The Top 10 Most Dangerous Areas in Scotland

June 24, 2022

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Where are the most Dangerous Places in Scotland?

Here at Churchill Support Services, we’re a big fan of crime rankings. As a security provider, we think it’s always a good idea to know the crime rate in your area. If you know your business is situated in an area with a high crime rate, you can deploy counteractive security measures to protect your people and property.

In the past, we’ve analysed the crime rate in London Boroughs, Manchester, and England and Wales, carrying out a top 10 ranking from available crime stats. In this blog, we’ll be making Churchill history by tackling the crime rate in Scotland.


Overall Crime Rate in Scotland

In the past ten years, the total recorded crime in Scotland has decreased by around 22%. In 1991, crime reached a record high in the area with 572,921 crimes reported that year. Since then, crime has been gradually decreasing in Scotland, though has remained fairly stable from 2017-18. Between 2020-2021, around 246,511 crimes were recorded across Scotland, or around 890 crimes and offences per 10,000 people.


Creating Our Top 10 Ranking

To create our top 10 ranking, we’ve taken a look at the latest stats on the GOV.SCOT website. By ‘most dangerous areas’, we mean local authorities with the highest crime rate per 10,000 people. Rather than simply looking at the total number of crimes, assessing crimes per 10,000 helps to put things in perspective by taking into consideration the population of the area.

So, now we’ve got the methodology out the way, let’s dive right into our top 10 list, starting at number 10.


10. Renfrewshire- 877 crimes per 10,000 people

Coming in tenth place in Churchill’s most dangerous areas of Scotland is the council of Renfrewshire. Situated in the west central lowlands, Renfrewshire borders Glasgow, North Ayrshire, and West Dunbartonshire. Notable places of interest in Renfrewshire include Castle Semple Loch and the Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park, as well as the historic town of Paisley. And with 877 crimes per 10,000 people, it comes in 10th place on our list.

Taking a closer look at specific crime categories, it’s not hard to see why Renfrewshire only comes in 10th place; the area ranks quite low across the board when compared to others on our top 10 list. There is one notable exception, however: Renfrewshire ranks in third place for breaches of coronavirus restrictions out of the top 10 crime hotspots.

9. Clackmannanshire- 883 crimes per 10,000 people

As Britain’s smallest historic county, Clackmannanshire is often affectionately nicknamed “The Wee County”. Despite its small size, the area still makes our top 10, coming in 9th place with 883 crimes per 10,000 people. The county contains several historical houses and castles, as well as natural sites such as the Ochil Hills and the Black Devon River.

In terms of the individual crime categories, the ‘Wee Country’ seems to be all over the place. It ranks in last place for motor offences and second-to-last for crimes of dishonesty, but second-highest for crimes of violence with 27 crimes per 10,000 people, as well as fire-raising and vandalism.

8. Perth & Kinross – 891 crimes per 10,000 people

Encompassing the historic counties of Perthshire and Kinross-shire, Perth and Kinross is a unitary authority that borders 6 other council areas. The area is split by the Highland Boundary Fault into mountainous and flat topography. The northern area is popular with tourists and Perth and Kinross contains several places of interest and historical significance.

Despite being eighth on our list, Perth & Kinross actually ranks the lowest out of our top 10 for three crime categories: crimes of dishonesty, fire-raising, vandalism, etc. and Coronavirus restrictions. It does, however, rank second highest for motor vehicle offences and joint fifth place for sexual crimes.

7. North Ayrshire-928 crimes per 10,000 people

The North Ayrshire council area covers the northern part of the historic county of Ayrshire, as well as the Isle of Arran, which makes up half of the area, despite being home to less than 4% of the council’s population. Despite this, North Ayrshire comes in seventh place on our list, with a crime rate of 928 per 10,000 people.

Taking a look at the individual crime categories, North Ayrshire seems to rank in the middle when compared with the others on our list. It does rank last place for sexual crimes, with 20 crimes per 10,000, 4 below the national average, as well as second lowest for motor vehicle offences. On the other hand, the council areas are ranked four highest for crimes of dishonesty.

6. Aberdeen City- 1,012 crimes per 10,000 people

Just missing out on the top 5 spot, Aberdeen City comes in sixth place in the ranking with a crime rate of 1,021 per 10,000 people. Both a city and a council area, Aberdeen is the third most populous city in Scotland. The city is home to two universities: the University of Aberdeen and The Robert Gordon University. Situated between two rivers and near a coast, Aberdeen also has a maritime history and is still strongly connected with the North Sea gas and oil industry.

Aberdeen ranks fairly high for some of the individual crime categories when compared with the other places on our list, ranking third place for both sexual crimes and crimes of dishonesty, as well as fourth place for crimes of violence. Aberdeen City does, however, rank low for coronavirus restrictions, coming in second lowest out of our top 10.

5. North Lanarkshire-1,023 crimes per 10,000 people

Now we’re in the top 5 most dangerous areas in Scotland, and North Lanarkshire comes in fifth place with a crime rate of 1,023 crimes per 10,000 people. Situated in the Central Valley of Scotland, the council area borders the City of Glasgow in the southwest, which makes this area the most densely populated thanks to the Glasgow suburbs and commuter town/villages.

Its close proximity to Glasgow could be the reason it comes in fifth place, as North Lanarkshire ranks fairly highly in the crime categories. Indeed, the area ranks fourth highest for crimes of dishonesty, Fire-raising, vandalism, etc. and Coronavirus restrictions, as well as sixth place for violent and sexual crimes.

4. Dumfries & Galloway- 1,176 crimes per 10,000 people

Located in the Southern Uplands, Dumfries and Galloway are the council areas that encompass the historic counties of Dumfriesshire and Kirkcudbrightshire and Wigtownshire (which combine to form Galloway). The area contains three national scenic areas: the Nith Estuary, the East Stewartry Coast and the Fleet Valley. It also boasts some beautiful coastal scenery. Despite all this natural beauty, it’s still the 4th most dangerous area in Scotland with 1,176 crimes per 10,000 people.

Let’s take a closer look at the crime categories. On a positive note, Dumfries and Galloway ranks lowest for violent crimes and second lowest for fire raising and vandalism. Sadly, it comes in second highest for sexual crimes and first place for motoring offences, with 472 offences per 10,000 people.

3. West Dunbartonshire- 1,232 crimes per 10,000 people

Taking the bronze medal for our top 10 ranking, West Dunbartonshire comes in third place with a crime rate of 1,232 crimes per 10,000 people. Bordering four other council areas and lying to the West of Glasgow, West Dunbartonshire is the home of many commuter towns and villages. Although Dumbarton is the administrative centre, the largest town in West Dunbartonshire is Clydebank.

When we take a look at the separate crime categories, West Dunbartonshire ranks in fifth place for violent crimes, sexual crimes and fire-raising, vandalism, etc, as well as fourth place for motor vehicle offences. West Dunbartonshire also tops our ranking for breaches of coronavirus restrictions, with 123 offences per 10,000.

2. Glasgow City- 1,305 crimes per 10,000 people

Coming in at second place in our top 10 is Glasgow City. As the most populous city in Scotland, it may come as no surprise that the city is at the top end of our ranking. Glasgow also has a historic reputation for being a dangerous city, but in recent decades has gone through a renovation and is now the largest economy in Scotland. Despite this, it still ranks second with 1,305 crimes per 10,000 people.

Glasgow City also ranks in second place for crimes of dishonesty, and breaches of coronavirus restrictions. The city also comes in third place for fire-raising and vandalism and crimes of violence, as well as fourth highest for sexual crimes.

1. Dundee City- 1,418 crimes per 10,000 people

And topping the charts for the most dangerous areas of Scotland is Dundee City. Situated in the eastern Lowlands and on the bank of the Firth of Tay, Dundee City was called the “Coolest Little City in Britain” by GQ magazine in 2015. Despite only being Scotland’s fourth-largest city and the second most populous area, it ranks in first place for crime with 1,418 crimes per 10,000 people.

Looking at the individual crime categories, it’s not hard to see why Dundee City comes out on top. It ranks highest out of our top 10 for crimes of violence, sexual crimes, crimes of dishonesty and fire-raising and vandalism. Despite this, Dundee only ranks in fourth place for breaches of coronavirus restrictions.


So, that was the top 10 most dangerous areas of Scotland. If you’ve got a business in one of these areas and are looking to protect your business from crime, why not check out Churchill Support Services. With security guarding, CCTV service, mobile security, key holding and alarm response services, we have a range of security services to provide the protection your business needs.


Churchill Support Services is a leading cross-industry security provider, supplying professional and comprehensive solutions to organisations seeking expert security services and electronic systems.

To find out more about how Churchill Support Services can support your business and its operations, get in touch with us today.

John Melling

Managing Director

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.