The 25 Safest Areas To Live & Work In The UK (2024)

There’s few things more comforting than feeling safe and secure wherever you choose to live. That’s true for those from all walks of life, but especially so for those who are looking to start a family, set up a business, or plan for your eventual retirement

Of course, there’s measures that can be put into place to further reinforce that sense of stability and safety (ranging from home and professional security, to increased policing presence on the streets), but it’s equally true that some areas of the UK simply are safer than others.

Here at Churchill Support Services, we’ve long been passionate about delivering unbiased, clear reports on crime across the country, touching on the most dangerous areas of England and Wales, as well as insights into Scotland’s most dangerous areas.

With our latest guide, we’ll be exploring the flip side of that, counting down 25 of the safest areas in the UK, and the key statistics and facts that make them rank so highly. We’ll also look at current trends, and how these positions could shift as we progress further into 2024 and beyond.


How Safe Is The UK As A Whole?

The UK is, in and of itself, an enigma. A relatively small patchwork quilt of islands, embroiled in a merging of seas and oceans, its diminutive stature belies the importance it has on the global stage, being a major contributor towards global economy, policy, and change.

Beneath that unassuming surface, we find a bubbling melting pot of culture and history, and a veritable spectrum of walks of life and love. The UK hosts a diverse landscape that juxtaposes the peaks and eyries of rugged mountains with cutting edge modernity and convenience in its multitude of cities, towns and wider urban areas.

It only stands to reason that, as such a varied and multifaceted country, that there’d be an equal blend of both dangerous and safer areas in the UK. And with a crime that straddles that thin line at 68.3 crimes per 1000 residents, the statistical evidence goes a long way towards supporting that idea.

The country’s main issues with crime, and those that are consistent across even the safest areas of the UK, lie in disconcerting yet stable rates of violent crime (2.15 million offences in 2023), theft (1.32 million offences) and antisocial behaviour (1.05 million offences in 2023).

Of course, that’s not to say the whole of the UK is the same, and that’s particularly true of the countries safer or more secure regions. Let’s drill deeper into the UK’s safest areas, and how their overall crime rates stack up in comparison.


Ranked: The 25 Safest Places In The UK For 2024

We’ll outline the UK’s 25 safest areas, and the key statistics you’ll need to know if you’re considering as a potential option for your next move.


25. West Lancashire

Overall Crime Rate Of 46.1 Crimes Per 1000 People

Best known for its swathes of farmlands, marshes and nature reserves that fade away to the major townships of Ormskirk and Skelmersdale, it’s West Lancashire’s relatively sedate pace of life and low crime rate of 46.1 crimes per 1000 residents that earn it a spot on our ranking of the safest areas in the UK.

The region saw 5506 total crimes in 2023 which, while still a concerning statistic for those involved, is more than 200 offences lower than last year. Couple that with falling numbers of violent crimes (2456 incidents), thefts (1555 offences) and criminal damage offences (664 offences), and it’s clear West Lancs is an area that’s only set to become even safer.


24. North Hertfordshire

Overall Crime Rate Of 46.1 Crimes Per 1000 People

Grounded in the keen sense of history that makes the wider county of Hertfordshire so popular, North Hertfordshire is one of the region’s more peaceful settings. Fields of lavender and wildflowers offer some of the most spectacular vistas UK-wide, and a crime rate of just 46.1 crimes per 1000 residents offers a crowning glory to an undoubtedly breathtaking part of England.

Looking more closely at those rates of crime, we find consistently low figures in some of the issues that are more prevalent UK-wide, including violent crime (2367 offences) and criminal damage (785 offences), as well as a rate of shoplifting (481 offences) that’s among the lowest in both its county and across the UK.


23. South Oxfordshire

Overall Crime Rate Of 45.7 Crimes Per 1000 People

One of the more affluent regions on our list of the safest areas in the UK, South Oxfordshire is beribboned by the River Thames and its many estuaries, with its historic towns and parishes punctuating the rolling hills of the county. All of that combined means the region sits at an admirable 45.7 crimes per 1000 residents.

Of the 6940 criminal offences over the course of 2023, violent crime (2640 incidents) takes the lion’s share, accounting for around 38% of all incidents across the region. There’s equally low figures across some of the UK’s more pressing concerns, too, with theft (2172 incidents) and public order offences (658 incidents) being substantially lower than the countrywide average.


22. Powys

Overall Crime Rate Of 45.6 Crimes Per 1000 People

The only region of Wales to make our list, Powys is likely an unsurprising inclusion. Not only is it the most sparsely populated of the Welsh counties, it’s one of undulating hills, valleys and mountains, thoroughly earning its title as the “Paradise of Wales”. That’s only underscored by its falling crime rate of 45.6 crimes per 1000 residents.

The 6,100 total offences for 2023 is a staggering 38% lower than last year’s total, with significant reductions across many of the points of concern for residents. Those span violent crime (down to 2938 incidents), theft (958 incidents) and public order offences (868 incidents).


21. South Norfolk

Overall Crime Rate Of 44.8 Crimes Per 1000 People

A landscape that’s most commonly associated with the Norfolk Broads and the marshes and moorlands that characterise those bodies of water, South Norfolk also plays host to some of the more wealthy residents of the county, as well as the market parish of Wymondham. Despite that popularity though, the region’s crime rate has stayed low, at just 44.8 crimes per 1000 residents.

The statistics for 2023 saw a further dip in comparison to previous years, falling an additional 6% to 6,480 total offences. Delving deeper, the main contributors towards that remaining rate of crime were violent crime (2802 offences), theft (1564 offences) and criminal damage (753 offences).


20. Waverley

Overall Crime Rate Of 43.7 Crimes Per 1000 People

Nestled in the southwestern corner of Surrey, Waverley is so-named for the historic abbey at its heart. The region seamlessly couples its stunning surroundings in the Surrey Hills with the more modern trappings of the towns of Farnham and Haslemere, the result of which is a dwindling crime rate of 43.7 crimes per 1000 residents.

Of course, while there are still problems, 2023 saw a notable reduction of more than 2% when compared to previous years’ statistics. That’s predominantly accounted for by falling numbers across violent crime (2037 incidents), theft (1940 incidents), and vehicle crimes (561 incidents), all of which have seen year-on-year decreases.


19. Wealden

Overall Crime Rate Of 42.5 Crimes Per 1000 People

One of the more naturally beautiful areas to feature on this list, Wealden takes its name from the forestlands and sprawling countryside that dominates the district’s landscape. The crime rate follows suit in that serenity, at 42.5 crimes per 1000 residents, but there is some cause for concern.

While the number of crimes is slightly higher than some of the entries we’ve seen so far on our list of the safest areas in the UK (6923 offences), it’s the increase of 11% over last year’s figures that are arguably most worrying. Violent crime (2641 offences) is the most prevalent crime in the Wealden area, with theft (1993 offences) and criminal damage (940 offences) also generating concerns.


18. Rutland

Overall Crime Rate Of 42.5 Crimes Per 1000 People

Rutland is arguably what many picture when they think of postcard English landscapes – rolling hills give way to chocolate box towns and villages, all enrobed in a deep and storied sense of heritage and history. It’ll come as no surprise, then, that Rutland’s crime figures are among the lowest countrywide, at 42.5 crimes per 1000 residents.

At just 1,747 crimes across the whole county in 2023, it’s Rutland’s sparse population that ensures it sees such low figures. Low numbers across both violent crime (675 incidents) and theft (484 incidents) contributed towards a further 9% reduction when compared to previous years’ figures, with crime rates only set to fall further with better security and policing in place.


17. Highland

Overall Crime Rate Of 42.4 Crimes Per 1000 People

Some of the northernmost reaches of Scotland are among its safest areas, with the Scottish Highlands – including its major city Inverness – offering a slice of relative safety in comparison to much of the rest of the UK. With a crime rate of 42.4 crimes per 1000 residents, it’s clear that the breathtaking landscapes aren’t the only attraction.

Of course, residents and tourists alike should still approach the Highlands with some trepidation. Of the 10,094 offences over the course of 2023, over a quarter of those were crimes of dishonesty (2982 offences), with substantial numbers recorded across violent crime (2536 offences) and antisocial behaviour (1540 offences).


16. North Kesteven

Overall Crime Rate Of 42.4 Crimes Per 1000 People

Officially one of the UK’s greenest regions, North Kesteven is predominantly rural in its appearance, but still offers convenient access to its county city of Lincoln. With such a communal feel, and access to the wide open verdancy of the Lincolnshire countryside, the relatively unknown North Kesteven has a low crime rate of just 42.4 crimes per 1000 residents.

When we dig deeper into those statistics, the most notable fact is that this has consistently been one of the safest areas, showing zero change compared to last year’s stats. That’s in addition to reliably low figures in some of the UK’s most prevalent issues, including violent crime (2297 incidents), theft (1298 incidents) and shoplifting (442 incidents).


15. East Lothian

Overall Crime Rate Of 41.9 Crimes Per 1000 People

Predominantly rural in its scope, the Scottish county of East Lothian still draws in substantial crowds and those looking to settle down, thanks in large part to its sweeping coastline that takes in the Firth of Forth. It’s not a shock to see East Lothian so high, then, particularly given its rurality and a low crime rate of 41.9 crimes per 1000 residents.

There’s various contributors towards that ratio, with the chief among these being East Lothian’s low figures in key causes for concern in Scotland, including crimes of dishonesty (1667 offences) and violent crime (1138 offences). However, as low as that overall crime rate is, East Lothian has seen a slight increase of 4% compared to 2022’s figures.


14. Moray

Overall Crime Rate Of 41 Crimes Per 1000 People

Most associated with its eponymous Firth, the Moray area occupies a small corner of northeastern Scotland, and is called home by just 96,410 residents. Its remote location, coupled with its sweeping landscapes and coastal charm, means it sees one of the lowest crime rates across the UK at 41 crimes per 1000 residents.

Most of these crimes occur in Moray’s major town of Elgin, although these are still comparatively low when stacked up against the wider Scotland area. However, although the number of violent crimes (1106 incidents) and crimes of dishonesty (951 incidents) remain low, Moray still falls victim to Scotland’s drug crime epidemic, with 331 incidents in 2023 alone.


13. Broadland

Overall Crime Rate Of 40.3 Crimes Per 1000 People

Named after the iconic Broads to the region’s East, Broadland has built an illustrious reputation for being one of the safer areas across England. It’ll be unsurprising, then, to see the area feature so highly, given its low overall crime rate of 40.3 crimes per 1000 residents, in tandem with that well-established status.

Low rates of violent crime (2557 offences), theft (1114 offences) and criminal damage (654 offences) compound the region’s well-known tendency towards peacefulness and tranquillity. That’s been further reinforced by a 12% reduction in comparison to last year’s numbers – a figure that’s shared by the wider Norfolk area.


12. Angus

Overall Crime Rate Of 39.9 Crimes Per 1000 People

Synonymous with the now world-renowned cows and their beef, Angus offers far more than its cattle to its discerning visitors. From the larger settlements of Arbroath and Montrose on the coastline, to the crags and rises of the Grampian Mountains in the northwest, Angus’ low crime rate of 39.9 crimes per 1000 residents only adds to the appeal.

Looking more closely at that rate, we find expectedly low numbers in both crimes of dishonesty (1524 incidents) and violent crime (1366 incidents). However, Angus does have a concerning number of road traffic offences (2885 incidents), meaning visitors and homeowners alike need to be cautious on the region’s roads.


11. Stirling

Overall Crime Rate Of 39.4 Crimes Per 1000 People

A rural county at the very heart of Scotland, Stirling finds itself predominantly based around the central city of the same name, with the rest of its residents scattered among the glens, fells and highlands of the north. Such a sparse population means an equally sparse crime rate of 39.4 crimes per 1000 residents.

In comparison to last year’s statistics, Stirling’s overall crime rate fell by an impressive 10.4%, down from 43.9 crimes per 1000 residents. There’s naturally a few factors that contribute towards that rate, including lower numbers in both road traffic offences (1743 incidents) and crimes of dishonesty (1331 incidents) – two of Scotland’s most pressing criminal concerns.


10. The Scottish Borders

Overall Crime Rate Of 39.3 Crimes Per 1000 People

A sparsely populated yet incredibly beautiful part of Scotland, the Borders offer a gateway from the more urbanised England to the wilds of the Scottish countryside, as well as the first tastes of the country’s infamous, rugged coastline. It also plays host to one of the lowest crime rates in the UK, at 39.3 crimes per 1000 residents.

Much of that crime is concentrated in the more built-up areas of Galashiels and Hawick, but even here has seen a notable decrease in recent times, dipping by almost 7% over the course of the last year. That’s best characterised by falling numbers across both crimes of dishonesty (1350 offences) and violent crime (1308 offences).


9. Perth & Kinross

Overall Crime Rate Of 38.4 Crimes Per 1000 People

Centred around its hub city and administrative centre in Perth, the historic county of Perth and Kinross is one of two halves – the north predominantly lending itself to tourism, and the south to agriculture and industry. That blend works well for the area, resulting in a crime rate (38.4 crimes per 1000 residents) that earns it a top 10 place in the safest areas of the UK.

There’s much to praise in terms of the falling crime rate across Perth and Kinross, but chief among these is the rate of drug offences (333 incidents), which places it as one of the lowest in Scotland. Of course, that’s in addition to consistently low rates of crimes of dishonesty (2106 incidents) and violent crime (1570 incidents).


8. Ribble Valley

Overall Crime Rate Of 37.1 Crimes Per 1000 People

Dominated in large part by the Forest of Bowland, and swathed in the luscious greenery and undulating hills that the forest brings with it, the Ribble Valley is officially the safest area in England. That’s best exemplified by its staggeringly low crime rate of 37.1 crimes per 1000 residents, a statistic that fell by more than 12% over the course of 2023.

Contributing crime statistics towards that difference in crime statistics include lower rates of violent crime (933 offences), theft (760 offences) and criminal damage (309 offences), as well as the lowest rate of drug crime (35 offences) across the whole of the Lancashire area.


7. Argyll & Bute

Overall Crime Rate Of 37 Crimes Per 1000 People

One of the larger areas of Scotland, with its many piecemeal peninsulas and outlying islands dipping into the North Sea, Argyll and Bute is predominantly rural, with Oban and Helensburgh being the most notable of any larger towns and settlements. That rurality works to its benefit, however, with the region sitting at just 37 crimes per 1000 residents.

This low rate of crime has been a mainstay across the region, with little to no fluctuations over the past decade. A major component of that is admittedly worrying numbers in road traffic offences (2319 incidents), which have seen an increase over last year’s figures. However, extremely low numbers in both violent crime (866 incidents) and crimes of dishonesty (759 incidents) underscore the overall safety of Argyll and Bute.


6. Eileanan Siar (The Outer Hebrides)

Overall Crime Rate Of 30.8 Crimes Per 1000 People

The Scottish Gaelic spelling for what’s more commonly referred to as the Outer Hebrides, this tucked-away corner of Scotland relies predominantly on its oceans to ferry in visitors and residents, with more than 50 of its islands still remaining uninhabited. The sparsity of its population has meant it’s one of the safest areas in the UK, however, with a crime rate of just 30.8 crimes per 1000 residents.

Most of those incidents are, perhaps unsurprisingly, localised to the larger settlement of Stornoway, and there’s a worrying trend that’s seen the crime rate in the Outer Hebrides rise by more than 32% compared to last year’s numbers. That’s best exemplified by the increasing numbers in violent crime (240 offences) and crimes of dishonesty (156 offences).


5. Aberdeenshire

Overall Crime Rate Of 30.6 Crimes Per 1000 People

Most closely associated with the renowned Scottish city, the county of Aberdeenshire doesn’t actually contain the major city of Aberdeen, instead encompassing the smaller settlements that punctuate the surrounding countryside. With so many feeder towns for the larger city on the coastline, alongside a stunning backdrop, a crime rate of 30.6 crimes per 1000 residents won’t come as a surprise.

That incredibly low crime rate is still falling, too, with 2023 seeing a reduction of just over 1% compared to previous years. Digging deeper into the figures, we find dwindling numbers across some of Scotland’s key issues, including road traffic offences (218 incidents), crimes of dishonesty (93 incidents) and violent crimes (79 incidents).


4. Shetland Islands

Overall Crime Rate Of 27.8 Crimes Per 1000 People

Cut adrift from mainland UK, and more akin to the Scandinavian neighbours to its west than any of the British Isles, the Shetland Islands are almost as remote as any area of the country gets.  Of course, that’s reflected in its enigmatic culture and self-sufficient economies, but it’s best underscored by a rate of crime – 27.8 crimes per 1000 residents – that’s staggeringly low.

While the overall rate of crime on the islands has increased by a margin of just above 40% when compared to 2022’s stats, it’s still comfortably one of the safest areas in the UK. That’s especially true given its low rates of both road traffic offences (170 incidents) and crimes of dishonesty (54 incidents).


3. East Dunbartonshire

Overall Crime Rate Of 25.4 Crimes Per 1000 People

One of Scotland’s more affluent areas, playing host to some of the country’s most expensive houses and real estate opportunities, East Dunbartonshire (and by extension its larger townships of Bearsden and Bishopbriggs) won’t be a surprise to see so highly on this list. What might be surprising, though, is just how safe the county is, at 25.4 crimes per 1000 residents.

That rate of crime has only fallen in recent years too, dipping by a further 3% in 2023 when compared to 2022. There’s been similar reductions across the figures we’ve seen in crimes of dishonesty (1142 offences), road traffic incidents (808 offences) and violent crime (548 offences).


2. East Renfrewshire

Overall Crime Rate Of 23.8 Crimes Per 1000 People

One of Scotland’s smaller areas by size, East Renfrewshire more than makes up for that diminutive stature by encapsulating much of what makes the Scottish countryside so beautiful. The area seamlessly blends the fringes of the major metropolis of Glasgow with the wide open expanses of the moorlands, all underscored by a plummeting crime rate of 23.8 crimes per 1000 residents.

As the second safest area UK-wide, the falling figures across both road traffic offences (865 incidents) and violent crimes (456 incidents) serve to highlight just how well-protected East Renfrewshire is. However, there’s a sour note to that safety, with the region’s overall crime having risen by a noticeable 5% compared to 2022’s statistics.


1. Orkney Islands

Overall Crime Rate Of 22.8 Crimes Per 1000 People

Officially recognised as the UK’s safest area, the Orkney Islands are also one of its most remote and sparsely populated. A collection of more than 70 islands (only 20 of which are inhabited), the Orkneys have a long-established reputation as a safe haven to Scotland’s north, which is only emphasised by the low crime rate of 22.8 crimes per 1000 residents.

That storied reputation for safety and security means there’s been few incidents to report, even in the types of crime that are typical problematic. That includes dwindling figures in violent crime (135 offences) and crimes of dishonesty (112 offences).

However, there is a significant caveat. Crime in the Orkney Islands has risen by a staggering 39% when compared to the statistics we saw in 2022, and current trends in concerning types of crime like road traffic offences (608 offences in 2023, increased by 56%) means there’s likely to be significant changes to our rankings of the safest areas of the UK as we progress into 2024.


How We Sourced Our Data On The UK’s Safest Areas

In the interests of fairly representing the data we use for our crime statistic reports, as well as full transparency in what we do, we’ve used the most up-to-date governmental resources for England, Wales and Scotland. This includes the Scottish Government Data Repository, as well as information from the UK Government on crime broken down by Community Safety Partnerships.

This data, alongside independent resources and sources, allows us to give an objective look at the safest areas across the UK, and to take into account any key variables (like area size or population density).

We’ve then expressed this as a ratio of crimes per 1000 people living in the area, ensuring the statistics are easily digestible, and that they give a good indicator of crime and criminal activity in the area.

John Melling

Group Chief Executive Officer

John has a proven track record for motivating and leading high performance teams and has helped mentor and develop many people at Churchill who now hold key or senior positions within the business. John is committed to delivering only the finest services, exercising compelling leadership, maintaining good internal morale and striving to resolve any challenges efficiently and effectively.