Crime map shows inner-outer divide

More than 700,000 crimes were committed in London in the past year. Urbs has constructed a map to show how crime is distributed across the capital, revealing the clear difference between inner and outer London.

Crime map

The average crime rate across the boroughs is 81 offences per 1000 people. The rate peaks in Westminster at 205 per 1000, but that is to be expected with all the workers, shoppers, tourists and revelers drawn to the area.

Camden, and Kensington and Chelsea have the highest rates after Westminster. In all the boroughs defined as inner London, except Wandsworth and Lewisham, crime is above the average rate. In all the outer boroughs it is below. Some of the outermost boroughs, such as Harrow, Bexley, Richmond and Sutton saw the lowest rates.

On Urbs London you’ll find more detailed breakdowns of the key crime statistics in each borough and how the distribution of certain offences differs across the capital. (See here)


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Crime Report: Bromley

The crime rate in Bromley is a lower than the London average by 23%. Criminal damage is a little above the city average and Bromley has a problem with shoplifting.

Within the theft category there were 1,683 shoplifting offences last year. That is 9% above the average for London.

Crime Report Bromley

The most recent crime data from the Metropolitan Police for the year to March 2015 shows that Bromley has a crime rate of 63 crimes per 1000 people. The London average is 81.

20,400 crimes were committed in Bromley in the period. All major categories were below London-wide levels except criminal damage, which was fractionally higher.  Drug, robbery and fraud offences were particularly low.

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More crime reports

Crime Report: Bexley

Bexley has a low crime rate, 31% below the London average with some crimes at very low rates.

The most recent crime data from the Metropolitan Police for the year to March 2015 shows that Bexley has a crime rate of 51 crimes per 1000 people. The London average is 81.

Crime report Bexley

There were 12,300 crimes in the borough during the period that included 732 incidents of criminal damage to a motor vehicle. This is the only serious offence where Bexley has a higher rate than the London-wide level.

Bike theft is exceptionally low in the borough, 75% below the city average. There is also a low incidence of robbery and fraud.

Of the 92 murders in London in the period, 1 happened in Bexley.

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More crime reports

Crime Report: Barnet

Barnet has a below average level of crime but there were 5 murders in London’s most populous borough in the past year.

The most recent crime data from the Metropolitan Police for the year to March 2015 shows that Barnet has a crime rate of 61 crimes per 1000 people. The London average is 81.

Crime report Barnet

There were 23,000 crimes in the borough during the period that included 3,668 burglaries, which is 13% above the London average. There were 533 incidents of interfering or tampering with motor vehicles – that’s 39% above the London average.

Drug offences were at half the rate seen on average across the capital.

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More crime reports

Crime Report: Barking and Dagenham

The crime rate in Barking and Dagenham is generally in line with the average London level but the borough has a higher level of serious offences.

There were 154 rapes in the borough in the year to the end of March 2015. That’s 30% above the London average. There were 607 assaults causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) and 1,350 assaults causing injury, pushing both these offences well above the city-wide average.

Crime report Barking and D

While crimes against people are above average in the borough property crimes such as theft and robbery are below.

With a total of 16,000 crimes committed over the 12 months to March 2015 Barking and Dagenham recorded 80 crimes per 1000 people. The average for London is 81.

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More crime reports

A fifth of the blazes tackled by fire fighters are started on purpose

© Michael Spring |

Photo: © Michael Spring |

21% of the fires attended by the London Fire Brigade in the past year were started deliberately. The fire and rescue service tackled 19,554 fires in the 12 months to April and 4,122 are judged to have been started on purpose.

Borough level data from the London Fire Brigade shows that in Tower Hamlets deliberate fires make up a third of the 1,023 fires. There were 329 incidents, that’s more than the total of neighbouring Lewisham and Hackney combined.

fires deliberate

Tower Hamlets has the second highest number of fires per 1000 head of population.   The central London borough of Westminster has the highest level. Levels are lower in outer boroughs.

Fires all

Overall the number of fires in the capital in the year to April was down by 5% though there has been a slight upturn in April with the number of fires in the month exceeding 2000 for the first time since April 2011.

Fires peak over the summer months each year with July 2010 the worse month in the period reported with 4,728 fires.

fires annual

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Police say violent crime is up, but it may be the way it’s recorded

police hi viz jacketsViolent assault in London jumped by a fifth in the past year, according to data from the Metropolitan Police. There were nearly 70,000 recorded assaults causing injury, or in the more serious cases, grievous bodily harm in the year to March.

Harassment and common assault, which covers the threat of being hurt, were up by 38%. And sexual offences rose by a third to 15,000.

The overall crime rate in London has remained static at 700,000 offences.  While crimes against people went up there was better news for crimes against property with theft down 7%, burglary down 14% and a 22% fall in robbery.

Crime chart March 2015

But the rising figures that give a frightening picture of life on the streets of London may be a product of the way crime is being recorded by the police.

The Met, along with other police services, was criticised last year by HM Inspector of Constabulary for under-recording many serious offences.  As a result, recording procedures have  improved.  In evidence to the Greater London Authority Police and Crime Committee last autumn the Met said that the number of reports of violent incidents recorded as crimes has risen from 40% in 2012 to 75%.  Assistant Commissioner Helen Knight also said that a third of assault cases were the result of domestic abuse, which is now much better recorded.

Figures from the London Ambulance Service, reported by Urbs, give a different picture of violent crime.  Its records show that crews attended 20% fewer incidents that they believed to be assaults in the last year. The difference in levels may indicate that they attend only the more serious incidents.

Crime Assault comparison

Many experts are sceptical of the ability of police recording to accurately reflect true levels of crime and prefer to use the Crime Survey of England and Wales, which interviews 50,000 people about their experience. It finds that violent crime is on a downward trend.

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Fall in assaults makes city safer

hLondon is becoming a safer city.  There has been a 40% drop in assaults where an ambulance was called to deal with injuries in the last 4 years. The past year alone has seen a 20% reduction.

Data from the London Ambulance Service shows that in the year ending February 2015 ambulance crews and paramedics attended 26,000 calls to treat assault injuries. In 2011 it was 46,000 incidents.  Assaults on women and teenagers are falling in line with the general trend.

There are also fewer incidents involving weapons. Gun shot injuries are down 50% over 4 years.  Knife crime saw dramatic falls between 2011 and 2013 but has gone back up a little in recent months.  In the year ending February 2015 there were 1,500 knife wounding incidents dealt with by the ambulance service.


The assault figures are down in every borough. Harrow has seen the most significant improvement where the fall is 37%.  In Tower Hamlets it is 14%.  In attacks on teenagers, seen as a particularly vulnerable group, there is good news across the city, except in Greenwich, where the numbers were slightly up.

The data on knife injuries shows a less uniform picture. Lambeth and Southwark have the highest number but there’s been a reduction in the past twelve months.  Hackney and Haringey also have significant numbers and the rate there has increased.


Source data

Note: The data is based on retrospective reporting by ambulance crews/paramedics and 999 call handlers of incidents where they judged an assault had taken place.