Reading Crime Overview

Reading is the most dangerous city in Berkshire, and is among the top 20 most dangerous overall out of Berkshire's 108 towns, villages, and cities. The overall crime rate in Reading in 2020 was 66 crimes per 1,000 people. This compares favourably to Berkshire's overall crime rate, coming in 1.3% lower than the Berkshire rate of 67 per 1,000 residents. For England, Wales, and Northern Ireland as a whole, Reading is among the top 20 safest cities, and the 1,651st most dangerous location out of all towns, cities, and villages.

In December 2020, Reading had the worst crime rate in Berkshire for bicycle theft, with 41 crimes reported and a crime rate of 0.16 per 1,000 inhabitants. December 2020 was also a bad month for Reading residents, when it was Berkshire's most dangerous area for criminal damage and arson, recording 143 crimes at a rate of 0.55 per 1,000 residents. Reading recorded 60 reports of drugs during December 2020, making its crime rate of 0.23 the worst for drugs in Berkshire that month.

The most common crimes in Reading are violence and sexual offences, with 6,875 offences during 2020, giving a crime rate of 27. This is 11% higher than 2019's figure of 6,089 offences and a difference of 3.04 from 2019's crime rate of 24. Reading's least common crimes are possession of weapons, with 181 offences recorded in 2020, a decrease of 1.7% from 2019's figure of 184 crimes.

Compare Reading to other towns and cities

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

Reading Crime Map

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Crime in Reading Compared To Berkshire

Summary of Crimes in Reading This Year

 ReadingBerkshire 
CrimeCountRateCountRateRate Difference
Anti-Social Behaviour2,66510.3110,22311.178% safer
Bicycle Theft7412.871,9062.0828% more dangerous
Burglary9693.753,6283.966% safer
Criminal Damage and Arson1,7876.916,6027.214.3% safer
Drugs7342.842,5522.791.8% more dangerous
Other Crime3281.271,2321.356% safer
Other Theft1,3605.264,7975.240.38% more dangerous
Possession of Weapons1810.706640.734.3% safer
Public Order1,2965.014,7155.152.8% safer
Robbery2560.996530.7128% more dangerous
Shoplifting8413.253,0663.353.1% safer
Theft From the Person2931.131,0031.102.7% more dangerous
Vehicle Crime1,5145.866,1716.7415% safer
Violence and Sexual Offences6,87526.6024,63826.921.2% safer

Crime Over Time in Reading

View crime percentage over time for

Reading Crime Trends

 Crime Rate Per 1,000 Residents 
Crime2017201820192020Trend
Anti-Social Behaviour16121010Safer
Bicycle Theft4.23.12.82.9Safer
Burglary54.93.73.8Safer
Criminal Damage and Arson7877Safer
Drugs2.52.52.42.8Getting worse
Other Crime0.941.21.21.3Getting worse
Other Theft7775Safer
Possession of Weapons0.700.700.710.70Safer
Public Order1.82.83.75Getting worse
Robbery (inc. mugging)0.850.990.980.99Getting worse
Shoplifting754.23.2Safer
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)2.41.61.61.1Safer
Vehicle Crime6656Getting worse
Violence and Sexual Offences15212427Getting worse

Changes In Reading's Crime Rates Over Time

Offences in Reading's Green Spaces

We only display green spaces in Reading that are named, and have had crimes recorded within their boundaries during 2020.

NameASBDrugsPublic OrderRobberyVSOAll OthersCrimes per Hectare
Coley Recreation Ground1----20.67
Cotswold Recreation Ground--1--20.79
Maiden Erlegh Park2----10.28
Mapledurham Playing Fields----100.09
Meadway Recreation Ground4---764.6
Robert Hewett Recreation Ground31--1221
South Lake Park--1-110.25
Spring Gardens Recreation Ground----4434
Victoria Recreation Ground2---445

Comparing Reading to the UK's Major Cities

CityCrime RateRate Difference
Reading66.45-
Barnet67.711.9% more dangerous
Coventry77.4114% more dangerous
Croydon83.2220% more dangerous
Sheffield85.8123% more dangerous
Bristol86.2123% more dangerous
Leicester97.4432% more dangerous
Birmingham102.8735% more dangerous
Liverpool107.2838% more dangerous
Bradford133.0250% more dangerous
Leeds137.1052% more dangerous

Crime in Reading's Neighbourhoods

Reading Central is the most dangerous neighbourhood in Reading, followed by Norcot South in second place, and Palmer Park as the third most dangerous area. Reading's safest neighbourhoods are, in order, Caversham Heights, Lower Earley North, and Southlake.

NeighbourhoodCrime CountCrime RateDanger Rank
Calcot South1993619th
Caversham Balmore Park3804716th
Caversham Emmer Green2813818th
Caversham Heights1692423rd
Coley Park74786Seventh
Earley5225315th
Leighton Park5946212th
Lower Caversham58074Tenth
Lower Earley North2772722nd
Lower Earley South3124017th
Norcot North61277Ninth
Norcot South1,148126Second
Palmer Park1,03598Third
Reading Central3,387231First
Sonning & Woodley North2653420th
Southampton Street & Redlands Road1,01597Fourth
Southcote73285Eighth
Southlake2392721st
Tilehurst North3995314th
Tilehurst South65288Fifth
Whitley Wood62688Sixth
Wokingham Road5276511th
Woodley South3895413th

Reading Neighbourhood Crime Breakdown

Showing the safest and most dangerous parts of Reading for specific criminal activity, with crime count and rate shown in brackets.

Crime TypeSafest NeighbourhoodMost Dangerous Neighbourhood
Anti-Social BehaviourLower Earley North (27)Reading Central (396)
Bicycle TheftLower Earley South (1)Reading Central (323)
BurglaryLower Earley South (6)Reading Central (148)
Criminal Damage and ArsonSouthlake (18)Reading Central (240)
DrugsCaversham Heights (3)Reading Central (120)
Other CrimeCaversham Heights (2)Reading Central (59)
Other TheftCaversham Heights (7)Reading Central (313)
Possession of WeaponsWokingham Road (1)Reading Central (40)
Public OrderCaversham Heights (7)Reading Central (314)
Robbery (inc. mugging)Lower Earley North (1)Reading Central (98)
ShopliftingSouthlake (2)Reading Central (428)
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)Tilehurst North (1)Reading Central (107)
Vehicle CrimeSouthlake (13)Caversham Balmore Park (92)
Violence and Sexual OffencesCaversham Heights (57)Reading Central (1,044)

Crime in Reading During Coronavirus Lockdowns

Looking at the months the UK was in lockdown in 2020 due to Covid-19, how did crime rates in Reading change compared to the same month in 2019? The biggest increase in lockdown crime came in October, when Reading saw a 100% increase in possession of weapons. Reading saw a large fall in theft from the person during August, when it fell by 78% compared to August in 2019. Shoplifting saw a fall in every month of Reading's lockdown.

CrimeMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Anti-Social Behaviour+0%+0%-9%-12%+6%+10%+2%+5%+26%+26%
Bicycle Theft+46%-23%-42%+37%+22%+18%+3%-41%-12%-15%
Burglary+21%+14%+4%+20%+6%+13%+6%-21%-16%-52%
Criminal Damage and Arson-4%-19%-21%-5%+13%+2%-6%-20%-16%-3%
Drugs+12%-20%+4%+30%+37%+25%+45%-21%+58%+18%
Other Crime-26%-6%+4%-18%+24%+15%+39%+30%+30%-4%
Other Theft-16%-57%-16%-35%-22%-44%-23%+8%-12%+4%
Possession of Weapons-35%-40%+70%+6%+30%+41%+90%+100%-50%-38%
Public Order-17%-14%+17%+26%+32%+29%+58%+49%+90%+93%
Robbery-22%-18%+12%-23%+38%-3%+33%-63%+38%-40%
Shoplifting-24%-61%-53%-37%-6%-25%+20%-3%-36%-38%
Theft From the Person+14%-69%-48%-64%-36%-78%-18%--18%-50%
Vehicle Crime+11%-6%-25%-11%-21%+19%+18%+99%+85%+20%
Violence and Sexual Offences+26%-5%+6%-9%+18%+37%+9%+6%+3%+10%

Frequently Asked Questions About Crime in Reading

What police force serves Reading?
Reading's local territorial police force is the Thames Valley Police.
How dangerous is Reading?
Reading is the most dangerous city in Berkshire.
What is Reading's most common crime?
The most common crimes in Reading are violence and sexual offences.
What is the least common crime in Reading?
Reading's least common crimes are possession of weapons.

Last updated: 07 May 2021