Crime statistics can make for grim reading, especially if offences are on the rise in your area. But what about the places where crime rates are actually improving?
We’ve analysed police recorded crime data to highlight which parts of the country have seen an improvement in levels of recorded crime.
Note that the latest crime data relates to the year ending March 2020, so the effects of the coronavirus lockdown (which saw crime rates drop across the board) won’t be seen in the numbers.
Looking at the overall numbers of recorded crimes between the last two years, it’s clear that Lancashire has experienced the biggest improvement, with nine of the top ten most improved authorities found in the red rose county, including Preston, where recorded crime dropped by 50.3 per 1,000 people.
Outside of Lancashire, other areas which experienced the biggest drops in crime include Newcastle upon Tyne (down 19.2 per 1,000 people), the remote Isles of Scilly, (-11.4), and Stoke-on-Trent (-10.8).
Violent crime can, of course, be one of the most devastating to victims, and while the figures do show that recorded violent crime has gone up in some areas, in many, it has thankfully dropped considerably.
Once again, we see that authorities in Lancashire reported the biggest decreases, especially in Preston (down by 18.6 per 1,000 people) and Blackpool (-12.7).
Other areas which reported significant decreases in violent crime include Thanet (-6.7) and Folkestone & Hythe (-4.6), both in Kent and Newcastle upon Tyne (-3.7).
The picture was far more varied when it comes to the areas which have seen the biggest decreases in the number of reported robberies, although it’s also notable that levels haven’t dropped quite as much as with other crimes.
Redbridge in London saw the biggest decrease, with robberies dropping by 0.52 per 1,000 people, closely followed by Cambridge (-0.51) and Stoke (-0.50).
While Preston once again saw the biggest drop in offences when it came to theft (down by 16.1 per 1,000 people), this was followed by a number of areas from around the North and Midlands, including Sandwell, West Midlands (-10.2) and Charnwood (-9.2) and Leicester (-9.1), both in Leicestershire.
As we’ve seen, the majority of crimes saw the biggest improvement in the North, but this wasn’t the case when it came to recorded drug offences.
In fact, it was Woking that saw the biggest decrease, with drug offences dropping by 1.31 per 1,000 people between 2019 and 2020, followed predominantly by other areas in the South, such as Kensington & Chelsea (the UK’s wealthiest district).
All data sourced from the Office for National Statistics’ recorded crime data at Community Safety Partnership area..
Figures are a rolling 12-month total for the year ending March 2019 compared to the year ending March 2020.
For each authority, we calculated the number of crimes per 1,000 people and the year on year change per 1,000 people, as well as the percentage change.
Note that local authorities with less than 50 crimes have been omitted and that data for Greater Manchester was unavailable due to the implementation of a new IT system in July 2019, so a fair comparison was not possible.
This data only includes local authorities in England and Wales, as those in Scotland and Northern Ireland have separate criminal justice systems.