Living in the UK as a resident or visiting as a tourist is a dream for many, especially since the country is renowned for its high standard of living and numerous tourist attractions like Buckingham Palace, Stonehenge, The Roman Baths and Georgian City of Bath, and many other historic monuments and buildings.
Whether you are an expat considering living in the UK or a UK resident looking for a new place to call home, the first thing you need to consider before the big move is the safety of the location.
Moreover, even if you are just a tourist looking to discover the streets of the UK, you will always have to make sure you are coming to the safest areas of the UK while avoiding the most dangerous ones as well.
If you can’t avoid it, then you’ll have to take extra precautions and be aware of your surroundings.
Generally, the UK is one of the safest places in the world. According to Crime Rate, the overall crime rate in the UK is 79.52 per 1,000 people from 2021 to 2022.
Keep in mind crime rates vary from city to city, so it’s essential to know about each one of them before coming to the city. As the saying goes, ‘better safe than sorry’.
In this article, you will learn about the 5 Most Dangerous Cities and 5 Safest Cities in the UK. In summary, the cities are as follows:
5 Most Dangerous Cities in the UK
5 Safest Cities in the UK
Further reading for UK places.
- Check out our guide to Safest Places and Most Dangerous Areas in London before you visit London.
- Before you consider moving to London, Check out our guide to Best Places to Live in London.
- If you are going to Buy A House In London, check out our detailed guide to Best Places To Buy A House In London.
- If you are looking for the most affordable places to live in London, Check out our guide to 15 Cheapest Places to Live in London (With Average Rental Price).
- You might want to take a look at the best places to live outside London. Check out our guide to the 10 best Commuter Towns to London.
- Living in London is not cheap, here is a list of the 15 Most Expensive Areas In London, which we call the richest part of London.
- Want to move to the UK, but have no idea what places to choose? Check out our guide to Best Place to Live in the UK.
5 Most Dangerous Cities in the UK
Listed below are some of the most dangerous cities in the UK that you can either avoid or take extra precautions.
After all, danger is everywhere and it’s just a matter of how you can stay safe. Some of the best ways to avoid attracting danger are through the following:
- Avoid wearing flashy clothes, jewellery, and luxury bags
- Never walk alone at night in dark areas
- Travel by group if possible
- Always have an emergency number ready to call
- Let your friends and family know where you are
- Population: 216,495
- Crime Rate (per 1,000 people): 146
Bradford is a city located in West Yorkshire. The city is best described as a cultural melting pot, with its diverse population being one of its major features.
Some call it the UK capital of curries because of its large South Asian population.
It’s strategically placed near the cities of Leeds and Manchester and yet manages to still be one of the cheapest cities to live in.
There are a large number of affordable schools and housing schemes and it has a good public transport system to boot.
The latest statistics show that the crime rate is around 146 per 1000 people, and sadly most of these reported offences were violent.
Many attribute this to the high unemployment rates in the city, which in 2018 was the highest in the region at 3.7%.
If you are ever in Bradford, you might want to visit some of its famous parks and museums such as the Bingley Five-Rise Lock, The Alhambra Theatre, Roberts Park, the National Science and Media Museum, and the Bradford Industrial Museum.
To add to this the city has the distinction of being a UNESCO city of film, which as a tourist is definitely worth further exploring.
- Population: 812,000
- Crime Rate (per 1,000 people): 134.77
Leeds is another West Yorkshire city that is unfortunately poised to take on the mantle of the most dangerous city in the UK.
This is a city that is most famous for its festivals, each of which draws thousands of tourists to the area.
The Leeds Festival, The West Indian Carnival, and the Leeds International Film Festival are just some of the top festivals hosted by the city.
If festivals are not your thing, you could also pop into the famous Harewood house, built in 1772 for the Earl of Harewood or the Royal Armouries Museum which houses the UK’s national arms and armour.
However, these bright spots in the city’s history are marred by its crime statistics. By March 2022 the city recorded crime stats of 134.77 per 1000 people.
By December 2021, there were 400 reports of burglaries and 694 criminal damage and arson offences, making it more dangerous than all of the other West Yorkshire areas.
- Population: 345,300
- Crime Rate (per 1,000 people): 102
Coventry is the second largest city in the West Midlands that is best known for being home to St Micheals cathedral, a 14th-century monument that was almost completely destroyed during World War II raids.
Despite its rich history, the city has in recent times been a host to a number of crimes, many of which are sexual offences.
In September 2022, there were 324 sexual offences and 101 car thefts in the city alone.
The overall crime rate stands at 102 per 1000 people, which might not be considered high in most parts of the world, but is certainly high for the UK.
According to the CCTV data collected by the Coventry City Council, there were around 28,000 crimes committed in this city, and it records high levels of burglaries.
- Population: 9.54 million
- Crime Rate (per 1,000 people): 92.8
Being the English capital, London hosts more than 13% of the total population of the UK.
It’s the third most populous city in Europe, but this doesn’t mean it’s safe to live here.
From 2021-2022, according to Statistica, there were 11,122 knife offences in this city, which is just the tip of the iceberg.
According to the data collected by Crime Rate, the regional crime rate in the City of London is 671% higher than in London and 770% higher than in England and Wales.
Some areas, including Westminster and Camden, have the highest number of crimes and definitely should be avoided by tourists or foreigners looking to relocate to London.
The number of offences in London from 2021-2022 was 835,822, and the number of violent crimes in the same period was 242,824.
These statistics show that crimes in London have gotten significantly worse over the last few years.
However, there are some Safest Places and Most Dangerous Areas in London.
So, whether you are a tourist coming to visit the most popular capital city of the United Kingdom or a foreigner looking to relocate to one of the top business hubs in the world, make sure to do your research and choose a safe area to live in.
- Population: 912,000
- Crime Rate (per 1,000 people): 128
Liverpool has a significantly higher crime rate than other cities in the UK due to huge gang problems.
Each year, knife crimes and other assaults are increasing as many teenagers are drawn into gangs and a life of crime.
In the past year, there were 63 bicycle thefts reported, and the crime rate was around 128 crimes per 1,000 people.
In recent months, three people were killed in just eight days due to gang violence.
The Liverpool police reported around 31,372 offences during 2021, violence and sexual offences being the most common.
The most minor crimes reported in this city were the illegal possession of weapons (643 offences), which is also a higher rate than most safer cities in the United Kingdom.
Overall, Liverpool has been a hotspot for drug trafficking since the mid-19th century, and for decades, there have been high numbers of poverty and deprivation.
Because of these situations, people have turned to crime over the years.
5 Safest Cities in the UK
The UK isn’t just about guns and crimes; there are safer cities with low homicide rates and potential danger where you will have a peace of mind that your friends and family are safe.
Overall, the United Kingdom is a great place to live, with higher job opportunities and less crime rate.
Below are the five safest cities in the United Kingdom after considering as many factors as possible.
Crime Rate (per 1,000 people): 30.79
Like every other city in the world, some crimes are reported in Edinburg from time to time, but the overall crime rate is much lower than in the other cities of the United Kingdom.
According to a survey from 2018, 90% of the citizens felt highly safe, with just a few who experienced crimes.
In another poll, this city was voted the safest out of the ten most famous cities in the United Kingdom.
Edinburgh is one of the most popular tourist destinations, and many solo travellers from all across the globe visit this beautiful destination.
In the famous city areas, you just have to stay aware of pickpockets and muggers, but besides that, you can relax because Edinburg is quite safe.
In the report published by the Scottish Government on 28 September 2021, the total crimes reported have decreased by 22%, which is a huge success if we look at the older times.
When visiting Edinburgh, stay inside the central part of the city and in a well-lit accommodation that has good reviews online.
Besides that, make sure to visit the architectural sites, bars, and go on hikes to see the beautiful view of the city.
You can also rent a car to visit the old towns and the countryside. If you are on a budget, use public transport, it’s excellent and extensive.
- Population: 108,326
- Crime Rate (per 1,000 people): 65
Bath is a famous historical city located in Somerset, England. According to the Police.UK, there were only 323 crimes reported in September 2022.
Only 99 offences were related to violence and sexual crimes, and 86 violations were related to anti-social behaviour and public order. It has a 15% lower crime rate than England and the Northern Island.
The city of Bath was named after (and is mainly known for) the Roman baths that can be visited today.
This city was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, which is why many history lovers from all across the world come to visit this city’s spring waters.
You can either walk around the city to enjoy its architecture or rent a bike to cycle along the canal path.
Overall, Bath is safe if you want to visit or relocate from another city/country.
You will find many friendly tourists and university students in the city centre. Just be aware of the pickpockets and homeless beggars around the park and abbey.
- Population: 227,430
- Crime Rate (per 1,000 people): 33.80
According to the data provided by the Scottish Government, there were around 15,781 crimes reported in Aberdeen City from 2021-2022, out of which only 819 were sexual crimes and 176 were serious assaults.
Other than this, most of the other crimes were non-violent, like environmental and licensing offences.
Aberdeen is the third most famous and populous city in Scotland, which has been settled for around 8,000 years.
In the past, this city was famous for paper making, fishing, and local granite mining.
Recently, it has become one of Scotland’s biggest business hubs and hosts the country’s five largest businesses.
According to Scotland’s Town, the city is considered the safest city in Scotland and the fourth safest in the United Kingdom.
Moreover, the city retains Purple Flag status for the seventh year in a row.
In the United Kingdom, Purple Flag is awarded to the cities which are famous for their safety and where residents and visitors can enjoy entertainment and culture without worrying about their well-being.
- Population: 201,669
- Crime Rate (per 1,000 people): 68
With fantastic countryside views, low crime levels, and excellent life expectancy, Swindon has been named among the safest cities in the United Kingdom.
With only 68 crimes reported per 1,000 working people each year, it has one of the lowest crime rates out of most areas in England and Wales.
Swindon has the Swindon Community Safety Partnership, which aims to create a safe place for the residents of this city and improve their quality of life.
Swindon is known as a “quiet town,” but it hosts many festivals and cultural events yearly, including the Old Town Festival and the Swindon Spring Festival.
It also has a Cheese and Chilli Festival and MFor festival, where more than 10,000 visitors enjoy live music and food stalls.
If you are an art lover, make sure to visit the art galleries and watch live shows and exhibitions.
Overall, Swindon is a safe city for both tourists and citizens. There are around seventy primary schools in Swindon, so there are many options for families to choose from.
You can also visit the places where the two James Bond movies were filmed, even though only a few seconds of footage was used in both movies.
The social life in Swindon is fantastic; you will love it there.
Crime Rate (per 1,000 people): 75.72
According to the data published by the Police.UK, only 216 crimes were reported in September 2022.
92 crimes were related to violence and sexual offences, while the rest were shoplifting and anti-social behaviour.
According to a recent study conducted on the 30 largest cities of the United Kingdom, Plymouth is among the top five safest places to live due to its low crime rate and safety measures.
The authorities have also planted thirteen “help points” in Plymouth, connected to the city’s CCTV control room for keeping people safe, especially at night.
When any one of the help points is activated, CCTV staff monitors the situation and sends the required emergency staff to the scene.
These kinds of practical measures are the reasons why Plymouth is considered one of the safest cities all across the United Kingdom.
If you are planning to visit Plymouth, make sure to visit the oldest commercial bakery and working distillery.
You can also see the largest Western European naval base and enjoy the outstanding view.
After seeing the list of the most dangerous cities and safest cities in UK, you can easily choose the places to visit and which ones you should avoid.
To make this list as accurate as possible, we have considered a lot of factors, including pickpocketing, violence, sexual assault, and robberies.
We have also linked the official resources so you can confirm the information from the source.
Keep in mind there are good and evil in every city. Even if you are visiting one of the safest cities in the United Kingdom, make sure to follow simple precautionary measures to avoid getting harmed.
Try to avoid going out at night, and ensure to keep your valuables in a safe space when going out to a public place, club, or a bar.
To learn more about places in the UK, check out our guides on the following: