Barnstaple Crime Overview

Barnstaple is the most dangerous small town in Devon, and is the third most dangerous overall out of Devon's 430 towns, villages, and cities. The overall crime rate in Barnstaple in 2020 was 81 crimes per 1,000 people. This compares poorly to Devon's overall crime rate, coming in 37% higher than the Devon rate of 51 per 1,000 residents. For England, Wales, and Northern Ireland as a whole, Barnstaple is the 119th most dangerous small town, and the 958th most dangerous location out of all towns, cities, and villages.

In December 2020, Barnstaple was the worst small town in Devon for bicycle theft, with 4 crimes reported and a crime rate of 0.16 per 1,000 inhabitants. December 2020 was also a bad month for Barnstaple residents, when it was Devon's most dangerous small town for burglary, recording 7 crimes at a rate of 0.29 per 1,000 residents. Barnstaple recorded 24 reports of criminal damage and arson during December 2020, making its crime rate of 0.98 the worst small town for criminal damage and arson in Devon that month.

The most common crimes in Barnstaple are violence and sexual offences, with 936 offences during 2020, giving a crime rate of 38. This is 7% lower than 2019's figure of 1,000 offences and a difference of 2.61 from 2019's crime rate of 41. Barnstaple's least common crime is theft from the person, with 9 offences recorded in 2020, a decrease of 111% from 2019's figure of 19 crimes.

Compare Barnstaple to other towns and cities

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

Barnstaple Crime Map

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Crime in Barnstaple Compared To Devon

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Summary of Crimes in Barnstaple This Year

 BarnstapleDevon 
CrimeCountRateCountRateRate Difference
Anti-Social Behaviour84534.5328,25923.5432% more dangerous
Bicycle Theft311.274390.3771% more dangerous
Burglary732.982,6442.2026% more dangerous
Criminal Damage and Arson25710.508,1196.7636% more dangerous
Drugs1184.823,3132.7643% more dangerous
Other Crime321.311,6151.353.1% safer
Other Theft1154.704,3703.6423% more dangerous
Possession of Weapons281.148390.7039% more dangerous
Public Order1968.014,8414.0350% more dangerous
Robbery100.413870.3222% more dangerous
Shoplifting1355.522,8972.4156% more dangerous
Theft From the Person90.372750.2338% more dangerous
Vehicle Crime431.762,2621.887% safer
Violence and Sexual Offences93638.2529,57324.6436% more dangerous

Barnstaple Compared to Nearby Small Towns

Small TownTotal CrimesCrime RateRate Difference
Tiverton1,05446.9872% safer
Crediton40050.4761% safer
Bideford1,08759.3936% safer
Totnes50861.8831% safer
Ilfracombe72063.8027% safer
Barnstaple1,98381.03-

Crime Over Time in Barnstaple

View crime percentage over time for

Recent Crimes in Barnstaple

DateCrime TypeLocationOutcome
August 2021Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Parking AreaUnable to prosecute suspect
August 2021BurglaryOn or near Parking AreaInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
August 2021ShopliftingOn or near Clifton StreetInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
August 2021ShopliftingOn or near Clifton StreetInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
August 2021Public orderOn or near The StrandUnable to prosecute suspect
August 2021BurglaryOn or near Riverside RoadInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
August 2021Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Lundy CloseUnable to prosecute suspect
August 2021Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Eddy'S LaneUnable to prosecute suspect
August 2021Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Queen StreetUnable to prosecute suspect
August 2021Vehicle crimeOn or near Braunton RoadInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
August 2021Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Charles Dart CrescentUnable to prosecute suspect
August 2021ShopliftingOn or near Petrol StationInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
August 2021Bicycle theftOn or near Taw ValeInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
August 2021BurglaryOn or near Taw ValeUnable to prosecute suspect
August 2021Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Seventh StreetUnable to prosecute suspect
August 2021DrugsOn or near Boutport StreetLocal resolution
August 2021DrugsOn or near Boutport StreetLocal resolution
August 2021Theft from the personOn or near Boutport StreetInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
August 2021Criminal damage and arsonOn or near Diamond StreetInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
August 2021Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Diamond StreetUnable to prosecute suspect

Barnstaple Crime Trends

 Crime Rate Per 1,000 Residents 
Crime2017201820192020Trend
Anti-Social Behaviour41443535Safer
Bicycle Theft1.72.11.71.3Safer
Burglary53.64.53.0Safer
Criminal Damage and Arson13131410Safer
Drugs4.5674.8Safer
Other Crime1.91.92.01.3Safer
Other Theft101094.7Safer
Possession of Weapons0.861.11.61.1Safer
Public Order7798Getting worse
Robbery (inc. mugging)0.410.410.610.41Safer
Shoplifting121396Safer
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)0.651.20.780.37Safer
Vehicle Crime3.33.03.01.8Safer
Violence and Sexual Offences37434138Safer

Changes In Barnstaple's Crime Rates Over Time

Offences in Barnstaple's Green Spaces

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

NameASBDrugsPublic OrderRobberyVSOAll OthersCrimes per Hectare
Rock Park411-821.7
Tarka Tennis Centre1115-31834

Comparing Barnstaple to the UK's Major Cities

Small TownCrime RateRate Difference
Barnet67.7120% safer
Coventry77.414.7% safer
Barnstaple81.03-
Croydon83.222.6% more dangerous
Sheffield85.816% more dangerous
Bristol86.216% more dangerous
Leicester97.4417% more dangerous
Birmingham102.8721% more dangerous
Liverpool107.2824% more dangerous
Bradford133.0239% more dangerous
Leeds137.1041% more dangerous

Crime in Barnstaple's Neighbourhoods

NeighbourhoodCrime CountCrime RateDanger Rank
Barnstaple Central844133First
Barnstaple Pilton35160Second
Barnstaple South52259Third
Barnstaple Sticklepath33356Fourth

Barnstaple Neighbourhood Crime Breakdown

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

Crime TypeSafest NeighbourhoodMost Dangerous Neighbourhood
Anti-Social BehaviourBarnstaple South (221)Barnstaple Central (347)
Bicycle TheftBarnstaple Pilton (3)Barnstaple Sticklepath (12)
BurglaryBarnstaple Pilton (6)Barnstaple Central (34)
Criminal Damage and ArsonBarnstaple Sticklepath (39)Barnstaple Central (97)
DrugsBarnstaple South (24)Barnstaple Central (65)
Other CrimeBarnstaple Sticklepath (5)Barnstaple Central (10)
Other TheftBarnstaple South (29)Barnstaple Central (47)
Possession of WeaponsBarnstaple Sticklepath (2)Barnstaple Central (11)
Public OrderBarnstaple South (52)Barnstaple Central (76)
Robbery (inc. mugging)Barnstaple Sticklepath (1)Barnstaple Central (7)
ShopliftingBarnstaple Pilton (5)Barnstaple Central (70)
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)Barnstaple South (2)Barnstaple Central (7)
Vehicle CrimeBarnstaple South (9)Barnstaple Pilton (14)
Violence and Sexual OffencesBarnstaple Sticklepath (137)Barnstaple Central (399)

Crime in Barnstaple During Coronavirus Lockdowns

Looking at the months the UK was in lockdown in 2020 due to Covid-19, how did crime rates in Barnstaple change compared to the same month in 2019? The biggest increase in lockdown crime came in September, when Barnstaple saw a 400% increase in possession of weapons. Barnstaple saw a large fall in burglary during September, when it fell by 93% compared to September in 2019. Rates of other theft and shoplifting both fell year-on-year for every month during Barnstaple's lockdown.

CrimeMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Anti-Social Behaviour+13%+24%-9%+3%+26%-20%+9%+55%-22%+84%
Bicycle Theft-+100%-50%-33%-71%-50%-80%--+33%
Burglary-44%-33%-78%+75%+40%-78%-93%-44%+43%-50%
Criminal Damage and Arson-67%-23%-49%-53%+44%-5%+3%-47%+13%-11%
Drugs-25%-19%-54%-52%+50%-39%-7%--38%-15%
Other Crime-25%-75%+33%-50%+100%--86%-25%+33%+200%
Other Theft-57%-50%-44%-47%-74%-50%-44%+33%-75%-8%
Possession of Weapons----80%+50%-17%+400%-50%-83%-50%
Public Order-+70%-41%-48%+63%-22%+71%-59%-53%-27%
Robbery---50%-------
Shoplifting-37%-78%+20%-57%-91%-28%-21%-30%-28%-27%
Theft From the Person-67%----75%--50%---
Vehicle Crime-43%--78%-60%-33%-82%-60%+20%-25%+67%
Violence and Sexual Offences-22%-25%-24%-30%-1%+7%+43%+14%-22%+2%

Frequently Asked Questions About Crime in Barnstaple

What police force serves Barnstaple?
Barnstaple's local territorial police force is the Devon & Cornwall Police.
How dangerous is Barnstaple?
Barnstaple is the most dangerous small town in Devon.
What is Barnstaple's most common crime?
The most common crimes in Barnstaple are violence and sexual offences.
What is the least common crime in Barnstaple?
Barnstaple's least common crime is theft from the person (inc. pickpocketing).

Last updated: 05 Oct 2021