10 Most Dangerous Cities in the UK (2022) | House Grail (2023)

Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.

The UK ranks as the 116th most dangerous country to live in. It experiences 600 homicides a year with the majority of crime concentrated in the capital, London, as well as some of the other major cities with the largest populations. Overall, the UK has a population of approximately 67 million people, and according to official statistics, 6.1 million crimes were reported during 2020/2021, with 2 million of those considered to be crimes against another person, equivalent to 2,985 crimes per 100,000 people. There were 600 homicides recorded across the nations, which gives a homicide rate of 0.9 per 100,000.

2019/2020 saw knife crimes reach a peak of 49,000 across England and Wales, although the figure did drop to 41,000 in 2020/2021, but some of this fall can be attributed to national Covid lockdowns.

Below, we have listed ten of the most dangerous cities in the UK.

10 Most Dangerous Cities in the UK (2022) | House Grail (1)

The 10 Most Dangerous Cities in the UK: A Quick Look

1. Cardiff

10 Most Dangerous Cities in the UK (2022) | House Grail (2)
Population357,200

According to surveys, Cardiff is the UK city where residents feel the least safe, and with a crime rate of 5,100 crimes per 100,000, their concerns are perhaps justified. Respondents cited increases in knife crimes as well as murders, vandalism, and theft. More than a third do not feel safe at night and more than 30% feel unsafe during the day. 767 per 100,000 incidents of violence against the person leading to injury were reported.

Cardiff is the capital of Wales and its most populous city. Although it remained a small town until the turn of the 20th Century, it became a popular coal mining port at this time and was ranked as a city in 1905 before becoming Wales’s capital in 1955. As well as having a population of more than 350,000 residents, more than 20 million people visit every year. Wales is known as the castle capital of Europe and Cardiff itself has earned the nickname of the city of castles: there are 20 within a 90-mile radius.

2. Birmingham

10 Most Dangerous Cities in the UK (2022) | House Grail (3)
Population2,626,374

In the same poll that put Cardiff as the most dangerous UK city, Birmingham ranked 2nd. Incidents of knife crimes rose in the city by 20% in 2019, reaching a total of 3,428 for the year. There were 23 murders using a knife or sharp implement. Knifepoint robberies and knife assaults also rose during the period. In recent years, there have been several well-publicised knife attacks in the UK’s second most populated city. What’s more, Birmingham also has the highest rate of gun crime in the UK.

Birmingham city has a population of approximately 1.1 million people while the urban area has a population of just over 2.6 million and the metropolitan area a population of 3.5 million. Described as the first manufacturing town in the world in the late 18th Century, Birmingham thrived until the early 20th Century. It is now considered a major service hub, has five universities, and is a major cultural hub for England. The city suffers one of the worst unemployment figures in the UK, which is often associated with high crime rates.

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3. London

10 Most Dangerous Cities in the UK (2022) | House Grail (4)
Population8,982,000

London had one of the highest crime rates in the UK with 8330 crimes per 100,000 people in 2021, although the figure was a much higher 10,240 per 100,000 in 2020, before Covid lockdowns. 122 homicides were recorded in the UK capital in 2020/21. The City of London itself is one of the most dangerous towns in the country, although this is expected because of the size of the population.

More than 13% of the UK’s total population lives in London and, as well as being the nation’s capital, it is also the most populous city and the third most populous city in Europe. It is considered a global city and is the country’s primary centre for everything from the economy to government to arts, education, and fashion. London has also ranked as the most visited city in the world, prior to Covid lockdowns, with more than 65 million visitors flocking there every year.

4. Bradford

10 Most Dangerous Cities in the UK (2022) | House Grail (5)

Bradford has a population of more than half a million people and is in Northern England. It has an overall crime rate of 13,300 per 100,000 which is one of the highest in the country. More than 20,000 incidents of violence and sexual offences were recorded in 2020: marginally higher than 2019’s figure and equivalent to 6,100 per 100,000.

Bradford came to prominence in the 19th Century as a major textile manufacturing location, thanks to its easy access to coal, iron, and fleece. It has gained the nicknames of Wool City and Woolopolis. It also became the first UNESCO City of Film. However, rates of unemployment in some areas of Bradford are over 25% and the city is said to have some of the worst levels of social deprivation in the UK.

5. Nottingham

10 Most Dangerous Cities in the UK (2022) | House Grail (6)
Population337,100

Nottingham’s city has a population of 337,100, making it the UK’s 14th largest city. It is considered one of the most dangerous cities in the UK, although knife crime has dropped in the city. The number of homicides reported in the year to March 2020, just before the UK went into lockdown, was 14, which represents a significant rise from 9 in the 12 months previous. Although violent crimes against the person were down, there was a big rise in stalking and harassment, and in public order, possession of weapons offences, and firearm offences.

Nottingham is well known for its links to the Robin Hood legend and also for lacemaking and links to the tobacco industry. The city is home to the headquarters of some major businesses including Boots, Pedigree Petfoods, E.On Energy, and Gala Bingo. More than 35 million tourists and visitors ascend on the city each year.

6. Liverpool

10 Most Dangerous Cities in the UK (2022) | House Grail (7)
Population498,042

With a population of half a million people, Liverpool is the country’s seventh largest by population and third most dangerous major city in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It had a crime rate equivalent to 10,700 per 100,000 residents with one of the worst rates of bicycle theft. It also has high rates of burglary, criminal damage, and arson. However, the most common crimes are violence and sexual offences, which saw a 6% increase in 2020 compared to 2019.

Liverpool was named the European Capital of Culture in 2008: a status which the city has used to improve its economic status. Following the construction of the city’s first wet dock in 1715, Liverpool became one of the country’s primary shipping centres and its population and economy grew. During the 19th Century, its economy rivalled and even surpassed that of London. The second half of the 20th Century saw a significant downturn in Liverpool’s fortunes, although it is currently undergoing major regeneration.

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7. Leicester

10 Most Dangerous Cities in the UK (2022) | House Grail (8)
Population329,839

The city of Leicester in the East Midlands has a population of 329,839 and in 2020 it had a crime rate equivalent to 9,700 per 100,000 people. Violence and sexual offences accounted for 4,100 per 100,000 population in 2020, which saw a significant 9% rise from the year before. However, the city did see a drop of 78% in theft in the same year.

Leicester became a major manufacturing city in the 19th Century, thanks to direct canal links with Birmingham and London. It was especially prominent in textiles and clothing manufacturing, although construction and engineering manufacturers also set up shop within the borders. Having become an established retail and shopping city, Leicester has been hit particularly hard by pandemic lockdowns, and there have been concerns raised over working conditions and salaries in Leicester’s manufacturing industry.

8. Blackpool

10 Most Dangerous Cities in the UK (2022) | House Grail (9)
Population139,720

Although not strictly a city, the seaside town of Blackpool, with a population of 139,720 people, is a significant town in the North West of England. It had a crime rate of 13,100 per 100,000 residents in 2020 and, by this figure, is the third most dangerous major town in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Violence and sexual offences were equivalent to 6,200 per 100,000, although this is a 7% drop compared to the year before.

In the mid-18th Century, Blackpool was a popular summer vacation spot, especially following the construction of a new private road in 1781. However, it was the construction of a railroad in the 1840s, connecting it to major Northern cities and boroughs. Its population grew to 14,000 by 1880. Its popularity dropped, however, as it became easier and less expensive to holiday abroad. The resort still attracts millions of visitors each year but has previously been ranked as having the fourth highest homicide rate in the country and violent crime rates above national averages.

9. Manchester

10 Most Dangerous Cities in the UK (2022) | House Grail (10)
Population553,230

Manchester has a population of more than half a million people and has the second largest metropolitan area outside London and behind Birmingham. It had a crime rate of 9,730 per 100,000 in 2020/2021 and the most common crimes in the city are anti-social behaviour followed by violent crimes and then criminal damage. The Northwest of England, as a whole, had the second highest homicide rate in the UK. This area includes Manchester, Liverpool, and Blackpool, all of which feature in this list of the most dangerous cities in the UK.

Once a textile powerhouse, Manchester has become a cultural hub and recent efforts have seen its media industry flourish. It has two universities and a college of music, which means that there is a large student population in the city and, in the Greater Manchester area, which has a population of nearly 3 million people, 620,000 people live in poverty with 20% of jobs paying less than the living wage.

10. Derby

Population258,746

With a population of 258,746, Derby’s crime rate for 2020 was 10,700 per 100,000 people and one of the highest in the UK. 12,768 incidents of violence and sexual offences were registered, equating to a crime rate of 4,800, which was a 9% increase from 2019.

Although initially a market town, Derby became known as an industrial centre and especially for its silk manufacture. The opening of a Rolls Royce car and aircraft factory also improved its status as a manufacturing centre. Today, the city is known for its deaf community, which is believed to be three times that of the national average, and it retains its position as a manufacturing powerhouse with the aerospace and rail sectors accounting for 12% of the city’s total employment.

Related Read:15 Most Dangerous Cities In Europe

10 Most Dangerous Cities in the UK (2022) | House Grail (11)

What Is The Most Common Crime In The UK?

Although homicide rates in the UK are low, and it is generally considered a safe country, there are some crimes that occur more frequently.

Antisocial behaviour offences are one of the most common types, and these include offences such as harassment as well as consuming alcohol on the streets and the misuse of fireworks. There was a considerable rise in antisocial behaviour offences during lockdowns, as they were handed out for unlawful gatherings as well as to some protestors.

ABH, or Actual Bodily Harm, is any assault that causes physical harm to the victim. If the victim suffers more serious harm, this would be GBH or Grievous Bodily Harm.

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10 Most Dangerous Cities in the UK (2022) | House Grail (12)

How to Stay Safe In The UK

There are some basic steps that you can take to hopefully stay safe during a visit to the UK, including:

  • Always Carry A Mobile Phone – Always have a mobile phone with you. If needed, you can call the police or emergency services for assistance.
  • Don’t Show It Off – However, don’t have your mobile phone, or other valuables on display. Opportunist thieves may take this as a sign that you are worth their attention.
  • Avoid Trouble Spots – Dark alleys, pubs at closing time, and secluded parks at night are all locations that you should avoid, even if they represent the quickest route to your location.
  • Trust Your Instincts – If a situation looks like it presents some kind of danger, avoid it. Listen and pay attention to your surroundings so that you will spot the first signs of danger.
  • Act Confidently – Criminals typically look for people that they think are an easy target and offer some reward. As well as keeping your valuables in your bag or pocket, walk confidently and with purpose: it will put some potential attackers off.

Related Read:25 Safest Cities in Mexico

10 Most Dangerous Cities in the UK (2022) | House Grail (13)

Conclusion

The UK is considered a safe country and has a low homicide rate per capita. However, crimes do still occur, with antisocial, violence, and sexual offences being among some of the most common. The majority of high-crime areas are major cities and, as is true in most countries, those areas with high unemployment and high poverty rates. University cities also tend to attract more trouble, although this isn’t always the case, as cities like Cambridge are considered among the safest in the UK.

You might also be interested in:10 Safest Cities in Europe

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Contents

  • 1 The 10 Most Dangerous Cities in the UK: A Quick Look
    • 1.1 1. Cardiff
    • 1.2 2. Birmingham
    • 1.3 3. London
    • 1.4 4. Bradford
    • 1.5 5. Nottingham
    • 1.6 6. Liverpool
    • 1.7 7. Leicester
    • 1.8 8. Blackpool
    • 1.9 9. Manchester
    • 1.10 10. Derby
  • 2 What Is The Most Common Crime In The UK?
  • 3 How to Stay Safe In The UK
  • 4 Conclusion

FAQs

What city in the UK is the most violent? ›

Doncaster in South Yorkshire has been named the UK's most unsafe place to live by Get Licensed due to a very low perceived sense of safety among residents and high rates of violent and sexual crimes.

What is the most dangerous city in the UK 2021? ›

According to the list, the most dangerous city in Europe is Bradford in West Yorkshire, which has a crime index value of a whopping 71.24. This also makes it the 26th most dangerous city in the world.

Where is the safest place to live in the UK 2022? ›

1. Bath. Bath is a large city in Somerset, England, with a population of nearly 100,000 people.

What is the most dangerous city in Europe 2022? ›

Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities in Europe
RankingCitiesCrime Index score
1Bradford69.45
2Nantes65.77
3Catania64.90
4Coventry64.21
6 more rows
29 Aug 2022

What is the poorest place in England? ›

Jaywick
Shire countyEssex
RegionEast
CountryEngland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
15 more rows

Which town in England has the highest murder rate? ›

Bradford

It has an overall crime rate of 13,300 per 100,000 which is one of the highest in the country.

What is the safest place to live in the UK? ›

The top 10 safest places to live in the UK
  • Cumbria. 65.62 crimes per 1000 people. ...
  • West Mercia. 65.31 crimes per 1000 people. ...
  • Devon and Cornwall. 56.29 crimes per 1000 people. ...
  • Surrey. 53.91 crimes per 1000 people. ...
  • North Yorkshire. 52.73 crimes per 1000 people. ...
  • Wiltshire. 52.17 crimes per 1000 people. ...
  • Aberdeen City. ...
  • Ards & North Down.
24 Jun 2022

Does UK have a high crime rate? ›

The police recorded 710 homicide offences in the year ending March 2022, a 25% increase compared with the year ending March 2021 [note 1]. The rate of homicide in the population remains low at 12 per 1 million people in the year ending March 2022, compared with 10 per 1 million people in the year ending March 2021.

What is the most peaceful city in the UK? ›

Liverpool has been crowned the safest city in the UK for families to live in, thanks to its sense of security, low crime rate and number of CCTV cameras.

What is the cheapest city to live in UK? ›

Here are the low-cost living cities and the cheapest place to live in England:
  • Durham.
  • Belfast.
  • Leicester.
  • Stirling.
  • Lancaster.
  • Cardiff.
  • Newcastle.
  • Coventry.
12 Aug 2022

Which city in UK is best for living? ›

Best Places to Live in the UK
  • London. As the capital of England, London is the largest city in the UK and has grown into one the biggest cities in all of Europe. ...
  • Edinburgh. ...
  • Birmingham. ...
  • Manchester. ...
  • Reading. ...
  • Southampton. ...
  • Glasgow. ...
  • Bristol.

Which is safer London or Paris? ›

'The figures show that Paris is still above London as the most visited city in the world', adding:'Paris is safer than London, where there is four times as much crime. Paris is also safer than New York if you compare crime data.

What is the second most dangerous city in the UK? ›

Promoted Stories. Furthermore, the second most dangerous city in Europe is another UK location; Coventry in the West Midlands. It scored 68.35 on the crime index. Both cities have relatively high crime rates, compared with many others in the UK.

What is the deadliest city in Europe? ›

With a crime index of 71.24, Bradford is classed as the most dangerous city in Europe and the 26th most dangerous city in the world.

Who is Britain's biggest serial killer? ›

Harold Frederick Shipman (14 January 1946 – 13 January 2004), known to acquaintances as Fred Shipman, was an English general practitioner and serial killer. He is considered to be one of the most prolific serial killers in modern history, with an estimated 250 victims.

What is the most serious crime in the UK? ›

  • Overall estimates of crime. ! ...
  • Homicide. The police recorded 666 homicide offences in the year ending September 2021, a 1% decrease the previous year (671 offences). ...
  • Knife or sharp instrument offences. ...
  • Offences involving firearms. ...
  • Violence. ...
  • Domestic abuse and sexual offences. ...
  • Theft offences. ...
  • Fraud.
27 Jan 2022

How many serial killers are at large in the UK? ›

A TOP criminologist dubbed the real-life Cracker has warned that Britain is home to at least two active SERIAL KILLERS. Chilling evidence shows that undetected mass murderers are responsible for butchering seven people every year.

What is the roughest estate in England? ›

Aylesbury Estate
LocationWalworth, Southwark, London, England
Coordinates51.486°N 0.085°W
StatusOngoing Regeneration
Construction
7 more rows

What is the most safest city in the UK? ›

The top 10 safest places to live in the UK
  • Devon and Cornwall. ...
  • Surrey. ...
  • North Yorkshire. ...
  • Wiltshire. 52.17 crimes per 1000 people. ...
  • Aberdeen City. 51.27 crimes per 1000 people. ...
  • Ards & North Down. 37.23 crimes per 1000 people. ...
  • East Renfrewshire. 22.54 crimes per 1000 people. ...
  • Shetland Islands. 19.76 crimes per 1000 people.
24 Jun 2022

Which city has the highest crime rate? ›

The twenty cities with the highest violent crime rates (number of incidents per 100,000 people) are: St. Louis, MO (2,082) Detroit, MI (2,057)
...
Most Violent Cities in America 2022.
Rank1
CitySt. Louis
StateMissouri
Violent Crime Rate2,082
Population298,034
18 more columns

Where is the safest place to live in the UK? ›

The top 10 safest places to live in the UK
  • Cumbria. 65.62 crimes per 1000 people. ...
  • West Mercia. 65.31 crimes per 1000 people. ...
  • Devon and Cornwall. 56.29 crimes per 1000 people. ...
  • Surrey. 53.91 crimes per 1000 people. ...
  • North Yorkshire. 52.73 crimes per 1000 people. ...
  • Wiltshire. 52.17 crimes per 1000 people. ...
  • Aberdeen City. ...
  • Ards & North Down.
24 Jun 2022

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