When we think of dangerous cities, we often think of places like Rio de Janeiro in Brazil or Marseille in France, but the UK has its fair share of dangerous places where caution should be taken.
While some of these UK cities might not surprise you, others include popular tourist destinations, which does not mean they should be avoided; instead, you should be vigilant when visiting.
From historical cities like Edinburgh to bustling metropolitan cities like London, plenty of UK cities hide some dark secrets and dodgy neighborhoods – but don’t worry, all will be revealed.
In this article, we will explore the most dangerous cities in the UK according to (these) crime statistics based on the high crime rates for which these cities are notorious while providing an overview of the best and worst neighborhoods to know about.
There are many reasons to visit the UK: to visit the abundance of heritage sites, to experience world-class shopping, or to explore the lush landscapes.
Still, if you have any of these cities on your list or are considering a move to the UK, this information might be helpful.
So, let us take a deep dive into the most dangerous cities in the UK.
The 16 Most Dangerous Cities In The UK
Regarding the most dangerous cities in the UK, Coventry is one city where certain precautions should be taken. It is rated 64.68 in terms of its crime index, which is undoubtedly one of the highest in the UK.
Of course, like anywhere in the world, this does not account for the entire city but rather a few dangerous areas where crime is prevalent. Compared to other European cities with similar crime indexes, we can see similarities between Marseille, Montpellier, and Naples. So, what precautions should you take, and what are the most dangerous areas to avoid?
In Coventry, it is best to stay vigilant throughout the city, but the most dangerous areas include Willenhall, Foleshill, Wood End, and Hillfield, to name but a few.
Crime rates have indeed been increasing in the past few years, which makes this city volatile in terms of safety, so always be on guard no matter which neighborhood you visit.
It is advised not to visit unfamiliar places, especially at night, and to stay within busier-lit areas where possible—safe areas to consider, including Kenilworth and Earsldon.
Police in Coventry are taking measures with CCTVs to increase police patrol and monitoring, so we can only hope that the crime rates will lower in the coming years.
Birmingham may not come as a surprise as one of the most dangerous cities in the UK, with an overall crime index of 63.56. This famous city is becoming one of the most visited in the UK since it has evolved from its industrial past to a tourist-friendly city offering many activities and attractions.
Yet beyond this modern facade, the city still has some dark secrets, and it is best to stay vigilant when visiting Birmingham. The city is often regarded as the most dangerous major city in the West Midlands, and in 2022 , the city’s crime rate was 145 crimes per 1000 people.
Birmingham is also said to be the second most dangerous major city and the 245th most dangerous location out of all towns, cities, and villages, and care should be taken when visiting.
Crimes that are most prevalent in the city include burglaries, but other crimes, such as criminal damage and arson, make it a city where you must be cautious.
It is also worth noting that Birmingham City Centre is said to have the worst crime in the city. At the same time, other areas to practice caution include Bordesley Green, Aston and Newtown, and Acock’s Green, so practice caution when exploring these areas.
Blackpool is notorious for being one of the most dangerous cities in the UK and is considered the most dangerous city in Lancashire.
Blackpool has long been a holiday destination, with plenty of entertainment, particularly Blackpool Pleasure Beach, yet behind the fun and exciting seaside resort facade, Blackpool hides a dark side. In 2022, the overall crime rate was 162 crimes per 1000 people, while Numbeo has rated the Blackpool crime index as 59.05, above cities like Liverpool, Manchester, and London.
Blackpool’s crime rate is at 151%, with violent crimes making up over 30% of the crimes reported in this postcode. Blackpool regularly makes national news regarding its crime reputation, and the city is said to be worsening, with news reports revealing that Blackpool is two of the most dangerous postcodes in the UK, while some news reports suggest that the crime rates are down to the influx of party-goers like stag and hen groups.
The safest areas in Blackpool are Squires Gate and St Annes North, while the most dangerous parts of the city include Lowrey Terrace – the city’s most dangerous road, North East Centre, and North Shore.
Unsurprisingly, Manchester has a huge problem with crime, and the rate of crime is 383 crimes per person according to this report, compared to other major UK cities.
Crimes that are most common in this UK city include vehicle crimes, property crimes, burglary, shoplifting, and antisocial behavior, which makes some parts of the city unsafe to visit.
According to this police report, Manchester police receive around 200,000 reports of crime each year, including many severe cases such as murders.
One of the reasons Manchester is a city to follow precautions is that the city is experiencing a high increase in crime rates, so much so that the police rarely release accurate statistics, if at all.
Many areas in Manchester have a history of crime, such as drug offenses, gang-related crime, theft, robbery, and antisocial behavior, so try to avoid the neighborhoods listed further on if visiting the city, especially at night.
The safest areas in Manchester include Rusholme, Chorlton, Fallowfield, Didsbury, and Gorton, while the places to avoid are Moss Side, Cheetham Hill, Longsight, and Salford, to name but a few.
Crime is increasing in Manchester, but the local police are trying to combat this issue with CCVT surveillance, manned guarding services, and mobile patrols.
London is one of the most visited cities in the world, attracting a whopping 30 million visitors each year to enjoy its iconic sights, world-class shopping, and elegant atmosphere.
Yet, the city has many places that are not as safe as others. While the main tourist areas are as safe as any other major city, it is still wise to be vigilant when carrying valuables on public transport, especially if you are exploring the city at night.
Like many cities, there are certain areas to be aware of, including Westminster, Camden, Southwark, Lewisham, Lambeth, and Hackney.
The safest parts of London include Richmond, Harrow, Bexley, and Sutton, to name but a few. This report shows that the overall crime rate for London in 2022 was 95 crimes per 1000 people, most of which were violence and sexual offenses.
While London is an excellent city to visit, it is certainly worth being aware of which areas are crime-ridden and which are the safest, as with many major capital cities worldwide.
London may be a world-famous destination, with iconic landmarks like Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, and Canary Wharf. Yet, it can be dangerous, especially if you know the neighborhoods.
According to this report by Crimerate UK, Nottingham is considered the most dangerous major city in Nottinghamshire. In comparison, Nottingham’s crime index as 50.43, not far behind Rome or Barcelona, notorious cities for criminal activity.
The report showed that Nottingham is among the top 5 most dangerous major cities in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland and the 399th most dangerous location out of all towns, cities, and villages. In 2022, the city’s crime rate was 125 crimes per 1000 people, which is shockingly 51% higher than the overall rate for Nottinghamshire.
So, what should you be aware of if visiting Nottingham? Of course, chances are you may not come into contact with criminal activity when visiting Nottingham, but the risks are there, so it is best to be cautious.
Yet, knowing if you live or are considering moving there is essential. With that being said, the most common crimes are violent and sexual offenses, so it is best to be cautious wherever you visit in the city and avoid going out alone at night.
Nottingham may be considered a safe city compared to major UK cities like London or Manchester, but that is not to say you should let your guard down, so always ask known locals if you are unsure.
Liverpool might be considered a relatively safe city to visit. Still, due to drug-related crimes and gang violence, this can also be regarded as one of the most dangerous, especially if you are unfamiliar areas.
Liverpool is the 36th most dangerous city in Europe, with a crime index of 48.06, not far behind Craiova, Romania, and Kharkiv, Ukraine. In terms of the UK, Liverpool is considered a dangerous city, especially in areas like Toxteth, Anfield, Kirdale, Norris Green, and Croxteth, notorious for violent crime, burglary, theft, antisocial behavior, and robberies.
Liverpool is a popular place for football fans to visit, especially if a big match is happening, and Anfield is the place to go.
Anfield is on our list of the top crime-related areas of Liverpool, so it is worth knowing that Anfield contends with issues like burglary and theft, especially on match days. Navigating Liverpool’s dangerous versus safe areas can be confusing, so always be alert, ask familiar locals, and stay well informed if visiting the city.
Regarding the most dangerous cities in the UK, Belfast is one to watch out for. While this city has come a long way since the days of The Troubles, when car bombings and shootings were common, there are still certain areas to be cautious of.
Belfast is an ever-changing, progressive city that attracts many visitors to learn about its innovation and history and visit its beautiful surrounding areas. Yet, the city is not as peaceful as visitors may think.
Believe it or not, religious conflict is still an issue in Belfast, so much so that certain areas are Irish Republican (predominantly Catholic) and some are loyalist (predominantly Protestant), with peace walls or peace lines separating them.
Crime is still prevalent in Belfast. In 2011, they considered removing these walls. After a trial basis, a report was issued a year later indicating that 69% of residents believe that the peace walls are still necessary because of potential violence.
Crime Rate UK considers Belfast one of the most dangerous cities in the UK, with Shankill and Falls Road being the most dangerous areas, especially at night.
Something else to consider is that religion, politics, or similar topics are risky in this city, like Glasgow, so always be careful speaking about certain subjects in Belfast as it can upset locals.
Glasgow is one of the most dangerous cities in the UK to be aware of. This bustling Scottish city attracts plenty of tourists with its various attractions and activities, not to mention its proximity to some stunning natural regions.
Yet, this city is one to know about regarding safety, and it is best to avoid certain areas like Possilpark, Govan, and Calton, which have issues with gang-related violence and drug-related crime.
Despite its popularity with visitors, Glasgow has gained a bad reputation over the years and is ranked as the 47th most dangerous city in Europe with a crime index of 44.95, similar to Hanover and Berlin, Germany.
According to this news report last year, Glasgow was named Scotland’s second most dangerous place. The article revealed that the city has the second highest rate of violent crime, and people are being prosecuted for drug-related offenses.
While this may not affect people visiting the city, it is worth knowing the risk involved. When visiting Glasgow, some things to be mindful of are that national and international football shirts are not allowed in pubs, taxis should be taken from dedicated taxi ranks, and be aware when taking cash from ATMs as you may be a target for mugging.
Leeds is one of the most dangerous cities in the UK, so much so that areas are considered no-go, including Leeds city center, Armely & New Wortley, Lincoln Green & Ebor Gardens, and Harehills, to name but a few.
Leeds is a progressive city that is fast becoming a technological hub, thus drawing in investors and new residents, yet the city has an expanding crime issue.
The most prevalent type of crime in Leeds is both sexual and violent crimes, and in recent years the numbers have soared. According to a recent report based on Leeds Police data, Leeds saw a shocking 172.4 crimes per 1000 residents over the last 12 months or 88,120 separate instances of criminal activity.
This report also shows the various crimes committed in Leeds last year, revealing a massive surge in violent crime and sexual offenses. When visiting Leeds, it is advised to be aware of your surroundings, avoid unsafe areas at night, and be vigilant in the city center, even during the day, where criminal activity is prevalent.
The overall crime rate in Bristol was 98 crimes per 1000 people as of last year, which may not be as high as other UK cities, but Bristol is still considered a city where you should take precautions.
There are certain areas you should avoid when visiting Bristol, with the riskiest neighborhoods being Central Bristol, Hotwells & Harborside, Lawrence Hill, and Southville.
The safest areas of Bristol include Westbury on Trym, Downend North, Bridgewater, and Cadbury Heath North, which have the lowest crime rates.
Across all the towns and villages of Bristol, the most dangerous area is Bristol City Centre, and care should be taken when in the area, especially at night.
The main crimes existing in Bristol include sexual offenses and violent crime, and in 2022, it was reported that Bristol was named the most dangerous place in England and Wales.
They reported that the most prevalent crimes were antisocial behavior, robbery, theft, and criminal damage, as well as arson. If visiting the area, it is best to avoid less busy routes at night, keep valuables out of sight even during the day, and try to stay in groups or around others, if possible, as three is always safe in numbers.
12. Brighton & Hove
Brighton & Hove may be located in a sought-after region of the UK besides a beautiful coastline stretch, attracting many holidaymakers and party-goers. Yet, this is one of the most dangerous cities in the UK and the most dangerous in East Sussex.
So, what makes it such a risky place? Behind the beautiful scenery, idyllic cobbled stoned streets, and seemingly peaceful promenade, Brighton & Hove has some dark secrets to hide, and it is well worth knowing the risks if you plan to visit or even move there.
The overall crime rate in 2022 was 103 crimes per 1000 people, which was 41% higher than the crime rate in East Sussex. With the city being a popular place to visit and LGBTQ-friendly, it may be surprising that even though it was regarded as one of the safest in 2018, things have changed in recent years, leaving visitors wondering if it is safe.
The truth is Brighton & Hove has a few risky areas that you should be aware of, including the popular North Laines area, The Lanes, St James Street & Queens Park, Brunswick, and Kempton.
The best plan of action when visiting Brighton & Hove is to stay vigilant day and night, always listen to your gut feeling, and follow the guidance of known locals who are familiar with the area.
You might already have heard that Newcastle has a bad reputation regarding crime rates, yet it is not as unsafe as cities like Coventry or Manchester.
However, there are a few things to know regarding safety in Newcastle, such as the places to avoid and locations deemed safe. The worst places for crime in Newcastle include City Centre & Arthurs Hill, the most crime-ridden areas, followed by Byker, Elswick, Walker South, and Walker North.
The most dangerous area appears to be the city center, as we mentioned, perhaps because it is an area that is occupied by visitors and residents daily.
Areas deemed safe include Quayside, Fenham, Gosforth, and Jesmond, which see lower crime rates and are generally more upscale neighborhoods paired with an elegant vibe.
While these areas are usually the safest to go, chances are you will want to experience the center of Newcastle and its famous nightlife, so always leave valuables in your hotel, don’t go out alone at night, and always take taxis from a rank rather than buses by night.
Cardiff, the capital of Wales, has a crime index of 37—51, which is on par with global cities like Kaunas, Lithuania, and Nuremberg, Germany.
The top crimes in Cardiff are violent crimes and sexual offenses, with over 12,000 incidents reported in 2022. Cardiff has plenty of attractions, which is why it welcomes over 300,000 visitors each year, but it is best to know the areas to avoid or be on guard when visiting so you can enjoy a safe and secure holiday. If you expect to enjoy Cardiff nightlife, never walk alone at night and try to stay in a familiar crowd.
According to this news report, The Cathays area, which includes the city center, has the highest crime rate and is an area to be vigilant by day and night.
Other areas prone to criminal activity include Plasnewydd, Riverside, and Pontcana. Regarding safety, the best locations are Pentyrch Lisvane and Llandaff, which are deemed safe and boast low crime rates.
These are excellent places to base yourself since they have various accommodation options, ideal for solo travelers worried about the area’s safety.
Aberdeen may not spring to mind when it comes to the most dangerous cities in the UK, but visitors may want to know the best places to stay and the places to be cautious to lower the risks of being a victim of crime.
Compared to other cities in the UK, Aberdeen is not one with the highest crime rates, but Numbeo rates the crime index as 36.02 since certain areas are prone to higher crime, with crime rates increasing.
Aberdeen is well known for its granite architecture and small-town feel, making it a popular choice for tourists and potential new residents. However, there are a few places to be cautious about and stay as safe as possible in Aberdeen.
It is worth noting that the safest areas in Aberdeen are Gosforth and Jesmond, while the riskiest are Benwell, Scotswood, Cowgate, and Walker, where crime rates are higher.
According to this news report in 2022 revealed that two neighborhoods in Aberdeen were among the top 10 worst neighborhoods in Scotland, both of which are located in the city center, urging visitors and residents to take care and be vigilant when in and around the city center.
Edinburgh is one of the most visited cities in Scotland and across the UK for its historical significance, old-school charm, and educational opportunities.
This popular student city is considered safe overall, yet it is not as safe as some cities in the UK, like Lerwick, Devon, or Cornwall, which are regarded as some of the safest cities in the UK.
So, what should you watch out for when in Edinburgh? Edinburgh’s crime index is 31.22, slightly lower than Aberdeen’s, which is 36.02, yet the city has some risky areas to be aware of.
Pickpocketing can be a risk, especially in busy tourist areas and on public transport. While Edinburgh is not known as a risky city for serious crimes of a violent nature, petty crimes can happen.
As with any city, walking in dark areas by night is not advised, even if the area feels safe, and places to be extra cautious include Rose Street, Lothian Road, Leith of Walk, and Dalry Road. In contrast, Newtown, Stockbridge, Leith, and Dean Village are the safest areas.
Edinburgh may not be the most dangerous city in the UK, but it makes the list of more risks than other UK cities, so it is always wise to be aware when visiting the city.