During the 2022/23 reporting year, England and Wales saw over 6.7 million criminal offences, and around 2 million were categorised as violent crimes. Whilst security guard training can equip people with the qualifications to help keep our streets safe, violent crime is difficult to eliminate.
We have gathered crime data from the last two years across England and Wales to determine the most violent areas. As well as this, we have provided expert comments concerning the spike in crime, offering solutions to help you stay safe. Here’s what we found.
With over 760 crimes per 10,000 residents, Blackpool is the most violent area in England and Wales
The following rank reveals the areas across England and Wales with the highest violent crime rate over the last year.
1. Blackpool – 769.7 Violent Crimes per 10,000 Residents
Totalling nearly 770 violent crimes per 10,000 residents, Blackpool has seen more violent crimes than any other area in England and Wales. Known best for its amusement park, Pleasure Beach, this town has a rich history with tourists. Unfortunately, you may need to be careful if you have planned a trip here, as Blackpool witnessed nearly 11,000 violent crimes last year.
2. Middlesbrough – 657.6 Violent Crimes per 10,000 Residents
Middlesbrough has garnered a reputation over the last year for violent crimes, with over 650 offences per 10,000 residents since March 2022. From threatening the use of violence to committing assault, over 9,400 cases of violent-related crimes have been reported in this English town.
3. Thanet – 621.5 Violent Crimes per 10,000 Residents
Thanet is completing our top three areas with the highest violent crime rate per 10,000 residents. Located in the English county of Kent, this government district has been responsible for over 8,700 violent crimes between March 2022 and March 2023, which equates to 621.5 crimes per 10,000 residents – the third highest of any location on our list
You won’t find an area with a lower violent crime rate than Richmond upon Thames, totalling 153.2 violent crimes per 10,000 residents
From the most violent areas to the least, our following list shows the locations with the fewest number of violent crimes per 10,000 residents since March 2022.
1. Richmond upon Thames – 153.2 Violent Crimes per 10,000 Residents
With just over 153 violent crimes per 10,000 residents, Richmond upon Thames takes the top spot on our list. Despite having the fewest violent crimes per 10,000 residents, this London borough is still far from perfect in crime, as there have been almost 3,000 violent-related offences in the last year.
2. Wealden – 154.4 Violent Crimes per 10,000 Residents
Next up on our list of areas with the fewest violent crimes in England and Wales is Wealden. This district prides itself on protecting its rural landscape, and the residents here are equally as keen to protect each other, evidenced by the 154.4 violent crimes per 10,000 residents – the second lowest of all the entries on our ranking.
3. Ribble Valley – 156.7 Violent Crimes per 10,000 Residents
Ribble Valley falls shy of the second spot, with 156.7 violent crimes per 10,000 residents. Despite this English district having the lowest number of violent crime cases on our list, totalling 970, the area takes third place when the population is concerned.
Cannock Chase has seen a 52% increase in violent crime – a more significant change than any other area in England and Wales
While some areas have seen consistently high levels of violent crime over the years, other regions have seen a spike during recent times. Below is a list of the places in England and Wales with the most significant change in violent crime between March 2021/22 and March 2022/23.
1. Cannock Chase – 52% change in violent crime
Located in the West Midlands, this district has seen a 52% increase in crimes under the category ‘violence against the person’. Despite having seen a spike in violent incidents here, Cannock Chase is known for its peaceful and serene landscapes.
2. South Staffordshire – 44% change in violent crime
South Staffordshire is next on our list of areas in England and Wales with the most significant changes in violent crime, totalling a 44% increase. As the second area in this top three located in the West Midlands, this English region has become a cropper to crime in the last couple of years.
3.East Staffordshire, Stafford – 42% change in violent crime
East Staffordshire and Stafford belong to the same English county, and it seems that their similarities do not end there, as these locations also share similar patterns when it comes to committing violence. These two areas have seen a 42% change in violent crime since 2021, the third-biggest increase of all regions across England and Wales.
Weapon crimes have increased by almost 15% in the last five years, more than any other crime
From one year to five, the following list reveals the crimes which have seen the most significant increase between August 2018 – 2023.
1. Weapons – 14.70% increase
In 2018, there were just over 3,600 recorded weapon crimes; as of 2023, this number has increased by over 14%. Weapon crimes can encompass any firearm regarded as offensive, including knives and guns. Unfortunately, over 4,100 cases of weapon crime occurred during August 2023.
2. Shoplifting – 11.10% increase
Shoplifting is the most common type of crime in our top three. As well as this, shoplifting has seen an 11.10% change over the last five years, the second-highest increase of any crime in England and Wales.
3. Drugs – 6.46% increase
With so many types of illegal drugs, offences of this kind have proved challenging to eradicate. Sadly, there has been a 6.46% change in this type of crime between August 2018 and August 2023, the third-biggest increase of any crime on our list.
Months with the highest volume of violent crime
From changes in temperature to the amount of daylight we see, different times of the year can bring about very different atmospheres. The list below reveals the months of the year responsible for the most violent crimes.
1. October – 176,029 Violent Crimes
October 2022 saw over 176,000 violent crimes committed across England and Wales, the highest of any month between March 2022-2023. From Halloween to darker nights, October is known for being scary, but it seems that we may need to take extra precautions during this month if we are to protect ourselves from violence.
2. June – 175,133 Violent Crimes
June is the second most common month regarding violence in England and Wales. In 2023, the UK saw its warmest June on record, and it appears that people get hot-headed when the sun comes out, as this month saw over 175,000 violent crimes committed.
3.March – 171,693 Violent Crimes
Ironically, Zero Discrimination Day is celebrated every year in March to promote peace and compassion across the globe. Unfortunately, many have missed the memo as March 2023 resulted in more than 171,000 violent crimes across England and Wales – the third-highest of any month in the last year.
What are the most common months to commit crimes?
Due to the nature of certain crimes, some offences are more likely to occur at certain times of the year. We have gathered data on various offences to reveal which crimes are most common in what month.
January is an exciting time for many as we revel in the presents we received from Christmas. Unfortunately, it appears that criminals are taking advantage of these new gifts as cases of burglary spike in January.
Ensuring that your doors are locked and any windows are shut before you go to bed is an easy way to protect yourself against someone stealing your belongings. Other solutions include the installation of burglar alarms or security systems that will alert you to intruders.
June & July (Weapons)
June and July are the most frequent months for weapon-related crimes across England and Wales. As the summer months begin, we tend to transition from trousers to shorts, which can often lead to people being more exposed. As a result, it is harder for criminals to conceal weapons, which is likely the reason for the spike in weapon crimes.
By having walk-through metal detectors in venues, authorities can limit the chances of any harm being caused by people carrying weapons.
Most people would assume that December would be prime time for people to steal from shops, but shoplifting is most common in July. With more daylight during the summer months, there is more opportunity to commit crime, particularly for teenagers who are out of school and unsupervised.
Educating young people on the consequences of committing crimes such as these can help create a better environment for future generations. Suppose you are interested in taking a more practical approach to reduce shoplifting. In that case, applying for a Security Guard Licence and helping ramp up security in shops is more straightforward than ever.
October (Violent crime, ASB, Public Order, Vehicle, Drugs, Bike Theft, Robbery, CD&A)
The people of England and Wales are taking the ‘trick’ in ‘trick or treating’ a step too far as seven different types of crimes appear to spike during the spooky season. October 2022 saw more than 450,000 crimes committed across the following categories: violent crime, robbery, anti-social behaviour, vehicle, criminal damage and arson, drugs, bike theft, and public order offences.
We recommend installing CCTV on your premises to deter criminals from committing anti-social behaviour, theft, or violence. This solution will act as a deterrent, which should scare away any potential lawbreakers, and in the unfortunate event that a crime occurs, you will have video evidence against the offender. While almost anyone can install a camera in their home, you will need a CCTV licence to work with public space surveillance.
December (Theft from the person)
With Christmas looming, December is always a tough time for our bank accounts. Unfortunately, we must be even more protective of our valuables in December as ‘theft from the person’ crimes frequently occur this month.
With the average phone price setting you back over £350, it is evident that victims of snatched property can lose out on a lot of money, and depending on the severity of the offence, a crime of this kind can land you in prison for years. To avoid becoming a victim of theft, you should keep your valuables hidden and hold on tight to any bags when walking the streets.
We used GOV.UK to find the following data for each local authority across England and Wales as of March 2023: annual number of violent crimes and the percentage change in violent crimes between 2021/22- 2022/23.
By dividing the number of violent crimes by each area’s population and multiplying this by 10,000, we calculated the number of violent crimes per 10,000 residents.
We used UKCrimeStats to find the number of crimes committed per type per month for the following timeframes: September 2022 – August 2023 and August 2018.
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