How safe is Southwark?

Renowned for its prominent arts and entertainment scene, as well as historical old inns and taverns, Southwark is home to London’s first theatres, including the Globe, the Hope and the Rose, all built in the 16th century. Southwark is also home to Tate Modern, one of the world’s most famous art galleries. With lower-than-average property prices and its history and art culture, Southwark is gaining popularity with young professionals and artists. But is it a safe place to live?

The graph below takes a look at the number of reported crimes in Southwark from 2015 to 2016.

By far the most common crime, theft and handling incidents reported in Southwark from 2015 to 2016 totalled 11,188 incidents. While high, it is important to note that theft and handling, compared with similar areas, is usually the most common incident reported to the police.

Violence against the person is the second most-committed crime in Southwark for 2015 to 2016, with almost 8,500 offences. Violence against the person accounts for 29% of the total crimes committed in Southwark, while burglary, the third most common, accounts for 10% and criminal damage makes up 8%. Theft and handling, as Southwark’s most common reported crime, accounts for 39%.



Crime-Rate Comparison for Southwark

Compared with similar areas, the crime rate for Southwark is considered ‘average’.

The areas shown in the above graph represent those that have been considered and assessed as most similar to Southwark by This graph shows total police-recorded crimes during the year ending September 2015. Within this group, Southwark has an average crime rate across total crimes.

Southwark is considered to have an average crime rate when it comes to bicycle theft, burglary, criminal damage and arson, other thefts, possession of weapons, public order, robbery, vehicle crime, and violence and sexual offences.

Southwark has lower-than-average crime rates for shoplifting, theft from the person and other crime. It has a higher-than-average rate when it comes to drugs.

Graph - Crime Rates Comparison for Southwark

Crimes Rates Comparison for Southwark and London

When compared to other areas in London, Southwark, though not the worst in the bunch has a higher crime rate than most other areas. This chart looks at the total crimes committed just this year, between the month of January and February 2016. Southwark with a total 4,996 crimes reported in this time period has the third highest rate of crime, just behind Lambeth and Westminster, with a total 8,077 crimes reported.

Graph - Crimes Rates Comparison for Southwark and London

Crime Statistics and Trends for Southwark

But is the crime rate in Southwark actually increasing or decreasing? Below, we take a close look at the total number of crimes reported from January 2012 to January 2015.

While the total crime rate in Southwark is in decline, it is happening very slowly. Crime in the area has remained fairly steady over the past few years, since January 2012, but there is a slight decline in crime reported in the area. 

Graph - Crime Statistics and Trends for Southwark

Effect of Crime on Southwark Residents

While Southwark has an average amount of total crime compared with similar areas, compared with other areas in London, the crime rate remains on the high side. London, on the whole, is very safe, but Southwark has a higher-than-average rate of drug crime, and though below average, its most commonly reported crime is theft and handling.


Houses and Flats in Southwark

Contact Southwark Police

According to and the PEEL assessment (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy), the Metropolitan Police who service the area of Southwark need improvement in the area of effectively keeping people safe and reducing crime. They do, however, rate as ‘good’ when it comes to efficiency and legitimacy of keeping people safe, and reducing crime in the area. For a non-emergency situation or to report crime, contact Southwark Police by calling 101 or texting 18001 101.

Or visit the Southwark Police Station at 323 Borough High Street, SE1 1JL

Or visit the Peckham Police Station at 177 Peckham High Street, SE15 5SL

Or visit the Walworth Police Station at 12-28 Manor Place, SE17 3BB

For an emergency always dial 999 or text 18000

Met Policemen

Crime Prevention and Safety Tips for Southwark

Though a relatively safe place to live, Southwark’s most commonly reported crime remains theft and handling, so we’ve highlighted below the top tips as cited by for keeping you, your family and your possessions safe.

●    Keep your windows and doors locked when you leave your home (even if just out for a minute or in the garden)

●    Hide your keys out of sight and away from your letterbox

●    Move valuables out of view through windows

●    Secure any valuables in a safe or bank vault

●    Install a home burglar alarm with deterrent signs

●    Install good outdoor lighting

●    Ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your house

●    Leave radios and lights on a timer to make your house appear occupied

●    Ensure your fences and gates are properly secured

●    Keep your bikes safe by locking them to an immovable object inside a locked and alarmed shed or garage

●    Lock ladders and tools away

●    Improve your home’s natural surveillance (e.g., trim high hedges)

●    Join or form a Neighbourhood Watch schemes




Neighbourhood Watch Sign
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