Crime rates in London 2022

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London isn’t a particularly safe city, but it isn’t particularly dangerous, either. According to Numbeo’s crime index, the UK’s capital has a crime index of 53.39 (as of mid-year 2022), putting it in the same company as cities like Odesa in Ukraine, Jakarta in Indonesia, and Rennes in France. London is considerably less safe than Berlin, which has a crime index of 42.24, and a long way away from Abu Dhabi, which, according to Numbeo, is the world’s safest city with a crime index of just 11.67. 

London’s crime rate varies considerably by borough. The City of London had the highest rate of crime in 2021, with 665 per 1,000 people, well above the figure of 87 per 1,000 residents recorded elsewhere. 

Compared to the rest of the UK, the crime rate in London is high. London police recorded a total of 92.3 crimes per 1,000 people for the city as a whole, compared to just 55.8 per 1,000 in Wiltshire, 56.8 per 1,000 in Devon and Cornwall, and 56 per 1,000 in North Yorkshire.

This post discusses London crime statistics in detail, providing a rationale for firms operating in the city to invest more in their security arrangements. 

Which Are The Most Dangerous Boroughs In London?

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London is a vast city. Therefore, crime rates vary considerably between one area and another.

Here are the 10 most dangerous boroughs according to crime statistics collected by the Metropolitan Police. Please note that these crime rates refer to reported crimes. They do not reflect the actual crime rate in these areas.

  1. City of London: 665 crimes per 1,000 people
  2. Westminster: 189 crimes per 1,000 people
  3. Kensington and Chelsea: 115 crimes per 1,000 people
  4. Camden: 107 crimes per 1,000 people
  5. Harringay: 106 crimes per 1,000 people
  6. Hackney: 105 crimes per 1,000 people
  7. Hammersmith and Fulham: 103 crimes per 1,000 people
  8. Islington: 102 crimes per 1,000 people
  9. Southwark: 98 crimes per 1,000 people
  10. Tower Hamlets: 97 crimes per 1,000 people

The City of London is the world’s financial hub. The high rate of crime reported here comes from high rates of petty crime, such as pickpocketing, and corporate offences, such as money laundering.

Crime is high in Westminster due to the area’s tourist activity. The borough has the capital’s highest crime rates, outside of the City of London, due to its historic attractions and nightlife. 

In terms of violent crime, Lambeth and Southwark are the most dangerous. Metropolitan police statistics record 11.2 gun and 42.3 knife offences per 100,000 population in Lambeth.

Which Are The Safest London Boroughs?

Businesses that are worried about crime can still operate in London. However, they should prioritise locating in the safest boroughs. 

Here’s a list of the top ten safest London Boroughs: 

  1. Richmond upon Thames: 57 crimes per 100,000 residents
  2. Harrow: 58 crimes per 100,000 residents
  3. Bexley: 60 crimes per 100,000 residents
  4. Kingston upon Thames: 62 crimes per 100,000 residents
  5. Merton: 62 crimes per 100,000 residents
  6. Sutton: 62 crimes per 100,000 residents
  7. Havering: 65 crimes per 100,000 residents
  8. Barnet: 67 crimes per 100,000 residents
  9. Bromley: 67 crimes per 100,000 residents
  10. Wandsworth: 75 crimes per 100,000 residents

Richmond upon Thames is the safest London Borough with a crime rate that is 57 percent below that of London as a whole. It is also the safest city in the UK, ranking as the 2658th most dangerous place out of all cities, towns and villages classified in the country. Most offences in Richmond relate to drugs (with the city recording 3,230 such offences in 2021). The least common offence related to possession of a firearm, with 43 offences recorded in 2021. 

Harrow is the second safest place to locate in London with a crime rate 51 percent lower than the rest of London. The city recorded 4,886 violence and sexual offences in 2021, up slightly from 2020’s pandemic-related lows. Total crimes in Harrow have increased considerably since 2016, however. 

Bexley is considered a safe haven for multicultural and LGBTQ communities. Around a third of the population is Jewish, with a tight-knit community, explaining the area’s surprisingly low crime rates. 

London’s Crime Trends

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In terms of some types of crime, London is getting safer, but in terms of others, it is getting worse. 

Antisocial behaviour is worsening. In 2018, Met Police recorded 25 crimes per 100,000 residents. That figure reached 34 per 100,000 in 2021. Drug crimes are also trending upwards. In 2018, Metropolitan Police recorded 3.8 drug crimes per 100,000 residents, but that figure reached 4.8 in 2021. 

In general, though, London became a safer place between 2018 and 2021 due to the effects of the pandemic. Burglary crimes, for instance, fell from 9 per 100,000 residents in 2018 and 2019, to just 6 per 100,000 residents in 2021. Other types of theft also fell, from 13 recorded crimes per 100,000 population to just 10 per 100,000 in 2021. 

There has also been a dramatic fall in robbery, including mugging. Per 100,000 rates stood at 4.4 in 2019 but fell to just 2.5 in 2021. There was also a significant decline in pickpocketing and vehicle crime. Other measures of crime, such as sexual offences, criminal damage and arson, and bicycle theft remained roughly the same. 

Hence, from businesses’ perspective, crime levels have changed little from three or four years ago. Overall, the situation remains roughly the same. 

Protect Your Business

Knowing the crime rates in your area makes it easier for your business to respond and adapt to the threats it faces. Locating in a dangerous area requires you to beef up your London security. Locating in a safer borough mitigates both short- and long-term risks.


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