Police Jurisdiction Statistics for the North West – Updated for 2022

North West Crime Stats – Updated for 2022

The North West is one of the nine official regions of England. Consisting of five counties – Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, and Merseyside – the North West has a population of just over seven million – making it the third most populous region of the UK.

The region is policed by five constabularies – one for each county.

We’re curious to see which of these police forces encounters the highest levels of crime.

By looking at the differences in crime rates between counties, we want to understand which areas of the North West are the most dangerous – as well as give readers an idea of what sorts of crime are most likely to occur where they live.

So, to find out, we looked at recent annual crime statistics published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). We used crime figures for the year ending September 2022 – as these were the latest available on the Government website.

To account for population discrepancies, we’ve ordered our list in terms of the crime rate per 1,000 people.


5) Cumbria Constabulary – Crime Rate Per 1,000 People: 68.9 (34,415 crimes recorded)

Cumbria Constabulary polices a 2,268 square mile area and is headquartered in Penrith. A relatively small force – the seventh smallest in the country, in fact – Cumbria Constabulary nevertheless maintains law and order over a vast area. That said, much of Cumbria is made up of isolated rural communities, meaning the population is only around 499,800– the smallest of all the counties in the North West.

Over one year, the force recorded:

  1. 15,405 violence against the person offences
  2. 1,537 sexual offences
  3. 150 robberies
  4. 6417 theft offences
  5. 4649 criminal damage and arson offences
  6. 1030 drug offences
  7. 230 possession of a weapon offences
  8. 4348 public order offences
  9. 649 miscellaneous crimes

Compared with other parts of England and the North West region, Cumbria is a very safe area to both live and visit. However, like in many areas of the UK, knife crime and other violent offences are continuing to increase in Cumbria.

To address the issue of Knife crime in Cumbria, the local constabulary deploys a range of preventative measures, including Knife surrenders and test purchases. Between 8th and 21st November, 153 knives or blades were handed over and safely destroyed by the police.


4) Cheshire Constabulary – Crime Rate Per 1,000 People: 82.9 (88, 622 crimes recorded)

Cheshire Constabulary is responsible for policing the unitary authorities of Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Halton, and Warrington – a total of 905 square miles. Despite covering a relatively small geographic area, the population of Cheshire Constabulary’s jurisdiction is considerable, with roughly 1 million residents.

Over one year, the force recorded:

  1. 41,508 violence against the person offences
  2. 3,558 sexual offences
  3. 427 robberies
  4. 16,322 theft offences
  5. 8,022 criminal damage and arson offences
  6. 1,762 drug offences
  7. 333 possession of a weapon offences
  8. 15,001 public order offences
  9. 1,689 miscellaneous crimes

The average crime rate per 1,000 people in the UK is 82.9. Given the North West has a crime rate of 102.4 per 1,000 people, it’s safe to say that Cheshire is one of the safer areas of the region when it comes to public safety for both residents and visitors.

However, like so many places, the area has not escaped the influence of county lines drug activity, where drug gangs from bigger cities expand into more suburban and rural areas. To counter increases in serious crime, Cheshire Constabulary recently announced that each of the county’s 122 policing communities will get its own dedicated police constable.


3) Lancashire Constabulary – Crime Rate Per 1,000 People: 87.7 (132,957 crimes recorded)

Responsible for policing the ceremonial county of Lancashire, Lancashire Constabulary is headquartered in Hutton. Lancashire Constabulary has jurisdiction of 1,120 square miles and a population of nearly 1.5 million.

Over one year, the force recorded:

  1. 58,174 violence against the person offences
  2. 4,909 sexual offences
  3. 1,004 robberies
  4. 34,017 theft offences
  5. 16,376 criminal damage and arson offences
  6. 2,789 drug offences
  7. 1,399 possession of a weapon offences
  8. 10,973 public order offences
  9. 3,316 miscellaneous crimes

Crime in Lancashire makes up around 17.6% of all crime in the North West. This is likely because Lancashire is home to several relatively large conurbations – Preston, Blackpool, Blackburn and Burnley.

Though the crime rate in Lancashire is 2.2 higher than the national average, the crime rate has significantly reduced since our last North West ranking, so much so that Lancashire has slipped from 2nd to 3rd place.


2) Merseyside Police – Crime Rate Per 1,000 People: 108.3 (155,380 crimes recorded)

In terms of the geographic area of responsibility, Merseyside is the third smallest territorial police force in England – responsible for an area of just 250 square miles. Despite that, the population living in that area – which includes Liverpool – is nearly 1.5 million.

Over one year, the force recorded:

  1. 64,154 violence against the person offences
  2. 4,328 sexual offences
  3. 1,219 robberies
  4. 31,686 theft offences
  5. 15,057 criminal damage and arson offences
  6. 11, 867 drug offences
  7. 1,199 possession of a weapon offences
  8. 22,477 public order offences
  9. 3,393 miscellaneous crimes

Like other densely populated areas of the UK, Merseyside has seen an increase in various crime categories over the last few years, including violent crime and public order offences. Since our last North West crime ranking, Merseyside has overtaken Lancashire and now ranks in second place for its crime rate. Merseyside’s crime rate of 108.3 per 1000 people is 5.9 higher than the average crime rate in the North West of England.


1) Greater Manchester Police – Crime Rate Per 1,000 People: 116.7 (328,268 crimes recorded)

Greater Manchester Police is the fifth largest police service in the UK and the third largest in England and Wales. Responsible for almost three million people, Greater Manchester Police is headquartered in the Newton Heath area of Manchester.

Over one year, the force recorded:

  1. 130,796 violence against the person offences
  2. 11,151 sexual offences
  3. 5,145 robberies
  4. 92,068 theft offences
  5. 32,624 criminal damage and arson offences
  6. 7,330 drug offences
  7. 4,047 possession of a weapon offences
  8. 50,999 public order offences
  9. 8,913 miscellaneous crimes

Greater Manchester Police recorded a higher total number of crimes and a higher crime rate per 1,000 people than any other North West County. This makes it the most dangerous county in the North West.

Taken as a whole, the North West’s crime rate per 1,000 people of 102.4 is significantly higher than the UK’s average of 85.5. This is made up significantly by Greater Manchester and Merseyside – which both have crime rates per 1,000 people substantially higher than the national average. However, Lancashire (when compared to other cities and densely populated areas), Cheshire and Cumbria remain relatively safe counties.


Do You Operate a Business in the North West? Churchill Support Services Is Here for You.

If you run a business or organisation in Cumbria, Cheshire, Lancashire, Merseyside, or Greater Manchester, you may want to consider extra protection against crimes. Churchill Support Services can offer professional security measures to protect your business.

Whether you’re looking for on-site security guards, CCTV and monitoring or a professional key holding and alarm response service, we can offer a tailored service to suit your business and security requirements.

Churchill Support Services is a leading UK security provider and a trusted supplier of expert security solutions to businesses operating in the North West of England and across the UK. To see how we could protect your business, get in touch with our friendly and professional team.

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.