Despite being one of the smallest areas in the UK, Westminster also is one of the most densely populated. Residents only make up 250,000 of the area’s daytime population, with close to 1 million commuters and tourists entering the borough daily. Westminster enjoys the title of being Europe’s largest nighttime economy, but also has the capital’s highest crime rates, somewhat due to tourist activity, thereby boosting petty-crime rates. But is Westminster a safe bet for you and your family?
This graph shows the number of reported incidents from 2015 to 2016.
Theft and handling is by far the most reported crime in Westminster, with over 26,000 incidents reported from 2015-2016 alone. While this is a very large number of offences, it’s important to keep in mind that these incidents reflect not only Westminster’s residents, but also its nature as a thriving tourist destination.
Violence against the person is Westminster’s second-most-reported crime, with almost 9,500 reported incidents occurring from 2015-2016. Burglary amounts to 6% of Westminster’s total crime, while robbery accounts for 3%. Making up 58% of Westminster’s reported crime, theft and handling is by far the greatest concern in the area.
Compared with similar areas, the crime rate for Westminster is well above average.
The areas shown in this graph are those that have been assessed and considered by police.uk to be most similar to Westminster. This chart represents total police-recorded crimes for all crimes in the year ending September 2015. According to police.uk, within this group, Westminster has the highest crime rate across total crimes reported.
While Westminster is well above average in the group across all crimes reported, the borough’s bicycle-theft rate is considered ‘normal’ within the group. Criminal damage and arson, public order and vehicle crime also are all considered ‘normal’ compared with similar areas.
Westminster does not have any crime rates considered to be below average within the group, and its rates are much higher than ‘normal’ when it comes to burglary, drugs, other thefts, possession of weapons, robbery, shoplifting, theft from the person, violence and sexual offences, and other crimes.
Compared with other areas in London, Westminster has a much higher crime rate than all other boroughs considered.
This chart shows total crimes reported in January and February 2016. Westminster is the worst of the bunch, with a total of 8,077 reported offences during that period. That’s around 2,500 more reported incidents than Lambeth, which has the second-highest crime rates.
Is the crime rate in Westminster getting better or worse? Below, we take a look at the crime rates from January 2012 to December 2015.
The crime rate in Westminster has been declining quite steadily since January 2012. That said, Westminster still has much higher crime rates than other similar boroughs.
London, on the whole, is very safe, so it’s important to keep this in mind when considering Westminster’s higher-than-average crime rate. However, Westminster rates as ‘normal’ when compared with similar areas when it comes to vehicle crime, public order and arson.
According to the PEEL assessment (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy), issued by justiceinspectorates.gov.uk, the Metropolitan Police servicing Westminster require improvement when it comes to effectively keeping people safe and reducing crime.
However, they do rate as ‘good’ when it comes to efficiency and legitimacy of keeping people safe and reducing crime. For a non-emergency situation, or to report crime, contact the Westminster Police by calling 101 or text 18001 101
Or visit Belgravia Police Station at 202-206 Buckingham Palace Road, Belgravia, SW1W 9SX
Or visit Charing Cross Police Station on Agar Street, WC2N 4JP
Or visit Paddington Green Police Station at 2-4 Harrow Road, W2 1XJ
Or visit West End Central Police Station at 27 Savile Row, W1S 2EX
For an emergency always dial 999 or text 18000
As Westminster has a higher-than-average crime rate in regard to robbery and theft, we’ve highlighted the top tips, as cited by police.uk, to help keep you safe in Westminster.
● Keep your windows and doors locked when you’re not home
● Keep your keys well hidden, out of sight and away from letterboxes
● Remove valuables from outside view
● Store highly valuable items in a safely secured bank vault or safe
● Install a visual burglar alarm
● Install adequate outdoor lighting
● Ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your home
● Leave radios and lights on a timer
● Ensure all fences and gates are in good condition and locked
● Secure bikes by locking them to an immovable object within a locked shed or garage
● Ensure your shed or garage has a burglar alarm
● Keep ladders and tools locked away when not in use
● Improve natural surveillance on your home (e.g., trim high hedges)
● Join or form a Neighbourhood Watch scheme