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Crime and Safety in Belfast City

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Belfast City is the most dangerous city in Antrim, and is the most dangerous overall out of Antrim's 33 towns, villages, and cities. The overall crime rate in Belfast City in 2021 was 101 crimes per 1,000 people. This compares poorly to Antrim's overall crime rate, coming in 24% higher than the Antrim rate of 77 per 1,000 residents. For England, Wales, and Northern Ireland as a whole, Belfast City is among the top 20 most dangerous cities, and the 540th most dangerous location out of all towns, cities, and villages.

In December 2021, Belfast City had the worst crime rate in Antrim for bicycle theft, with 29 crimes reported and a crime rate of 0.10 per 1,000 inhabitants. December 2021 was also a bad month for Belfast City residents, when it was Antrim's most dangerous area for burglary, recording 98 crimes at a rate of 0.35 per 1,000 residents. Belfast City recorded 299 reports of criminal damage and arson during December 2021, making its crime rate of 1.1 the worst for criminal damage and arson in Antrim that month.

The most common crimes in Belfast City are violence and sexual offences, with 12,729 offences during 2021, giving a crime rate of 45. This is 23% higher than 2020's figure of 9,840 offences and a difference of 10.31 from 2020's crime rate of 35. Belfast City's least common crime is theft from the person, with 147 offences recorded in 2021, an increase of 0.68% from 2020's figure of 146 crimes.

Belfast City 2022 Crime Scorecard

Most Dangerous

Cities, Antrim

55% higher, regional crime rate

Northern Ireland

28% higher, national crime rate

England, Wales & NI

Local Crime in Context

As of 2022, the crime rate in Belfast City is 55% higher than Northern Ireland and 28% higher than the England, Wales & Northern Ireland overall figure.

Belfast City Crime Rate Over Time

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Belfast City
Northern Ireland
England, Wales & NI

Belfast City Crime Map

Incidents mapped in Belfast City represent the time frame between April 2019 and March 2022. Each point on the map represents an area where crimes have been recorded locally.

Last updated: 11 May, 2022

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Hover over a point to see a breakdown of crime types recorded at that location. You can also filter by individual crime types, or use a combinations of offences to visualize the data you need.

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Historical Crime Rates for Belfast City

YearCrime Rate per
1,000 people
Total Crimes
202110128,400
20209125,373
201910830,192
201810328,886
201710429,051
201610730,070

Crime in Belfast City Compared To Antrim

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Summary of Crimes in Belfast City This Year

 Belfast CityAntrim 
CrimeCountRateCountRateRate Difference
Anti-Social Behaviour16,53359.0227,94047.03 20% more dangerous
Bicycle Theft3861.384440.75 46% more dangerous
Burglary1,3324.751,9123.22 32% more dangerous
Criminal Damage and Arson4,57316.327,54012.69 22% more dangerous
Drugs2,1597.713,8296.45 16% more dangerous
Other Crime5451.959691.63 16% more dangerous
Other Theft3,16511.304,4227.44 34% more dangerous
Possession of Weapons3071.104910.83 25% more dangerous
Public Order3601.295610.94 27% more dangerous
Robbery2320.832750.46 45% more dangerous
Shoplifting1,5945.692,4674.15 27% more dangerous
Theft From the Person1470.521680.28 46% more dangerous
Vehicle Crime8713.111,1581.95 37% more dangerous
Violence and Sexual Offences12,72945.4421,45536.12 21% more dangerous

Crime Over Time in Belfast City

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Recent Crimes in Belfast City

DateCrime TypeLocationOutcome
September 2021Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Edenmore DriveUnable to prosecute suspect
December 2020Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Castle LaneAction to be taken by another organisation
June 2020Other theftOn or near Foyle CourtInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
April 2019Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Maryville ParkFurther investigation is not in the public interest

Belfast City Crime Trends

 Crime Rate Per 1,000 Residents 
Crime2018201920202021Trend
Anti-Social Behaviour57566659 Getting worse
Bicycle Theft1.72.01.31.4 Safer
Burglary7754.8 Safer
Criminal Damage and Arson17181616 Safer
Drugs7878 Getting worse
Other Crime2.21.81.92.0 Safer
Other Theft16151111 Safer
Possession of Weapons1.31.31.21.1 Safer
Public Order1.11.31.21.3 Getting worse
Robbery (inc. mugging)1.11.10.810.83 Safer
Shoplifting8966 Safer
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)1.01.20.520.52 Safer
Vehicle Crime4.74.12.83.1 Safer
Violence and Sexual Offences35383545 Getting worse

Changes In Belfast City's Crime Rates Over Time

Comparing Belfast City to the UK's Major Cities

CityCrime RateRate Difference
Coventry39.93154% safer
Birmingham49.60104% safer
Barnet67.0851% safer
Croydon82.4823% safer
Sheffield90.0313% safer
Bristol90.5212% safer
Belfast City101.38-
Leicester111.599% more dangerous
Liverpool123.0618% more dangerous
Bradford132.2823% more dangerous
Leeds150.9433% more dangerous

Crime in Belfast City During Coronavirus Lockdowns

Looking at the months the UK was in lockdown in 2020 due to Covid-19, how did crime rates in Belfast City change compared to the same month in 2019? The biggest increase in lockdown crime came in September, when Belfast City saw a 55% increase in public order. Belfast City saw a large fall in theft from the person during June, when it fell by 82% compared to June in 2019. Rates of bicycle theft and criminal damage and arson both fell year-on-year for every month during Belfast City's lockdown.

CrimeMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Anti-Social Behaviour-6%+28%+37%+38%+31%+17%+22%+21%+17%+13%
Bicycle Theft-22%-38%-54%-53%-47%-32%-7%-14%--31%
Burglary-40%-46%-42%-25%-28%-16%-20%-43%-2%-32%
Criminal Damage and Arson-15%-39%-32%-15%+5%-12%-4%-14%-17%-10%
Drugs-35%-29%-11%-15%-20%-20%+3%+10%-25%+33%
Other Crime+13%-49%+33%-28%+29%+9%+9%+19%-6%+9%
Other Theft-26%-41%-46%-43%-35%-37%-24%-22%-22%-16%
Possession of Weapons-41%-9%+34%+11%+12%--+19%-21%-10%
Public Order-47%-29%-52%-27%-34%-26%+55%+24%+15%+13%
Robbery-73%-71%-36%-20%+40%-16%-48%-50%-16%+28%
Shoplifting-27%-63%-66%-59%-25%-30%-13%-4%-11%-15%
Theft From the Person-61%-74%-78%-82%-38%-56%-48%-75%-58%-55%
Vehicle Crime-48%-18%-47%-27%-26%-52%-16%-25%-23%-34%
Violence and Sexual Offences-12%-29%-8%-6%-2%-9%-5%-20%-7%-6%

Frequently Asked Questions About Crime in Belfast City

What police force serves Belfast City?
Belfast City's local territorial police force is the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

How dangerous is Belfast City?
Belfast City is the most dangerous city in Antrim.

What is Belfast City's most common crime?
The most common crimes in Belfast City are violence and sexual offences.

What is the least common crime in Belfast City?
Belfast City's least common crime is theft from the person (inc. pickpocketing).

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