The Most Dangerous Towns and Cities in Yorkshire

Yorkshire, the UK’s largest county, is home to some of the most spectacular landscapes our country has to offer. Undulating moors, an abundance of chocolate box towns and villages, and cities that stand at the forefront of innovation and culture make the county a wonderful place to live, work, and visit.

The Most Dangerous Towns and Cities in Yorkshire Top 10

However, beneath the veneer, Yorkshire is waging the same war against crime as any other region on our islands.

In this blog, we have used the latest crime rates to determine the ten most dangerous towns and cities within this most ancient of English counties.

10. Thornaby: 134 per 1,000

Located on the border of North Yorkshire and the River Tees’ southern bank, Thornaby is a town and civil parish that makes the regrettable claim of being the second most dangerous medium-sized town in North Yorkshire.

The overall crime rate in Thornaby in 2021 was 134 crimes per 1,000 people, which is 77% higher than the North Yorkshire rate of 76 per 1,000 residents. On a national level, Thornaby is among the top 20 most dangerous medium-sized towns and has witnessed a 14% increase in the number of offences of violence and sexual nature, with 1,510 offences recorded in 2021.

On the back of these statistics, Thornaby ranks at number 10 on our list of Yorkshire’s most dangerous towns and cities.

9. Edlington: 140 per 1,000

From the most northerly part of Yorkshire, we now travel to the most southerly and the parish town of Edlington.

Edlington, or ‘Edlo’ to the locals, is the most dangerous small town in South Yorkshire. According to data from 2021, the crime rate in this town over just over 8,000 stands at 140 offences per 1,000 inhabitants – 49% higher than the South Yorkshire average of 94 crimes per 1,000.

At a UK-wide level, Edlington is the 22nd most dangerous small town, with 508 offences of violence and sexual offences reported in 2021, a 33% increase from 2020’s figure of 381, and enough to put ‘Eldo’ at number nine on our list.

8. Scarborough: 142 per 1,000

People above a certain age can’t even hear the name Scarborough without the melody of the old English ballad “Scarborough Fair” ringing in their ears.

The song lists a series of impossible tasks to be given to a former sweetheart who lives in the town and likely resonates with local law enforcement, whom themselves are tasked with policing what is the most dangerous medium-sized town in North Yorkshire.  

Scarborough saw an increase in the rate of crime in 2021, with a total of 2,882 offences of violence and sexual offences being recorded, giving a crime rate that is 18% higher than the 2,436 offences reported in 2020.

Using the services of a Scarborough security company is unsurprisingly becoming a common practice among businesses situated within this iconic coastal town.

7. Castleford: 145 per 1,000

Castleford - Most Dangerous Towns in Yorkshire

Moving westwards, we now travel to the town of Castleford, a hotbed for the sport Yorkshire is most associated with, Rugby League.

Tough sports tend to flourish in tough towns, and Castleford is no different, being the most dangerous medium-sized town in West Yorkshire. Castleford’s 2021 crime rate was 145 crimes per 1,000 people, 28% higher than West Yorkshire’s average of 113 per 1,000 and enough to put it among the top 10 most dangerous medium-sized towns in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

In December 2021, Castleford’s 57 recorded incidents of criminal damage and arson made it the worst medium-sized town for these offences in all of West Yorkshire for that month and contributed to its placing at number seven on our list.

6. Bradford: 146 per 1,000

Staying in West Yorkshire, we make the short trip over to the UK City of Culture for 2025, Bradford.

Despite its thriving film, culinary, and arts scenes, Bradford stands as the most dangerous city in West Yorkshire. The crime rate in Bradford in 2021 came in at 146 crimes per 1,000 people, a full 29% higher than West Yorkshire’s average rate of 113 crimes per 1,000.

On a national level, Bradford is the third most dangerous city, with statistics from 2021 revealing that violence and sexual offences are the most common crimes.

Taken as a whole, the UK City of Culture can also count itself as the sixth most dangerous town or city in Yorkshire. Partnering with a Bradford security company is highly advisable for businesses operating in the city.

5. Halifax: 147 per 1,000

Remaining in West Yorkshire, the next entry on our list is the market town of Halifax. Whereas Bradford is the most dangerous city in West Yorkshire, Halifax is the most dangerous major town.

Halifax’s position on our list was not helped by the increase in crime rate from 2020 to 2021, particularly the 6,782 offences of violence and sexual offences reported in 2021, a 9% increase from the 6,222 offences reported in 2020.

The National Children’s Museum, Eureka, and the spectacular Piece Hall make for great places to visit in Halifax, but caution should be exercised in what is the fifth most dangerous town or city in Yorkshire. For businesses, that caution is best exercised by partnering with a Halifax security company that understands the challenges the town faces.

4. Doncaster: 149 per 1,000

Most Dangerous Towns In Yorkshire - Doncaster

Leaving the west, we head south to Doncaster, the second-largest settlement in South Yorkshire after Sheffield.

Before being awarded city status in 2022, Doncaster held the unenviable title of the most dangerous major town in South Yorkshire. According to statistics from 2021, the newly crowned city’s crime rate of 149 crimes per 1,000 people was 58% higher than the South Yorkshire average of 94 per 1,000. Moreover, compared to other conurbations of its size in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, Doncaster was the second most dangerous.

Having witnessed 6,831 incidents of violence and sexual offences in 2021, Doncaster posted a crime rate for these offences of 58 per 1,000. Not only is this 16% higher than the 5,867 offences recorded in 2020, but it’s also enough to put Doncaster at number four on our list.

For organisations keen to keep their people and property safe, Doncaster security guards are available around the clock.

3. Leeds: 153 per 1,000

Yorkshire’s largest settlement with a population of over half a million, Leeds, is a thriving city boasting the most diverse economy of all the country’s leading employment centres and has witnessed the fastest growth rate of private sector jobs of any UK city.

Nevertheless, Leeds’s crime rate of 153 per 1,000 inhabitants makes it not only the most dangerous major city in West Yorkshire but the most dangerous for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland as a whole.

December 2021 was a particularly tough month for Leeds residents, with the city being West Yorkshire’s most dangerous area for both bicycle theft and burglary. A staggering 60 bicycle thefts were reported, and incidents of burglary were even worse, with 400 crimes reported.

Businesses in the area, keen to avoid falling victim to criminality, should look to partner with a Leeds security company to ensure the safety of their people and property.

2. Trident: 163 per 1,000

Created only in 2009, you can be forgiven for never having heard of the small West Yorkshire town of Trident.

Unfamiliar though it may be, Trident is the most dangerous town in West Yorkshire. Its 2021 crime rate of 163 per 1,000 people is significantly higher than West Yorkshire’s overall rate of 113 per 1,000, with the most common offences being violent and sexual in nature.

So new is Trident that its Wikipedia page only covers its year of creation, location, and population. No mention is made of the fact that it is the second most dangerous place in Yorkshire

1. Middlesbrough: 164 per 1,000

Most Dangerous Towns and Cities in Yorkshire - Middlesbrough

Situated on the southern bank of the River Tees and near the North York Moors National Park, Middlesbrough is the most northerly major town in Yorkshire. So much so, the locals speak with an accent that sounds almost like Geordie.

Middlesbrough’s 2021 crime rate of 164 per 1,000 people made it the most dangerous conurbation of its size in North Yorkshire and was 117% higher than the North Yorkshire rate of 76 per 1,000.

An increase in criminal activity in 2021 included 11,732 reported offences of a violent and sexual nature having been reported, a 17% increase from 2020’s figure of 10,039 offences.

Although it is gradually emerging as a leading progressive and cosmopolitan location to live and work, Middlesbrough has much to do if it is shed its title as being the number one most dangerous town or city in Yorkshire.

Do you operate a business in Yorkshire? Churchill Support Services is a leading UK security provider and a trusted supplier of expert security solutions to businesses operating throughout the region. As a Yorkshire security company that employs experienced and accredited Yorkshire security guards, we are ideally placed to provide the services that keep you, your people, and your business safe.

Contact us today to learn more.

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.