Is Birmingham safe?

Birmingham is the largest and most populated city in the UK outside of London, with over 1.1 million inhabitants as of 2014, with the wider metropolitan area stretching to a total population of 3.8 million. Today, the city is a major centre for commerce and an important transport hub for the UK. But what is the Birmingham crime rate compared with other parts of the country?

The graph below shows the different types of crime in Birmingham between January 2015 and December 2016, separated by type of crime.

Antisocial behaviour is the highest recorded crime in Birmingham for this time period, with 55,159 incidents, making up 25% of total crimes. Violent crime is not far behind, with 42,974 incidents, making up 19.5% of total crimes.

After these two types of crime, other types are far less frequently recorded. That being said, vehicle crime is notably a bigger problem in Birmingham than in other cities. Although making up just 10% of total crime in Birmingham, the city has the fourth-highest amount of vehicle crime during this period in the country, with 22 recorded incidents per 1,000 people. This is 145% higher than the national average.


Birmingham crime comparison

This chart shows the council areas with the 70th to 80th highest crime rates between January 2015 and December 2016. Birmingham has the 72nd highest crime rate in the country.


The total Birmingham crime rate for this period is 205 crimes per 1,000 people. This is notably much lower than other cities of similar size. The crime rate in Manchester – the next largest UK city after Birmingham – is 87% higher, at 384 crimes per 1,000 people.


Although antisocial behaviour is the highest recorded crime in Birmingham, the crime rate for this period is only slightly higher than average across the whole country. Meanwhile, violent crime is more of a problem, with the rate 40% higher than the national average.

Birmingham crime statistics and trends

Is the Birmingham crime rate increasing or decreasing? This graph shows the total number of recorded crimes in the city by year between 2011 and 2016. We can see from these crime statistics that although crime has declined significantly since 2011, there was an uptick in 2016 that saw crime higher than at any point in the previous four years.


Safest area in Birmingham

Birmingham plays host to some of the most pleasant places to live in the UK. In 2015, Mosely in southeast Birmingham was named the best place to live in the country by the Sunday Times. However, some areas suffer from concentrated crime.

As with most big cities, crime in Birmingham is most concentrated in the city centre, where 1,029 crimes were reported in January 2017. Ladywood in the west also suffers from a high rate. Check out our crime-map tool to take a closer look at crime rates in the city.

Birmingham crime map

Contact West Midlands Police

The West Midlands Police service Birmingham’s city centre and surrounding urban area, totalling 348 square miles and a population of 2.81 million people.


In the most recent PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment, the force was found to have a ‘good’ performance in the following areas:


●      The extent to which the force is effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime

●      The extent to which the force is legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime


The force was rated ‘outstanding’ in the following area:


●      The extent to which the force is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime


For non-emergencies, you can contact West Midlands Police on the hotline number 101.


You can visit the West Midlands Police headquarters at Lloyd House, Colmore Circus, Birmingham, B4 6NQ.


For an emergency, always dial 999.

Contact West Midlands Police

Birmingham safety tips

As Birmingham has one of the highest rates of vehicle crime in the country, it’s important to know what you can do to avoid becoming a victim. West Midlands Police advise that although it’s difficult to protect vehicles from professional thieves, most car crime is committed by opportunists who can be deterred easily by cheap security measures and common sense.


They advise:

●      Ensure your car has a fitted alarm

●      Ensure your vehicle has an immobiliser, especially if it’s over four years old

●      Ensure you fit a locking petrol cap and wheel nuts

●      Buy a steering lock and apply it whenever you leave the car

●      Security-etch your vehicle’s windows

●      Mark all valuables in your vehicle with a marking solution

●      Fit a removable car stereo and keep the security code in a safe place

●      Consider fitting an approved vehicle-tracking device

●      Lock everything whenever you leave the vehicle, even if it’s only for a short time

●      Never leave keys in the ignition unless you’re in the driver’s seat

●      Remove all valuables when you exit the vehicle, and never leave anything on display



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