A resplendent beacon of culture, history and monarchical heritage, it’s difficult to pin down the appeal of the Scottish capital to a single point. From its literature-inspiring cobbled streets, to the vibrancy and revelry of its nightlife, Edinburgh holds widespread and often indescribable appeal to its nearly 5 million yearly visitors.
Of course, outside of that thriving tourist trade, Edinburgh is also called home by over half a million people. A diverse cross-section of lifestyles, the city plays host to a large university, high-rise apartments and stately homes, all of which make up an undulating skyline.
However, while that diversity makes for an appealing prospect for home and business owners, it does mean that crime can run rampant across the city’s districts. With that in mind, Churchill Support Services are fully committed to ensuring that you’re aware of the key statistics on crime in your area, and it all begins with effective and robust education.
We’ll look at each area of Edinburgh, breaking down the crucial statistics you need to be aware of before you commit to an area, as well as how the individual regions stack up in comparison to the city-wide rate of crime.
We use the most up-to-date information available on the Scottish Police Data repository, taking into account all of the crimes that are classified under the “City of Edinburgh” district. This allows us to not only provide a comprehensive overview of crime statistics in the city, it also ensures that our sources are completely objective and trustworthy.
We’ve opted to break down Edinburgh by its local council wards. We’ve then displayed this as a ratio of the number of crimes per 1000 people living in that area. This allows us to take into account the size of the area, as well as crucial variables like population and area density.
In order to ensure that we fully comply with the way in which Police Scotland reports its crime, we’ll be opting to use their official terminology throughout this article. This includes several grouping terms that allow for crimes to be more easily classified. These are:
The jewel in the rustic crown of Scotland, its capital Edinburgh has long been a mainstay in the mind of tourists and house hunters alike. Renowned for its eponymous castle, as well as its long-standing festivals in the Fringe and Hogmanay, the city seamlessly marries cultural celebration with history at its heart.
A thoroughly modernised city that’s undergone significant makeovers over its 10,000 year history, it now functions as a central hub for Scotland, providing arterial links to the northernmost reaches of the country, and southerly to England. Plus, with thriving retail opportunities spurring on a continued pathway towards expansion, its clear to see Edinburgh is only on an upward trajectory.
Undercutting this undoubted growth and flourishment, however, is an equally multiplying crime rate. Currently sitting at 61.6 crimes per 1000 residents, the crime statistics for the city overall do paint a grimmer picture than the city’s polished exterior would imply.
Ranking 7th in the most dangerous areas in Scotland, the city saw 32,922 crimes over the course of 2022 into 2023. Within this, we find significant rates of crimes of dishonesty (11,155 incidents), violent crime (8056 incidents) and motor vehicle offences (4336 incidents), all of which underscore the need for effective security in the Scottish capital.
However, while these statistics are representative of the city as a whole, every region of the city faces its own unique struggles in that regard. Let’s break down the main issues for each council ward of Edinburgh, and how their crime rate stacks up against the city as a whole.
One of the more affluent areas of the Scottish capital, Morningside is perhaps most known for its blend of architectural styles, alongside a burgeoning retail district that’s home to a plethora of independent and boutique businesses. That winning combination has led to the lowest crime rate citywide, at 29.1 crimes per 1000 residents.
Of course, that’s not to say that Morningside sees no crime whatsoever. The region’s main issues stem from substantial numbers across both crimes of dishonesty (493 offences) and violent crimes (198 offences).
One of Edinburgh’s greener districts, and home to one of the city’s major areas of natural conservation, Colinton and Fairmilehead has its undoubted draws in both its scenic vistas and its strong sense of its quaint past in the villages that constitute the ward. Plus, with a crime rate of 29.8 crimes per 1000 residents, it’s clear that sense of community still perseveres.
There are still causes for concern, however. The last year saw substantial rates of crimes of dishonesty (294 offences) and violent crime (175 offences), both of which underscore the need for continued and concerted efforts from Scottish police and private security companies.
Most noted for its world-famous stadium venue, the ward of Corstorphine and Murrayfield occupies a sought-after spot on the fringes of Edinburgh’s city centre. And with exceptional public transport connections that are coupled with a lower crime rate of just 35.4 crimes per 1000 residents, it’s easy to understand why the region attracts the crowds it does.
However, that popularity does still bring with it inherent risks. The most notable of these is the rate of crimes of dishonesty (379 incidents), which makes up over 44% of total crime in the neighbourhood. That’s alongside similarly high rates of both motor vehicle offences (165 incidents) and violent crime (132 incidents).
One of the city’s more built-up residential regions, the council ward of Drum Brae and Gyle couples a more sedate pace of life with the myriad options for commuting that life in a major metropolis naturally comes with. Plus, with a relatively low crime rate of just 36 crimes per 1000 residents, there’s ample reasons to consider the area.
It’s sadly not without its issues, though. Crimes of dishonesty (315 incidents) is the region’s most pressing concern, constituting around 37% of all crime in the area. There’s also equally mounting worries over the rates of violent crime (179 incidents), motor vehicle offences (125 incidents) and criminal damage (114 incidents).
Home to Edinburgh’s marvellous Botanical Gardens, as well as one of largest swathes of greenery in its eponymic park, Inverleith combines those idyllic, sweeping vistas with the modern conveniences one would expect from a suburb of a major city. Plus, with a crime rate that’s below the citywide average at 38.4 crimes per 1000 residents, it’s clearly got its draws.
Those draws aren’t without their associated drawbacks, though. High rates of both crimes of dishonesty (449 offences) and motor vehicle crimes (262 offences) are the key causes of concern for Inverleith residents and businesses, alongside a climbing rate of violent crime (254 offences).
Made infamous by its 22-mile stretch of uninterrupted road that leads from the very heart of the city to its bustling docklands, Leith Walk encompasses not just the city’s longest roadway, but the winding banks and biodiversity of the Water of Leith. It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that the region sees a comparatively low crime rate of 48.1 crimes per 1000 residents.
There’s still cause for alarm among Leith Walk residents, however. The major issue for the region is crimes of dishonesty (644 incidents), but there’s also equally warranted concern for the rising numbers across violent crime (406 incidents), motor vehicle offences (179 incidents) and criminal damage (165 incidents).
Combining the modernity and convenience of a vibrant retail economy in Fountainbridge, and a clear sense of Scotland’s rich tapestry of heritage and history in Craiglockhart and its crumbling castles, it’ll come as no surprise that this is one of Edinburgh’s more popular areas. That’s further compounded by a stable crime rate of 51.2 crimes per 1000 residents.
There are still issues to consider for residents and businesses, though. Crimes of dishonesty (644 offences) and violent crimes (406 offences) are the two most prevalent issues, but there’s equal concern for the rising numbers across criminal damage (165 offences), which has seen a year-on-year increase.
A sprawling ward of Edinburgh, the region of Pentland Hills adopts the name given to the range of hills that border it, which cast an impressive natural shadow over the labyrinthine neighbourhoods and residential areas. This close-knit sense of community means that Pentland Hills sees a relatively standard crime rate of 51.3 crimes per 1000 residents.
Within that, however, there are points of concern, with the chief among them being violent crime (429 offences) which makes up 35% of all crime in Pentland Hills. Outside of that, the area sees substantial rates across both crimes of dishonesty (373 offences) and criminal damage (282 offences).
One of Edinburgh’s more lush wards, Craigentinny and Duddingston encompasses a huge complement of green spaces and natural beauty, juxtaposed against a backdrop of modern neighbourhoods and sweeping view out over the Firth of Forth. That well-struck balance ensures that the crime rate has stayed lower than the city’s average at 52.8 crimes per 1000 residents.
That’s not to say that residents and businesses alike haven’t got cause for alarm. High rates across crimes of dishonesty (607 incidents), violent crime (321 incidents) and motor vehicle offences (223 incidents) all spark concern for safety and security across the region.
One of Edinburgh’s most northerly wards, Forth offers magnificent views across the eponymous inlet and out across the North Sea, as well as a standout selection of some of the city’s most well-known areas in Granton, Newhaven and Victoria Park. That seamless blend of seaside and suburb has ultimately led to the ward’s below average crime rate of 57.5 crimes per 1000 residents.
While that rate is lower than the city’s overall crime rate, it’s still concerning, especially when you consider the high numbers across crimes of dishonesty (547 offences), violent crimes (439 incidents) and criminal damage (251 incidents).
Perhaps most known as one of the largest campuses for Edinburgh’s world-renowned university, the ward of Southside and Newington is a sprawling residential hub for students, homeowners and independent businesses. And with a crime rate that’s several points below the city’s average at 59.5 crimes per 1000 residents, the appeal is clear.
Unfortunately, however, there are several key statistics that undercut that positive. There’s significant numbers across both crimes of dishonesty (828 incidents) and violent crimes (500 incidents), which together make up more than half of all crime in the region. There are also soaring numbers across motor vehicle offences (321 incidents) and drug offences (184 incidents).
Named after the picturesque river that runs through the heart of the ward, Almond encompasses several built-up residential areas in Kirkliston, Cramond, Barnton, and Scotstoun, as well as Edinburgh’s major international airport. That consistent stream of people has sadly led to an above-average crime rate of 67.2 crimes per 1000 residents.
The major issue for the ward, and one that’s been a constant thorn in the side of policing and security efforts, is the soaring rate of drug crime (626 incidents), making up over a quarter of all the crime in the ward. The region also sees a substantial rate of both crimes of dishonesty (554 incidents) and motor vehicle offences (454 incidents).
Comprising one of Edinburgh’s primary seaside resorts in the sandy shores of Portobello Beach, the area extends far beyond that mesmerising coastline to include the bustling residential streets of Niddrie, Bingham and Brunstane. However, with a more substantial crime rate of 67.6 crimes per 1000 residents, the ward faces significant challenges for residents.
Crimes of dishonesty (681 offences) are the most prevalent issues for those living and working in the region, with shoplifting making up a significant proportion of that at 119 offences. We’ve also seen worrying rises across violent crimes (440 offences) and criminal damage (336 offences).
A major residential area for the south of the city, Liberton and Gilmerton is bisected by the Burdiehouse Nature Reserve and offers a fusion between green spaces and closely-compacted housing schemes and residential areas. While there’s undoubtedly charm to the ward, it’s the significant crime rate of 67.8 crimes per 1000 residents.
The region’s main problem stems from soaring numbers of violent crimes (732 incidents) and crimes of dishonesty (609 incidents), which together make up more than half of all incidents in the area. Equally concerning are the climbing figures across two other types of criminal activity – motor vehicle offences (327 incidents) and criminal damage (292 incidents).
A major residential region of West Edinburgh, and home to a thriving sports scene with Hearts of Midlothian, the borough of Sighthill and Gorgie combines the hustle and bustle of weekend crowds with substantial housing opportunities in Pinkston and Sighthill. That popularity and steady influx of people means the region sees on of the highest rates of crime – 72.1 crimes per 1000 residents.
As part of that rate, we find worrying statistics across two distinct types of crime – crimes of dishonesty (814 offences) and violent crimes (559 offences), which represent 33% and 23% of the region’s criminality respectively. There are similarly high numbers in criminal damage incidents (340 offences), underlining the need for effective security across the Scottish capital.
Often viewed as the counterpart to our previous entry on the list, Leith plays host to a rival football team, and a similar complement of high-rise apartments, government housing and small businesses that seek to capture that residential audience. However, there is significant cause for concern for entrepreneurs and homeowners alike, with a soaring crime rate of 81 crimes per 1000 residents.
Crimes of dishonesty (702 incidents) are the most prevalent problem for the region, with shoplifting seeing 215 incidents alone. Outside of that, Leith sees concerning figures across violent crimes (446 incidents), motor vehicle offences (259 incidents), and drug offences (103 incidents).
Edinburgh’s city centre is arguably Scotland at its most undiluted. An unparalleled melding of cultural and artistic pursuits, modernity and convenience in its retail and nightlife, and its iconic castle forming the pearl of this metropolitan oyster, it’s no surprise it draws in the crowds it does. However, it may be worth thinking twice, with the city centre seeing a shocking crime rate of 202.6 crimes per 1000 residents.
Edinburgh’s main issue lies in the rate of crimes of dishonesty (2438 incidents), which makes up more than 37% of all crime in the city centre. That comes in addition to startling numbers across violent crime (2131 incidents), motor vehicle offences (477 incidents) and drug offences (242 incidents).