The Top 10 Most Dangerous Areas In England And Wales (Updated For 2023)

Crime is often a pivotal factor when we’re choosing an area to start a business, raise a family, or to lay down roots. Safer areas generally have more opportunities, better educational options, and a greater component of leisure facilities.

Lower crime rates are an integral part of what makes a region desirable, and at Churchill, it’s our firm belief that effective education is the first step towards making the right decision for you, your enterprise and your family.

With this article, we’ll break down the most unsafe areas across both England and Wales, examining the key statistics that make these areas more dangerous, and the biggest issues facing each of the respective regions.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for information relating to areas across Scotland, check out our complete report on the most dangerous areas in Scotland.


How Does Churchill Calculate The Top 10?

This comprehensive report uses the latest data available from the Office of National Statistics, which collates data from police forces across the whole of England and Wales. These are all independently reported, meaning the data is as transparent and clear as possible.

We’ll then display this as a ratio of crimes per 1000 people living in the area. This allows us to account for a variety of influential factors, such as the size of the area, and the region’s population.


What Is The Overall Crime Rate Across England & Wales?

With the total number of crimes across the two countries landing at 5,427,624 offences over the course of the last year, it’ll come as no surprise that England & Wales have a crime rate that’s seen some fluctuation in recent times.

An overall crime rate of 93.8 crimes per 1000 residents when compared to the overall population illustrates just how prevalent crime is across the two constituent countries of the UK, with that ratio equating to almost 1 in 10 people experiencing crime in the last year.

Over the course of 2022, the vast majority of crime types saw at least a 5% increase over the figures for 2021, with the only notable exception being homicide, which saw a marked decrease of 5% when compared to previous years.

It’s statistics like these that underscore the need for effective security across all sectors, as well as point towards what you need to be aware of to make the right decision for the area you settle down in.


10. Durham

Overall Crime Rate Of 97.8 Crimes Per 1000 People

A resplendent corner of North East England, the city and county of Durham couples modern living with a pervading sense of history, largely thanks to its towering cathedral and castle at its heart, as well as one of the UK’s oldest universities.

However, the region’s soaring crime rate of 97.8 crimes per 1000 residents is a clear cause for concern, especially as it’s 4 points higher than the national average, and has seen an 8% increase over last year’s statistics.

Violent crime (24,706 incidents) is Durham’s most pressing issue, but there’s also substantial figures across theft (14,675 incidents) and criminal damage (9476 incidents) that make Durham one of the most dangerous areas across England and Wales.

Last Year’s Position 10th (no change) with 92.3 crimes per 1000 people


9. London

Overall Crime Rate Of 99.2 Crimes Per 1000 People

The United Kingdom’s capital city is also one of its most diverse regions. A sprawling and expansive metropolis, London attracts new visitors, residents and tourists in equal measure, and provides them with a quintessential glimpse into what makes the UK great.

Not as great, however, is London’s substantial rate of crime – 99.2 crimes per 1000 residents. When compared to the statistics we saw in 2021, this is more than a 10% increase, with theft from the person seeing the most substantial rise at 53%.

As part of the 872,856 crimes that plagued the capital over the last year, the most prominent incidents were theft (402,466 offences), violent crime (241,408 offences), and vehicle crimes (108,910 offences), all of which saw increases over the previous year’s rates.

Last Year’s Position New Entry


8. Gwent

Overall Crime Rate Of 100.9 Crimes Per 1000 People

One of the smaller areas on this list by population figures, Gwent is a key region in southern Wales. Comprising some of Wales’s most pivotal places, Gwent is rich in its history and its scenery, with the rolling hills and valleys of Caerphilly and Newport forming an undulating landscape.

It might come as a shock to see the picturesque Gwent occupying the 8th spot on our list, but with a crime rate of 100.9 crimes per 1000 residents, it’s the most unsafe area of Wales. Plus, the region has seen an increase of over 17% when compared to last year’s statistics.

Almost half of Gwent’s total crime (59,347 offences) is made up by violent crime (24,028 offences), which has seen a significant increase of 21% over last year’s statistics. There’s also concerning numbers in both theft offences (11,772 incidents) and public order offences (10,111 incidents).

Last Year’s Position New Entry


7. Humberside

Overall Crime Rate Of 104.2 Crimes Per 1000 People

While Humberside is a name that’s no longer used to describe this corner of Northern England, what hasn’t changed are the sweeping views of the North Sea, and the strong sense of industry and heritage that’s present across key ports like Grimsby and Scunthorpe.

Unfortunately, the region’s crime statistics remain consistently poor too, with the region seeing a rate of 104.2 crimes per 1000 residents, alongside an 11% increase over the statistics we saw in previous years.

The main issues for Humberside residents comes from the substantial rates of violent crime (37,525 incidents) and theft (27,174 incidents), both of which saw increases of 6% and 30% respectively over last year’s percentages.

Last Year’s Position 7th (no change) with 98.3 crimes per 1000 people


6. South Yorkshire

Overall Crime Rate Of 115.9 Crimes Per 1000 People

A scenic band of England’s northern countryside, South Yorkshire comprises a range of different lifestyles and landmarks, from the bustling nightlife of Sheffield, to the low-lying moors and dales that form a clear sense of Yorkshire’s blend of the idyllic and the modern.

Sadly though, it’s with a turn to the modern that South Yorkshire’s crime rate has seen a substantial increase of 12% over last year’s figures, with 2022 seeing a crime rate of 115.9 crimes per 1000 residents.

Violent crime (57,898 offences) is the most prevalent issue for the region, but there’s also warranted concern for the area’s rate of theft (48,446 offences) and criminal damage (18,282 offences).  Equally worrying is the rate of shoplifting (9443 offences), which saw an unprecedented rise of 32% over last year’s figures.

Last Year’s Position 6th (no change) with 105 crimes per 1000 people


5. Merseyside

Overall Crime Rate Of 120.2 Crimes Per 1000 People

While it’s most often associated with the glittering lights and iconic waterfront of Liverpool, Merseyside encompasses far more than the city, with a rugged coastline that extends from seaside towns like Southport to the rural reaches of the Wirral and beyond.

It’s that extensiveness, however, that can work to the region’s detriment, and that’s especially apparent in its crime rate, which sits at 120.2 crimes per 1000 residents following a rise of 10% over last year’s figures.

The most common crimes remain the same, however. Violent crime (69,959 incidents), theft (34,848 incidents) and public order offences (26,979 incidents) all saw increases over the previous year’s statistics, and remain a consistent problem for Merseyside police forces.

Last Year’s Position 5th (no change) with 115.6 crimes per 1000 people


4. West Midlands

Overall Crime Rate Of 125.8 Crimes Per 1000 People

Synonymous with major cities like Birmingham and Coventry, the West Midlands is one of the most historic regions of the UK. A beating mechanical heart of industry and manufacturing has since given way to thriving modern metropolises and conurbations, all while retaining the areas of natural beauty that make the West Midlands what it is.

However, in spite of its obvious draws, the key drawback is the region’s soaring crime rate that places it 4th on our list. Sitting at 125.8 crimes per 1000 residents, there’s substantial cause for concern across the region, especially as those stats have increased by 10% over the previous year’s numbers.

As part of that climbing crime rate, there’s concerning numbers across both violent crime (250,520 incidents) and theft (173,380 incidents), with theft seeing a rise of 23% over the statistics we saw in 2021.

Last Year’s Position 4th (no change) with 123 crimes per 1000 people


3. Greater Manchester

Overall Crime Rate Of 128 Crimes Per 1000 People

One of the more built-up regions on our list, Greater Manchester has its roots in coal mining and manufacturing industries, with hard-working towns and cities dotting a diverse landscape that takes in verdant countryside and picturesque villages.

However, with such popularity comes a naturally rising crime rate, and Greater Manchester is sadly no different in that regard. The region saw a crime rate of 128 crimes per 1000 residents over the last year, representing an 8% increase overall.

There’s a few key factors in that, but the chief among these is the region’s high rate of violent crime (139,334 offences), which saw a similar rise to the overall crime rate at 7%. There’s also alarming numbers in both theft (102,221 incidents) and public order offences (51,954 incidents), which are what ultimately mean Greater Manchester comes in at 3rd in our rankings of the most dangerous areas in England and Wales.

Last Year’s Position 3rd (no change) with 124.3 crimes per 1000 people


2. West Yorkshire

Overall Crime Rate Of 132.3 Crimes Per 1000 People

The ceremonial county of West Yorkshire comprises 5 of the most populous areas across the North of England – Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield. It’s no surprise then that the region is a patchwork landscape that encompasses city skylines, towering peaks, and serpentine country lanes.

However, that booming population has led to a similarly booming crime rate, with the region seeing the second highest crime rate across England and Wales – 132.3 crimes per 1000 residents. That’s an 11% increase over last year’s figures.

As part of that rate, there’s substantial figures across violent crime (131,419 incidents), theft (76,741 incidents) and public order offences (43,123 incidents), all of which mean that West Yorkshire is the 2nd most dangerous place in England and Wales.

Last Year’s Position 2nd (no change) with 125.5 crimes per 1000 people


1. Cleveland

Overall Crime Rate Of 143.4 Crimes Per 1000 People

One of England’s smallest boroughs, Cleveland is perhaps most notably associated with its seaside town of Redcar, which offers cliffside views across the North Sea. Alongside its coastal walking routes and the broad vistas of Hunt Cliff, it’s clear why the region is a popular choice for holidaymakers and homeowners alike.

However, the shocking truth is that Cleveland is the most dangerous area in England and Wales. With a crime rate of 143.4 crimes per 1000 residents, it’s more than 10 points higher than the next most dangerous, and that’s not to set to change any time soon, especially as the last year saw a further 16% rise on that rate.

The key issues for Cleveland stem from high figures in violent crime (30,509 offences), theft (22,738 offences) and criminal damage (10,706 offences), each of which have seen rises of at least 12% over last year’s figures.

Cleveland’s lower population, coupled with its astronomically high rates of crime, are ultimately what earns it the undesirable top spot on our list of the most dangerous regions across England and Wales.


Never Take Safety & Security For Granted

While we’ve taken the time to highlight the most dangerous areas across all of England and Wales, it’s crucial you never take your home or business’ security for granted, and with the fully tailormade security services offered by Churchill Support Services, you’ll receive the coverage and protection you need.

Get in touch with our knowledgeable team today, and we’d be more than happy to discuss a bespoke solution wherever you’re based.

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.