Belfast City Crime Overview

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 2020 was 91 crimes per 1,000 people. This compares poorly to Antrim's overall crime rate, coming in 24% higher than the Antrim rate of 69 per 1,000 residents. For England, Wales, and Northern Ireland as a whole, Belfast City is the 25th most dangerous city, and the 690th most dangerous location out of all towns, cities, and villages.

In December 2020, Belfast City had the worst crime rate in Antrim for bicycle theft, with 20 crimes reported and a crime rate of 0.07 per 1,000 inhabitants. December 2020 was also a bad month for Belfast City residents, when it was Antrim's most dangerous area for burglary, recording 110 crimes at a rate of 0.39 per 1,000 residents. Belfast City recorded 326 reports of criminal damage and arson during December 2020, making its crime rate of 1.2 the worst for criminal damage and arson in Antrim that month.

The most common crimes in Belfast City are violence and sexual offences, with 9,840 offences during 2020, giving a crime rate of 35. This is 8% lower than 2019's figure of 10,626 offences and a difference of 2.80 from 2019's crime rate of 38. Belfast City's least common crime is theft from the person, with 146 offences recorded in 2020, a decrease of 139% from 2019's figure of 349 crimes.

Compare Belfast City to other towns and cities

See how Belfast City shapes up compared to other locations around the country, including side-by-side comparisons of specific crime types, and separate charting of how Belfast City and your comparison town's crime rates stack up against one another.

Belfast City Crime Map

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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 Behaviour18,50066.0431,27352.6420% more dangerous
Bicycle Theft3751.344670.7941% more dangerous
Burglary1,4575.202,1413.6031% more dangerous
Criminal Damage and Arson4,41115.757,36712.4021% more dangerous
Drugs2,0277.243,3985.7221% more dangerous
Other Crime5431.949431.5918% more dangerous
Other Theft3,07010.964,4887.5531% more dangerous
Possession of Weapons3451.235320.9027% more dangerous
Public Order3361.205380.9124% more dangerous
Robbery2270.812840.4841% more dangerous
Shoplifting1,7996.422,7534.6328% more dangerous
Theft From the Person1460.521700.2944% more dangerous
Vehicle Crime7972.851,1541.9432% more dangerous
Violence and Sexual Offences9,84035.1316,77728.2420% more dangerous

Crime Over Time in Belfast City

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Recent Crimes in Belfast City

DateCrime TypeLocationOutcome
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
January 2019Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Greenland StreetInvestigation complete; no suspect identified

Belfast City Crime Trends

 Crime Rate Per 1,000 Residents 
Crime2017201820192020Trend
Anti-Social Behaviour61575666Getting worse
Bicycle Theft2.21.72.01.3Safer
Burglary7775Safer
Criminal Damage and Arson19171816Safer
Drugs6787Getting worse
Other Crime2.02.21.81.9Safer
Other Theft17161511Safer
Possession of Weapons1.21.31.31.2Safer
Public Order1.21.11.31.2Safer
Robbery (inc. mugging)0.961.11.10.81Safer
Shoplifting7896Safer
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)0.901.01.20.52Safer
Vehicle Crime54.74.12.8Safer
Violence and Sexual Offences35353835Safer

Changes In Belfast City's Crime Rates Over Time

Comparing Belfast City to the UK's Major Cities

CityCrime RateRate Difference
Barnet67.7134% safer
Coventry77.4117% safer
Croydon83.229% safer
Sheffield85.816% safer
Bristol86.215% safer
Belfast City90.57-
Leicester97.447% more dangerous
Birmingham102.8712% more dangerous
Liverpool107.2816% more dangerous
Bradford133.0232% more dangerous
Leeds137.1034% 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).

Last updated: 05 Oct 2021