Situated in the south-west of England, Bristol is renowned for its exciting maritime history, arts, and culture. This vibrant city is home to over 707,000 people, from university students to long-term residents. The city is located as a gateway to the South West and is home to a thriving wildlife, art scene and rich heritage.
As a major port, Bristol has a rich history as a starting point for voyages to the New World. Today, the docks situated in the city centre are hubs of culture. Its economy is built on a range of industries, including creative media, aerospace and electronics.
Bristol has a diverse population and is the base for two major UK universities – UWE and the University of Bristol. The city is home to a variety of green spaces, highlighted by the European Green Capital Award which was achieved by the city in 2015. In addition, the city was named the best city in Britain to live in both 2014 and 2017.
In this article, Churchill Support Services will be evaluating the most dangerous areas of Bristol and comparing them to the city-wide average statistics. We will be delving into the specific crimes prolific in each area, so you can make informed choices about which support services are best for your home or business, to make effective investments.
We’ve taken our data from the Bristol Statistics Website. By using a government data source, we ensure our data is reliable and accurate, and that it’s completely impartial.
To make our findings clear, we have outlined our findings by categorising the different wards of Bristol. We have displayed our findings as a ratio of the number of crimes per 1000 people, to give a fair review which accounts for population density and area size.
The city centre of Bristol is the most dangerous area of Bristol as a whole, across all its towns and villages. The overall crime rate for the city was 98 crimes per 1000 people in 2022, ranking the highest for bicycle theft in the UK with 90 crimes of this nature per 1000 people.
Despite this, the most common crimes in Bristol are violent and sexual offences, with a total of 21,477 incidents recorded in 2022. Below, we will be delving into the 15 most dangerous areas of Bristol, exploring which crimes are most prolific in each individual area, and how it compares to the city-wide average.
Home to Bristol’s first runway, Hengrove & Whitchurch Park is still enjoyed and celebrated by the local community today. Situated in the south of Bristol, the scope of green spaces in the ward makes it enjoyable for many families, as well as being home to a nature reserve.
Whilst burglary is a low-level offence in this area at a rate of 4.2 offences per 1000 people, violent and sexual offences makeup 43.8 of offences, an alarming figure considering the area’s family-friendly reputation.
Avonmouth is a port that faces two rivers, an outer suburb of Bristol. Its maritime economy is particularly important and is known for its heavy exports. Lawrence Weston is the biggest ward in Bristol. Situated in the north of the city, the ward is next to Blaise Castle with a rich historical background. Lawrence Weston is known for its industrial complex, developing from what was originally a hamlet before the 1940s.
In these areas, youth offences have a rate of 5.6 incidents per 1,000 people, which is higher than the average across Bristol. Rates of anti-social behaviour crime are parallel to the city-wide average, with 19.3 crimes per 1000 people. On the other end of the scale, violent and sexual offences in Avonmouth & Lawrence Weston account for a rate of 48 offences per 1,000 people, above the city-wide average.
Horfield sits on the boundary between Bristol and South Gloucestershire, with an abundance of green spaces for dog walkers and a variety of restaurants to dine out at. The area has a rich history, including its involvement with the 1831 Bristol Riots and the Horfield Barracks which were completed in 1847.
For every 1000 people in Horfield, there are 46 violent and sexual offences committed. Unlike the previous areas, burglary is above the city-wide average by a rate of 0.3, a total of 5.7 burglaries recorded for every 1000 people.
Easton is part of inner-city Bristol known for its urban and artistic atmosphere. Banksy is known to have lived here in the 1990s! There are numerous eateries and pubs to explore in the area.
Burglary remains a security risk in Easton, above the city-wide average at a rate of 5.6 crimes per 1000 people. This is the same for violent and sexual offences, at a rate of 46.2 offences committed per 1000 people.
Located in the south of the city, Filwood is home to Filwood Park, a residential area with numerous primary schools. The ward was recently awarded a grant of £14.5 million for regeneration under the government’s levelling-up scheme.
Compared with the other wards on our list so far, Filwood has the highest rate of violent and sexual offences, at 50.4 offences per 1000 people. The rate of youth offences is also notable, at a rate over double the city-wide average at 11 crimes per 1000 people.
Located conveniently for Bristol, Bath and Keynsham, Brislington West is noted for its abundance of green spaces and the local library. With regular transport, Brislington West is an accessible area.
The rates of anti-social behaviour incidents, burglary and youth offenders in this ward all fall under the city-wide range. However, the rate of violent and sexual offences ranks higher than the Bristol average at 49.7 incidents per every 1000 people.
Lockleaze is home to multiple schools, as well as a variety of places to eat and drink. The area was developed shortly after World War II and is a largely residential area located in the north of Bristol.
The rate of violent and sexual offences in Lockleaze is lower than the city average at 40.3 offences per 1000 people. However, youth offenders are at a rate of 7.3 crimes per 1,000 people, making it one of the highest rates across Bristol.
Located on the outskirts of Bristol, St George West is home to 5 schools. The area is situated next to several historical landmarks, such as the Clifton Suspension Bridge and Leigh Woods.
The risk of burglary is higher in St George than in other wards, at a rate of 5.7 crimes per 1000 people. The number of crimes committed by youth offenders is also higher, at a rate of 7.8 crimes per 1000 people.
Eastville is home to Eastgate Shopping Centre, which holds several national chain stores. The area has a host of property types, from Victorian and 1930s builds to more modern properties. This inner suburb has the River Frombe on its border, stretching 20 miles long.
Antisocial behaviour incidents are at a rate of 18.2 incidents per 1000 people in Eastville, placing it near the city-wide average. Whilst the number of violent crimes is high at a rate of 49.5 per 1000 people, the number of crimes committed by youth offenders is below the Bristol average at a rate of 3.9 per 1000.
Located on the southern edges of Bristol, an area of Hartcliffe & Withywood was ranked as the most deprived area of Bristol in 2019. The area has plenty of park spaces but suffers from a critical portrayal in the media as one of the roughest areas in Bristol.
In Hartcliffe & Withywood the number of violent and sexual offences is significantly higher than the Bristol average, at a rate of 62.6 crimes of this nature committed per 1000 people. This is the same for the rate of anti-social behaviour incidents, and youth crimes, at a rate of 33.2 crimes per 1000 people and 6.4 crimes respectively.
Ashley is in the north-west of Bristol, known for its diversity and greenery. It has good transport links into the centre and is renowned for once being the primary filming location for the BBC television series ‘Casualty’.
Crimes committed by youth offenders are at a lower rate in Ashley, where 3.8 crimes of this nature are committed per 1,000 people. However, burglary in this area is higher than the average, with 6.3 burglaries committed per 1000 people.
Southville is situated on the River Avon’s south bank, a vibrant area with colourful houses, street art and food. The Tobacco Factory is one of its main attractions, a theatre which is also home to a bar and café. In addition to hosting shows throughout the year, it hosts food stalls and markets every Sunday.
However, burglary remains a relatively large risk in Southville, at a rate of 8.2 crimes per 1000 people. Yet it’s crimes of anti-social behaviour which are remarkably high in this area, at a rate of 24.5 offences of this nature per 1000 people.
Lawrence Hill is one of the one of the most deprived wards in the South-West. The area is visible in Bristol’s skyline with its iconic 1960s tower blocks. The area is subject to prominent underpass flooding, an ongoing issue. Near the station, there are an array of local pubs and activities such as escape rooms and a climbing venue.
In Lawrence Hill, the rate of violent and sexual offences is considerably higher than the city-wide average, at a rate of 69.7 incidents per 1000 people. This is the same for burglaries, at a rate of 9.4 per 1000 residents – almost double the city’s average figure.
Situated next to the river, Hotwells and Bristol’s Harbourside is a picturesque area with landmarks, Georgian houses and curved streets. In addition to this, popular pubs make the area ideal for people with an active social life. The area is ideal for young professionals, with 25% of the population aged 16-24 and a further 35% aged 25-39.
In this area, the rate of burglary is well over double the city-wide rate, at 13.3 crimes per 1000 people. This is the same for the rate of violent and sexual offences, at a rate of 138.6 offences per 1000 people, over 3x higher than the Bristol average.
Bristol’s bustling city centre is host to a variety of bars and clubs, as well as a rich history. The city has a range of different food, as well as a choice of shopping outlets. The old city has a rich marketplace, with a multitude of small stalls creating a vibrant and buzzing atmosphere.
Youth offenders make up the lowest number of crimes in this area, at only 5.3 incidents per 1000 people. Meanwhile, violent and sexual offences make up the largest type of offences in this area, with 137.9 incidents per 1000 people.