The area of Wales which is one of the most violent places in the UK

The Welsh police force area with some of the highest rates of violent crime in the UK has been revealed in new figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has compiled crime statistics per 1,000 people for police force areas across England and Wales, leading up to June, 2021.

The figures show that North Wales ranked in the top 10 in the UK for rates of violence against the person and sexual offences. Within Wales, Gwent and North Wales took the top spots for highest rates of crime overall, with 82.2 and 81.3 total crimes per 1,000 people respectively. You can read more crime stories here.

Read more:Worst areas for sex and violent crime in Cardiff, Swansea and Newport

In the report, North Wales was ranked eighth in the UK when it came to reports of violence against the person. North Wales Police declined to comment on the figures.

The figure shows the rate per 1,000 people in police force areas:

1. West Yorkshire: 47.4
2. West Midlands: 46.8
3. Cleveland: 44.5
4. Kent: 42.7
5. Greater Manchester: 40
6. Durham: 39.6
7. Merseyside: 38.8
8. North Wales: 38.8
9. Chesire: 37.9
10. Humberside: 37.4

(Source: ONS. Reported figures per 1,000 people in the area over a one-year period, ending June, 2021)

North Wales also ranked in the UK’s top 10 for sex crimes, as the figure shows:

1. Cleveland: 3.7
2. Greater Manchester: 3.6
3. Northamptonshire: 3.6
4. West Yorkshire: 3.5
5. West Midlands: 3.3
6. Kent: 3.3
7. Leicestershire: 3.3
8. Suffolk: 3.1
9. Humberside: 3.1
10. North Wales: 3.1

(Source: ONS. Reported figures per 1,000 people in the area over a one-year period, ending June 2021)

The figures across all four police forces in Wales

Compared with the rest of England, rates of crime in Wales are fairly low, but there is quite a difference between the areas within Wales.

Total crimes per 1000 people

Dyfed-Powys: 68.7

Gwent: 82.2

North Wales: 81.3

South Wales: 74.1

In terms of number of offences, this translates to:

Dyfed-Powys: 35,907

Gwent: 49,146

North Wales: 57,160

South Wales: 99,708


North Wales ranked considerably higher than the South for violence for violence against the person (source: ONS)

Violence against the person per 1000 people:

Dyfed-Powys: 33.3

Gwent: 31.5

North Wales: 38.8

South Wales: 27.8

In terms of number of offences, this translates to:

Dyfed-Powys: 17,393

Gwent: 18,816

North Wales: 27,304

South Wales: 37,383

Violence with injury per 1000 people:

Dyfed-Powys: 6.3

Gwent: 8.1

North Wales: 8.6

South Wales: 7.8

North Wales ranked highest for violence with injury per 1,000 people in Wales

In terms of offences, this translates to:

Dyfed-Powys: 3,316

Gwent: 4,869

North Wales: 6,052

South Wales: 10,515

Change over the past year

The ONS report shows that from June, 2020 to June, 2021, the total number of recorded crimes (excluding fraud) decreased in every Welsh police force, excluding Dyfed-Powys.

Total crimes compared with last year (% change):

Dyfed-Powys: 15

Gwent: -10

North Wales: – 1

South Wales: – 5

While the area didn’t rank in the top 10 for violent crime in the UK, Dyfed-Powys saw a huge jump in reports of crime compared with last year.

The graph shows an increase in crime in Dyfed-Powys and North Wales – particularly for violent crime

Violence against the person figures compared with last year (% change):

Dyfed-Powys: 27

Gwent: -5

North Wales: 7

South Wales: 0

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