Located in one of England’s most picturesque counties, with a history spanning over 2,000 years, Leicester is considered by many to be the beating heart of the Midlands. Only an hour away from London on a fast train, Leicester has excellent transport links and a wealth of attractions that draw large numbers of visitors daily.
Though arguably most famous for its fascinating history and links with the monarchy, modern Leicester is a cosmopolitan and culturally diverse city. It recently was voted by Lonely Planet as one of the world’s best cities to visit and boasts some of the UK’s most remarkable and historic architecture.
But just like any city, Leicester is not free from crime. Is it a safe place to live?
In the one-year period between April 2016 and March 2017, the most common crime committed in Leicester was antisocial behaviour, with 8,680 incidents reported in those months, accounting for 23% of total crime. The second-most-common offence was violent crime, with 8,044 incidents recorded in those 12 months, or 21% of total crime.
The next-most-frequent crimes committed in Leicester were criminal damage and arson, at 11% of total crime, with 4,101 incidents in one year; theft (not including theft from the person or bike theft) with 3,541 incidents and 9% of total crime; and vehicle crime, which stands at 3,309 incidents and 8.5% of total crime.
When compared with similar cities, the crime rate in Leicester is about average.
When looking at other cities in the Midlands, Leicester’s crime rate falls into the lower spectrum of normal. Blackpool, Manchester, Kingston upon Hull, Middlesbrough, Newcastle upon Tyne, Stoke on Trent, Liverpool and Nottingham all have higher crime rates than Leicester. However, Leicester has a higher overall crime rate than Lincoln, Bolton, Luton, Salford, Birmingham and Coventry.
The crime rate in Leicester is higher than average for the general Leicestershire area, which is not surprising given its larger-than-average population density.
Is crime in Leicester increasing or decreasing?
While the crime rate for Leicester dropped after 2014, it appears to be slightly on the rise again.
Let’s take a closer look at the crime rate for the first quarter of the past three years. In 2015, crime for January, February and March stood at 8,504 reported incidents; in 2016, there were 8,716 incidents; and for the same time period in 2017, there were 9,976 crimes reported.
However, considering the different fluctuations, the overall crime rate still looks to be relatively steady and Leicester is a safe place to live.
Leicester has several prosperous neighbourhoods where crime is very low, but there are also areas with high levels of poverty, with much greater crime issues. Statistically speaking, the areas with the lowest crime rates are Thurncourt, Evington and Knighton.
By an overwhelming margin, the area that reports the most crime is the Castle ward, which includes the City Centre, Clarendon Park, Blackfriars and Southfields suburbs. Because this area is home to many of Leicester’s bars, clubs and shops, it’s not surprising that it reports much higher incidents of shoplifting, violence and antisocial behaviour.
Leicestershire Police encompasses the city of Leicester and the surrounding area of Leicestershire and Rutland. The police force is responsible for a population of over one million people and an area of around 980 square miles. Most people live in the urban centres, which include Leicester and the towns of Loughborough, Market Harborough and Melton Mowbray.
In the most recent assessment into police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy (PEEL), the Leicestershire Police force was rated ‘good’ in the following two areas:
● The extent to which the force is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime.
● The extent to which the force is legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime.
For a non-emergency or to report a crime, you can contact Leicestershire Police on the hot-line number 101. Always dial 999 or text 18000 in the event of an emergency.
Leicester is not an unsafe place to live, but it has higher rates of antisocial behaviour and violent crime than some other cities in the area. You can report violent crime or antisocial behaviour by calling 101 or 999. Antisocial behaviour includes activities that cause distress or intimidation.
Leicester does not have an especially high rate of burglary or theft, but there are many ways in which you can keep your property safe and secure. It’s always a good idea to join your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme, and you can protect your belongings by registering with the Immobilise initiative, of which Leicestershire Police are a part. The police also recommend getting a burglar alarm fitted – you can see our range HERE.