A key consideration for any are you’re looking at is the data on crime. For families, for young professionals, and for budding entrepreneurs, understanding how crime factors into the overall safety and security of an area is a crucial part of choosing to move there.
As one of the UK’s leading providers of security services, Churchill Support Services are dedicated to providing a complete overview of the important statistics for each area across Britain, and helping you better understand any city or town that you might be considering for your future.
With this article, we’re delving into the wilds of Wales, and the statistics on crime across the country. We’ll break down all of the key stats and facts on criminal activity across the length and breadth of Wales, and what you need to know to ensure the safety and security of your business or home.
Security and safety are absolutely paramount concerns for us, especially given our position as one the UK’s foremost providers of security services. We’re also committed to open reporting, which is why we’ll provide a completely objective overview of crime statistics, using data from local police forces and independent aggregator Brighton Analytics.
This is then displayed as a ratio of crimes per 1,000 people living in the area. This allows us to take into consideration factors like population and area size, and still give an insight into how crime factors into the safety of that place.
With this article, we’ll look at all the major towns and cities in Wales, as well as the country itself, and the most prevalent types of crime across all regions.
One of the constituent countries of the United Kingdom, Wales has one of the more diverse landscapes of the whole of the UK. From the snow-capped peaks and swooping valleys of the North, to the hustle and bustle of the cities and harbourside towns of the South, it’s a country that’s all its own while still forming an integral part of the United Kingdom.
The Welsh capital of Cardiff and its Bay area are one of the key attractions for the country, but it’s the rugged coastlines that fringe Wales on all sides that draw in the real crowds. Sands, shale and emerald seas provide a stunning backdrop to chocolate box villages and surfboard seafoam, and nestle away seabirds and seals in equal numbers.
However, also hidden away behind that idyllic exterior is the country’s crime rate. While its ratio of 88.6 crimes per 1000 people is lower than many areas of England and Scotland, it’s still a problematic rate for those considering the area for a business or home.
Violent crime is the most prominent issues across Wales, with 116,961 incidents happening over the course of the last 12 months, or around 42% of all crime countrywide. Substantial figures across both theft (60,631 incidents) and public order offences (39,007 incidents) are also equally concerning, and paint a picture of the overall state of crime across Wales.
But, while these are the total rates, it doesn’t that every area of Wales will face the same problems. Let’s look in more detail at a few of the key towns and cities across the country, and how they compare to the overall statistics.
One of the more infamous South Wales towns thanks to its position in popular culture, Barry is perhaps best known for its position as a seaside resort in the scenic Vale of Glamorgan. It’s this popularity, however, that contributes towards the town’s alarming crime rate of 83 crimes per 1000 residents.
High stats across both violent crime (2038 offences) and antisocial behaviour (1061 offences) are the key contributors to that rate, with both being over 10% higher than the regional average.
A county borough in the South East of Wales, Blaenau Gwent is arguably one of the country’s more picturesque, with quaint areas like Ffestiniog with its historic steam railways conjuring an image of bygone days. All too modern, though, is Blaenau Gwent’s crime rate of 83 crimes per 1000 residents.
Within that, we find substantial rates in violent crime (24,161 incidents), antisocial behaviour (10,803 incidents) and public order offences (10.209 incidents), all of which raise concerns for security in Blaenau Gwent.
Named after its infamous bridge that dates back to the medieval period, Bridgend has arguably one of the more literal place names across the whole of the UK. However, with a thriving economy and retail sector, the town offers much more than just a bridge, although that does come at the price of a soaring crime rate of 120.1 crimes per 1000 residents.
Looking more closely, the town faces significant issues with violent crime (783 offences) and antisocial behaviour (439 offences), but there’s also substantial concern for the rising figures in weapon possession (19 offences), which is more than double the countywide average.
The Welsh capital, and the 10th most populous city UK-wide, Cardiff is synonymous with culture, sport and the proud heritage of Wales in its castles and architecture. Now thoroughly modernised and home to a thriving university and retail scene, Cardiff’s draws are sadly undercut by its substantial rate of crime – 104 crimes per 1000 residents.
Violent crime (12,451 offences), antisocial behaviour (5968 offences), and criminal damage (4039 offences) are three of the more standout statistics on crime in Cardiff, but a soaring rate of shoplifting (3862 offences) that’s more than 25% higher than the regional average also sparks concern for Cardiff security.
One of the more thriving economies in South East Wales, Cwmbran boasts a substantial population given its relatively small size. Unfortunately though, as is often the case, that boosted population means a rising crime rate, and Cwmbran is no exception, reaching 174.7 crimes per 1000 residents.
There’s soaring numbers across violent crime (755 incidents), antisocial behaviour (466 incidents) and public order offences (352 incidents), but equally concerning for Cwmbran security is the exploding rates of shoplifting (289 incidents), which is more than 5 times the average for the area.
One of Wales’s more historic market towns, Llanelli is one of the more prominent Welsh-speaking areas of the country, holding firm to its Celtic roots, while still embracing modernity through its retail centres and burgeoning marketplaces. Sadly though, that balance is offset by the town’s huge crime rate of 161.1 crimes per 1000 residents.
Violent crimes (2042 offences) make up a significant percentage of that rate, but high figures across both antisocial behaviour (810 offences) and criminal damage (529 offences) also prompt increased focus on Llanelli security services.
Formerly Wales’s largest town thanks to its illustrious past in heavy industry and iron production, Merthyr Tydfil has since become a quieter area, but retains much of that industrious nature. However, with that modernisation comes an all-too-contemporary crime rate of 146.9 crimes per 1000 residents.
The bulk of that rate is made up by violent crime (2100 incidents), antisocial behaviour (1043 incidents) and shoplifting (744 incidents), all of which are much higher than what’s expected of the region as a whole.
A thriving market town just inland from the Celtic Sea, Neath has roots that stretch back to the Roman era, with fortifications and forts illustrating the town’s past. Lurking beneath that historic exterior, however, is a worrying crime rate of 94 crimes per 1000 residents.
As with many towns across Wales, there’s significant issues with violent crime (875 offences) and antisocial behaviour (390 offences), but of equal concern is the town’s climbing rate of burglary (86 offences) which is already over 70% higher than the average for the rest of West Glamorgan.
One of just 7 settlements in Wales with city status, Newport embodies much of what we expect from Wales a whole – rolling fields, modern architecture, and a strong sense of the country’s storied history. However, the city also personifies modern crime across Wales, too, with a rate of 107.3 crimes per 1000 residents.
Violent crime (6570 incidents) makes up just under 45% of all crime in the city, but there’s equal concern for Newport security when looking at the high figures in public order offences (2947 incidents), antisocial behaviour (2941 incidents) and shoplifting (1123 incidents).
Synonymous with coastal living in Wales, Port Talbot nestles in the Swansea bay area, and encapsulates much of traditional life on the Welsh seaside, with an emphasis on tourism and holidaymaking. With such popularity naturally comes an increased crime rate though, and Port Talbot is no different, seeing 79.1 crimes per 1000 residents.
As part of that rate, there’s substantial figures across violent crime (231 incidents), antisocial behaviour (75 incidents) and public order offences (57 incidents), all of which underscore the need for effective security in Port Talbot.
A premier seaside destination in Northern Wales, Rhyl’s spot on the northern Welsh coastline means it’s a key hotspot for holidaymakers and sightseers alike, with sandy beaches and holiday resorts punctuating its coastal walking routes. However, given its astronomical crime rate of 206.5 crimes per 1000 residents, it’s somewhat surprising that Rhyl has maintained its reputation.
With figures across violent crime (2772 incidents), antisocial behaviour (1072 incidents), and public order offences (805 incidents) that are all more than double the UK-wide average, concerns for security in Rhyl are more than warranted.
Wales’s second largest city, Swansea, offers much for those considering it – thriving retail centres rub shoulders with that trademark Welsh history, and a smattering of cultural and sport hotspots complete a well-rounded city. However, undercutting all of that is a crime rate that’s not nearly as attractive, sitting at 81.4 crimes per 1000 residents.
Swansea’s largest concerns come from the high rates of violent crime (6324 offences) and antisocial behaviour (3062 offences), but a rate of robbery (71 offences) that’s more than 65% higher than the regional average also highlights the need for effective Swansea security.
Enclosed in the embrace of the Welsh mountains, the city of Wrexham has long since been a mainstay of Northern Wales, offering a historic community that’s an attractive prospect for both tourists and settlers alike. However, before laying down roots, Wrexham’s crime rate of 126.7 crimes per 1000 residents is a point of contention.
Violent crime (6870 incidents) is the most prevalent issue in the city, but there’s also pressing Wrexham security concerns for the rising figures in antisocial behaviour (2969 incidents), public order offences (1725 incidents) and criminal damage (1519 incidents).