The 15 Most Dangerous Areas In The North West

When we’re looking at potential areas to lay down roots, or to set up the next big thing in business, there’s a huge range of elements that go into that consideration process. From local amenities and transport connections, to nearby building works and potential disruptions, it’s never quite as simple as we’d hope. 

That’s particularly true of crime rates, and how dangerous the different areas across your chosen region are. For many, this is often a make or break factor – criminal activity often brings with it unforeseen disruptions, concerns for safety, and ultimately more unnecessary stress in what’s already a stressful world. 

Over our extensive 27 year history here at Churchill Support Services, we’ve remained steadfast in our commitment to consummate safety and security, wherever you’re based. You’ll find that best reflected in both our industry-leading security solutions, and in our pioneering reports on crime stats across England and Wales, as well as Scottish crime data. 

With our latest report, we’ll be turning our attention to one of the UK’s most renowned areas – the North West. We’ll be breaking down the most dangerous areas of the region, what that means for you, and the key statistics you’ll want to be aware of if you’re living in, or looking to move to, the North West of England. 


An Overall Picture Of Crime In The North West 

It’s an impossible task to sum up the North West of England in just a few short lines. A bastion of culture, industry and commerce, encompassing and producing much of what’s made the UK such an international powerhouse, the North West’s importance belies its relatively small structure in terms of land area and population. 

From its major cities of Manchester and Liverpool, to coastal delights in the glitz and ritz of Blackpool, the North West is its own spectrum of lifestyles, and an area that holds huge appeal for those from all walks of life. 

There’s a sour undercurrent to that appeal, however, when it comes to the region’s crime rate. A region-wide rate of 101.9 crimes per 1000 people, or a shade above 1 crime for every 10 people living in North West, is just the headline of what’s long been a concern for residents and tourists. 

Of the 766,158 criminal offences over the past year of data, more than 40% of those incidents were violent crimes (308,799 incidents), with theft (198,577 incidents) and public order offences (92,148 incidents) accounting for a significant portion of those remaining crimes. 

While much of this data does compare favourably to last previous year’s, there’s been a few notable (and concerning) rises, with shoplifting increasing by 13% to 42,372 incidents, and drug offences seeing a startling 23% climb to 31,949 incidents. 

Of course, that’s not to say every area of the North West sees those same issues. As we’ll explore, the most dangerous areas of the North West have their own concerns. Let’s break down these issues in more depth, and look at the key statistics you need to be aware of. 


The Top 15 Most Dangerous Areas In The North West 

We’ll take a more in-depth look at the North West’s most dangerous areas, and what these might mean if you’re looking to move to the region, or if you’re simply concerned about your area’s statistics. 


#15 – Carlisle 

Overall Crime Rate Of 116.5 Crimes Per 1000 People 

Acting as the border between Scotland and England, and famed for its keen sense of heritage that couples ancient history with cutting-edge modernity, it might be a shock to see Carlisle on the list of the most dangerous areas in the North West. But with a crime rate above the regional average at 116.5 crimes per 1000 residents, it more than warrants its inclusion. 

The most pressing issue for residents, businesses and visitors alike is a rising rate of violent crime (4076 offences), which is already more than 45% higher than the Cumbria average. That’s alongside a rate of robbery (56 offences) that’s more than twice the region’s rate, as well as a startling rate of shoplifting (584 offences). 


#14 – Kirkby 

Overall Crime Rate Of 117.7 Crimes Per 1000 People  

Perhaps most known as the home of Liverpool FC’s training ground and youth academy, the Merseyside town of Kirkby is one of its more leafy suburbs, offering a respite from the clamour and commotion of its larger city neighbours. However, that close proximity to more built-up areas has led to a bleed over of criminal activity, reaching an overall crime rate of 117.7 crimes per 1000 residents. 

There’s mounting concern for the rates of violent crime (2224 incidents) and public order offences (767 incidents), as well as a rate of drug crime (611 incidents) that’s more than 65% higher than the regional average. 


#13 – Accrington 

Overall Crime Rate Of 120.7 Crimes Per 1000 People 

Almost synonymous with its roots in association football, the northern town of Accrington has a more storied sense of industry than it appears, having played pivotal roles in the construction of Blackpool Tower and The Empire State Building. That industrial spirit has, unfortunately, given way to a concerning crime rate, however – 120.7 crimes per 1000 residents. 

Accrington’s main problems lie in rising rates of both violent crime (1995 offences) and antisocial behaviour (1765 offences), which together account for 62% of all crime in the town, or 3 in every 5 offences. That’s in addition to a rate of drug crime (108 offences) that’s more than 85% higher than the regional average. 


#12 – Oldham 

Overall Crime Rate Of 121.9 Crimes Per 1000 People 

The subject of much economic and cultural regeneration in recent years, Oldham has quickly seen itself become established as one of Greater Manchester’s major towns. In spite of those continued efforts, and the ongoing investment in natural beauty with the town’s “Britain in Bloom” campaign, Oldham still sees a concerning crime rate of 121.9 crimes per 1000 residents. 

Violent crime (7268 incidents) is Oldham’s most pressing concern, accounting for approximately 1 in every 4 crimes across the area. There’s also mounting worries surrounding a rate of stalking and harassment offences (5261 incidents) that place Oldham among the top 10 worst affected areas UK-wide. 


#11 – Salford 

Overall Crime Rate Of 123.7 Crimes Per 1000 People 

Often mistaken for just another part of Manchester, there’s a substantial amount to set Salford apart from those on its doorstep. From the Lowry theatre and gallery, to its pivotal role in popular entertainment with MediaCity, it may be quite startling to see Salford (and its associated crime rate of 123.7 crimes per 1000 residents) among the 15 most dangerous areas in the North West. 

Digging deeper, we find substantial concerns surrounding soaring figures in violent crime (8013 offences), stalking and harassment (5515 offences) and criminal damage (3395 offences), all of which have seen drastic rises over recent years. 


#10 – Fleetwood 

Overall Crime Rate Of 125.1 Crimes Per 1000 People 

An industrious town on the Fylde stretch of coastline, Fleetwood often plays second fiddle to its more infamous coastal neighbours. But with idyllic stretches of sandy beaches and a thriving market, it’s difficult to see why. The town’s crime rate – 125.1 crimes per 1000 residents – does perhaps play a significant role in that, however. 

High numbers across both violent crime (1484 offences) and antisocial behaviour (1276 offences) are the two major concerns for Fleetwood’s 26,232 residents and multitudes more tourists. Plus, a rate of drug crime (108 offences) that’s more than double the regional average means Fleetwood warrants its spot on our rankings of the most dangerous areas in the North West. 


#9 – Rochdale 

Overall Crime Rate Of 125.4 Crimes Per 1000 People 

A thriving town that perches on the River Roch, Rochdale is an amalgamation of the old and new, combining seamlessly the spires of the town hall and churches with the more modern facades of the municipal buildings. That unique exterior conceals a concerning crime rate, however, which the latest data places at 125.4 crimes per 1000 residents. 

The largest cause for concern stems from a rising rate of violent crime (6560 incidents). However, there’s equally startling figures across both stalking and harassment (5136 incidents) and public order offences (3803 incidents), both of which see Rochdale among the top 10 worst areas nationwide. 


#8 – Workington 

Overall Crime Rate Of 134.8 Crimes Per 1000 People 

Steeped in Viking and Anglo-Saxon history, and offering sweeping vistas that stretch both across the North Sea and into the fells of the Lake District, these attractions mean it’s difficult to see why Workington doesn’t attract more attention than it does. Equally, though, the crime rate of 134.8 crimes per 1000 residents is just as shocking. 

Despite only being home to around 26,000 people, there’s startling numbers across violent crime (1627 offences), criminal damage (436 offences) and antisocial behaviour (383 offences). That’s in addition to a rate of drug crime (143 offences) that’s more than 3 times the average for Cumbria. 


#7 – Liverpool 

Overall Crime Rate Of 141.1 Crimes Per 1000 People 

One of the major hubs for the North West, and a certified city of arts and culture, there’s little to be said about the glittering city of Liverpool that hasn’t already been said many times over. From its exuberant nightlife to the exceptional retail opportunities, and platinum-selling music to title-winning football, one of the city’s few downsides is its soaring crime rate of 141.1 crimes per 1000 residents. 

Liverpool’s main problems lie in staggering figures across both violent crime (33,951 incidents) and public order offences (13,049 incidents), which together account for more than 52% of all crime in the area, as well as concerning rates of both criminal damage (7108 incidents) and drug crime (6724 incidents). All of this means Liverpool has seen its highest crime figures in more than a decade. 


#6 – St. Helens 

Overall Crime Rate Of 145 Crimes Per 1000 People 

A historic commuter town in the heart of Merseyside, St Helens has seen substantial developments in recent years that have brought it forward to a thoroughly 21st century state. From the glass-fronted buildings to its investments in infrastructure, it’s perhaps only the soaring crime rate of 145 crimes per 1000 residents that truly lets the town down. 

Of course, that’s only the tip of the iceberg for the crime rate in St Helens. Violent crime (7146 incidents) is the most pressing issue for residents and visitors alike, alongside concerning numbers across public order offences (2518 incidents) and criminal damage (1615 incidents).  


#5 – Birkenhead 

Overall Crime Rate Of 154.5 Crimes Per 1000 People 

An immediately recognisable part of the Wirral peninsula, and home to one end of the infamous Mersey Tunnel, Birkenhead’s roots in the shipping industry have since fallen somewhat by the wayside. While the docks pay homage to that history, the all-too-modern crime rate of 154.5 crimes per 1000 residents sees Birkenhead earn a spot among the most dangerous areas in the North West. 

Violent crime (6092 offences) is the main cause for concern among Birkenhead’s residents, accounting for more than 39% of all criminal activity in the town. There’s also mounting concern for the rate of drug crime (1241 offences), which is more than 60% higher than the Merseyside average. 


#4 – Blackpool 

Overall Crime Rate Of 154.9 Crimes Per 1000 People 

Synonymous with summer holidays, seafront chip shops and its iconic Tower, Blackpool is arguably one of the North West’s biggest attractions, particularly with its seasonal Illuminations offering all the more reason to visit. With such draws, though, it’ll perhaps come as a shock to learn that Blackpool’s crime rate is as high as it is, sitting at 154.9 crimes per 1000 residents. 

As with many of the more dangerous areas in the North West, violent crime (6872 offences) is the most prevalent issue across Blackpool. There’s also mounting concern across both stalking and harassment (2559 offences) and criminal damage (2297 offences), which have seen year-on-year rises. 


#3 – Bootle 

Overall Crime Rate Of 162.5 Crimes Per 1000 People 

The subject of much regeneration after being heavily impacted by the Second World War, Bootle has burst into burgeoning popularity, boasting a newly expanding docks and one of the UK’s lowest rates of unemployment. Despite all that, though, Bootle’s crime rate sours that reputation, sitting at a startling 162.5 crimes per 1000 residents. 

The rising rates of violent crime (3994 incidents), public order offences (1223 incidents) and criminal damage (795 incidents) all spark concern for those living and working in the town, while a rate of shoplifting (410 incidents) that’s more than 60% higher than the regional average underscores the concerns that businesses in Bootle have. 


#2 – Prescot 

Overall Crime Rate Of 164.4 Crimes Per 1000 People 

Often twinned with the neighbouring Huyton, Prescot plays host to the nationally renowned Knowsley Safari Park, as well as historic estates and traditional architecture in its churches. However, a shocking crime rate of 164.4 crimes per 1000 residents, particularly in such a small town, earns Prescot a less-than-favourable reputation beyond those unique features. 

Looking more closely at the town’s crime statistics, we find a soaring rate of violent crime (853 offences), as well as figures across both antisocial behaviour (269 offences) and shoplifting (140 offences) that are more than double the regional average. That’s in additional to an overall crime rate that’s almost doubled in less than 10 years. 


#1 – Manchester 

Overall Crime Rate Of 174.7 Crimes Per 1000 People  

Referred to by many names – the Northern Capital, the UK’s Second City, and a myriad others – Manchester is a true metropolis in every sense of the word. From its exceptional contributions to the worlds of music, sport and culture, to the pivotal role it plays in the UK’s economy as a whole, there’s much to be said about Manchester, both for better and for worse. 

However, what’s often not mentioned in those conversations is Manchester’s position as the most dangerous area in the North West. With a whopping crime rate of 174.7 crimes per 1000 residents, and mounting concerns for the city’s 553,230 residents, it’s no surprise to see Manchester top our list. 

As with many of the cities and towns across the UK, violent crimes (22,206 incidents) are by far the most prevalent issue, accounting for more than 1 in every 5 criminal incident in Manchester. That’s all alongside equally concerning rates of public order offences (12,200 incidents), criminal damage (7832 incidents) and vehicle offences (7428 incidents). 


How We Source Our Data For The Most Dangerous Areas In The North West 

In order to remain objective and transparent in how we source and report the key statistics that show just how dangerous any given area is, we’ll be using information from the official Police Data repository, as well as collated data from the Office of National Statistics and various independent sources. 

We’ve then displayed this as a ratio of the number of crimes per 1000 people living in that area. This allows us to give us a clearer picture of every region, while still taking into account key variables like population, area size, and the surrounding regions that may have an impact. 

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.