architecture and crumbling castles. That balance brings with it a somewhat stable rate of crime – 88.6 crimes per 1000 residents.
It’s unfortunately not all posterity and positivity, though. The town still sees substantial numbers in violent crime (2987 incidents) and antisocial behaviour (1938 incidents), which underscore the need for effective Shrewsbury security.
Smethwick’s history is heavily grounded in its connections to industry, with much of the town’s centre and current businesses having roots that go back much further than many. Unfortunately, as the town’s economy has expanded, so too has its crime rate, which currently sits at 110.2 crimes per 1000 residents.
That’s included significant rises across violent crime (2788 incidents), vehicle crime (715 incidents), and criminal damage (459 incidents), all of which highlight the need for investment in Smethwick security.
While Solihull is predominantly a large market town, the outskirts surround that urban sprawl with lush greenery and protected Green Belt land, resulting in one of the more prosperous towns across the UK. That prosperity is spoiled slightly by Solihull’s crime rate, which, while stable, still sits at around 83.1 crimes per 1000 residents.
That encompasses several startling figures across violent crime (3178 incidents), vehicle crimes (1174 incidents) and shoplifting (922 incidents), all of which spark concern for security in Solihull, especially so for businesses.
The largest of the market towns in its namesake county Staffordshire, Stafford itself is what many expect of a typical West Midlands town. A potent mix of green spaces and heavy industry, with strong historical roots, it’s the epitome of this region of England. It’s crime rate, though, falls slightly below the regional average, at 80.4 crimes per 1000 residents.
Stafford’s main issues come from high figures in both violent crime (2510 offences) and antisocial behaviour (1354 offences), although there’s an alarming prevalence of bicycle theft – 146 offences, or more than double the national average.
Staffordshire’s most well-known city, and the spiritual home of pottery across the whole of the UK, Stoke is often synonymous with the intrinsic culture of the West Midlands. With a full complement of architectural styles completing the picture, it’s unexpected then that the city has such a soaring rate of crime – 115.4 crimes per 1000 residents, in fact.
There’s a range of crimes that make up that rate, but the most prevalent issues for Stoke security are violent crime (15,581 incidents), antisocial behaviour (8129 incidents) and criminal damage (3548 incidents).
With one of the more literal names across the entirety of the UK, Stourbridge sits abreast the River Stour, bridging the gap across the flowing body of water. Perhaps best known for its historical involvement in glass production, what’s not as clear is the town’s murky relationship with crime, seeing around 80 crimes per 1000 residents.
Although that rate falls below the regional average, there’s still points of concern for security in Stourbridge across violent crime (2340 incidents), public order offences (487 incidents) and criminal damage (476 incidents).
The hidden history of Sutton Coldfield is arguably what makes it a more attractive prospect for many, especially given its links to both ancient and more recent history. Plus, with one of England’s largest urban-area parks in Sutton Park, it’s little wonder that this market has a comparatively low rate of crime at 70 crimes per 1000 residents.
Sadly though, there’s still issues across several major crime types, including violent crime (2753 incidents), vehicle crime (1190 incidents), and public order offences (756 incidents).
One of Staffordshire’s more historic towns, Tamworth has one of the more illustrious histories of any area on this list, especially given its position as a royal seat during the Anglo-Saxon period. That sense of heritage persists to this day, surviving through architecture, but it’s blemished slightly by an all-too-modern crime rate of 78.3 crimes per 1000 residents.
While that rate does fall below the region’s average, Tamworth is not without its issues. There’s substantial numbers in violent crime (2709 incidents), antisocial behaviour (1105 incidents), and vehicle crime (620 incidents).
Situated on the banks of the River Severn on its journey through Shropshire, and sandwiched between two areas of exceptional natural beauty, you may expect Telford to have a similarly idyllic rate of crime. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, with the town having a crime rate that hovers around the region’s average at 100.2 crimes per 1000 residents.
The primary contributors to that rate, and the key concerns for Telford security, are violent crime (7650 incidents), antisocial behaviour (3183 incidents) and public order offences (1580 incidents).
A town that played one of the most pivotal roles in the Industrial Revolution, and the birthplace of the steam engine, Tipton has one of the more decorated pasts of any area in the West Midlands. That’s tarnished slightly , however, by the town’s more modern crime rate of 111.6 crimes per 1000 residents.
That inflated rate of crime is largely down to high rates in violent crime (2619 incidents), criminal damage (547 incidents), and public order offences (473 incidents), all of which spur increased concern for Tipton security.
One of the largest West Midlands shopping destinations outside of major cities, Walsall’s draws are abundantly clear, particularly for those looking to indulge in retail therapy. What’s not as attractive a prospect, though, is the very real threat of crime, given the soaring crime rate of 150.8 crimes per 1000 residents.
That inflated rate is largely down to exceptionally high figures in violent crime (4616 incidents), public order offences (1063 incidents) and theft (1020 incidents), but with startling upwards trends across the vast majority of crimes, the need for effective Walsall security is clear.
Often confused for its county namesake of Warwickshire, the market town of Warwick shares much of the same rich history that’s often associated with the West Midlands as whole, especially in its archaic architecture, well-preserved castle, and religious iconography. Looking more to the present, Warwick’s crime rate is middling, at 80.7 crimes per 1000 residents.
As with many towns and cities across the region, Warwick’s main issues stem from high rates in a few different types of crime, namely violent crime (1096 incidents), antisocial behaviour (620 incidents) and public order offences (250 incidents).
Most closely associated with the professional football team of the same name, the market town of West Bromwich seeks to eschew that one-track reputation with its thriving marketplaces and businesses. Sadly though, that economic focus doesn’t alleviate the town’s rising rate of crime – 151.6 crimes per 1000 residents.
The chief concerns for security in West Bromwich, and the most prevalent issues in the town, are violent crime (5622 incidents), public order offences (1197 incidents), and vehicle crime (1010 incidents).
One of the more well-known cities in the West Midlands, Wolverhampton encompasses everything from one of the oldest football teams in England in Wolverhampton Wanderers, to a flourishing economy that has its roots in steel production. That all-encompassing nature is offset by a startling crime rate, however – 127.8 crimes per 1000 residents.
Within that rate, the real concerns for Wolverhampton security and safety are the shocking figures in violent crime (15,262 incidents), public order offences (3045 incidents) and vehicle crime (2524 incidents).
One of the most prominent cathedral cities across the whole of England, Worcester is what many picture when they imagine both the city and the county of Worcestershire as a whole. With its towering Anglican cathedral spires, and its crumbling city wall, it comes as a shock that it has a higher crime rate than the region’s average, at 106.2 crimes per 1000 residents.
A huge part of that ratio, and key concerns for security in Worcester, are three specific crime types – violent crime (4831 incidents), antisocial behaviour (2673 incidents) and public order offences (1207 incidents).