Crime and Safety in Barnstaple

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Barnstaple is the most dangerous small town in Devon, and is among the top 5 most dangerous overall out of Devon's 403 towns, villages, and cities. The overall crime rate in Barnstaple in 2021 was 92 crimes per 1,000 people. This compares poorly to Devon's overall crime rate, coming in 43% higher than the Devon rate of 52 per 1,000 residents. For England, Wales, and Northern Ireland as a whole, Barnstaple is the 112nd most dangerous small town, and the 754th most dangerous location out of all towns, cities, and villages.

In December 2021, Barnstaple was the worst small town in Devon for bicycle theft, with 3 crimes reported and a crime rate of 0.12 per 1,000 inhabitants. December 2021 was also a bad month for Barnstaple residents, when it was Devon's most dangerous small town for burglary, recording 10 crimes at a rate of 0.41 per 1,000 residents. Barnstaple recorded 25 reports of criminal damage and arson during December 2021, making its crime rate of 1.0 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 1,007 offences during 2021, giving a crime rate of 41. This is 7% higher than 2020's figure of 936 offences and a difference of 2.90 from 2020's crime rate of 38. Barnstaple's least common crime is theft from the person, with 6 offences recorded in 2021, a decrease of 50% from 2020's figure of 9 crimes.

Barnstaple 2022 Crime Scorecard

Most Dangerous

Small Towns, Devon

36% higher, regional crime rate

South West

17% higher, national crime rate

England, Wales & NI

Local Crime in Context

As of 2022, the crime rate in Barnstaple is 36% higher than the South West and 17% higher than the England, Wales & Northern Ireland overall figure.

Barnstaple Crime Rate Over Time

South West
England, Wales & NI

Barnstaple Crime Map

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

Last updated: 02 Jun, 2022

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Historical Crime Rates for Barnstaple

YearCrime Rate per
1,000 people
Total Crimes

Crime in Barnstaple Compared To Devon

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Summary of Crimes in Barnstaple This Year

CrimeCountRateCountRateRate Difference
Anti-Social Behaviour90036.7823,77919.81 46% more dangerous
Bicycle Theft341.393360.28 80% more dangerous
Burglary1144.662,1141.76 62% more dangerous
Criminal Damage and Arson29812.187,9566.63 46% more dangerous
Drugs1476.012,9292.44 59% more dangerous
Other Crime341.391,7091.42 2.2% safer
Other Theft1144.664,1113.43 26% more dangerous
Possession of Weapons220.907770.65 28% more dangerous
Public Order1857.565,0584.21 44% more dangerous
Robbery110.453800.32 29% more dangerous
Shoplifting2038.302,9322.44 71% more dangerous
Theft From the Person60.253120.26 4.0% safer
Vehicle Crime753.062,0191.68 45% more dangerous
Violence and Sexual Offences1,00741.1531,91026.59 35% more dangerous

Barnstaple Compared to Nearby Small Towns)

Small TownTotal CrimesCrime RateRate Difference
Dawlish72047.3494% safer
Totnes39648.2491% safer
Bideford93851.2579% safer
Tiverton1,25155.7665% safer
Ilfracombe69661.6749% safer

Crime Over Time in Barnstaple

View crime percentage over time for

Recent Crimes in Barnstaple

DateCrime TypeLocationOutcome
April 2022Criminal damage and arsonOn or near Parking AreaLocal resolution
April 2022Criminal damage and arsonOn or near Gould CloseInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
April 2022Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Broadgate CloseUnable to prosecute suspect
April 2022BurglaryOn or near Trinity PlaceInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
April 2022ShopliftingOn or near SupermarketUnable to prosecute suspect
April 2022ShopliftingOn or near Shopping AreaUnable to prosecute suspect
April 2022Public orderOn or near Roborough RoadUnable to prosecute suspect
April 2022DrugsOn or near Parking AreaOffender given a caution
April 2022Vehicle crimeOn or near John Gay CloseInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
April 2022Other theftOn or near Pilton LawnUnable to prosecute suspect
April 2022Criminal damage and arsonOn or near John Gay RoadLocal resolution
April 2022Other theftOn or near Prospect PlaceInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
April 2022ShopliftingOn or near SupermarketUnable to prosecute suspect
April 2022Other theftOn or near The SquareInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
April 2022Possession of weaponsOn or near Shopping AreaFormal action is not in the public interest
April 2022DrugsOn or near B3149Local resolution
April 2022Vehicle crimeOn or near Littlefield CloseInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
April 2022Public orderOn or near Shopping AreaInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
April 2022ShopliftingOn or near Shopping AreaUnable to prosecute suspect
April 2022BurglaryOn or near Trafalgar GardensInvestigation complete; no suspect identified

Barnstaple Crime Trends

 Crime Rate Per 1,000 Residents 
Anti-Social Behaviour44353537 Safer
Bicycle Theft2. Safer
Burglary3. Getting worse
Criminal Damage and Arson13141012 Safer
Drugs674.86 Getting worse
Other Crime1. Safer
Other Theft1094.74.7 Safer
Possession of Weapons1. Safer
Public Order7988 Safer
Robbery (inc. mugging)0.410.610.410.45 Safer
Shoplifting13968 Safer
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)1.20.780.370.25 Safer
Vehicle Crime3. Safer
Violence and Sexual Offences43413841 Getting worse

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 2021.

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
Barnet67.0837% safer
Croydon82.4811% safer
Sheffield90.052.1% safer
Bristol90.521.6% safer
Coventry102.2410% more dangerous
Leicester111.5918% more dangerous
Liverpool123.0625% more dangerous
Birmingham129.6429% more dangerous
Bradford132.2830% more dangerous
Leeds150.9439% more dangerous

Crime in Barnstaple's Neighbourhoods

NeighbourhoodCrime CountCrime RateDanger Rank
Barnstaple Central900142First
Barnstaple Pilton40870Third
Barnstaple South62771Second
Barnstaple Sticklepath35560Fourth

Barnstaple Neighbourhood Crime Breakdown

Crime TypeSafest NeighbourhoodMost Dangerous Neighbourhood
Anti-Social BehaviourBarnstaple Sticklepath (118)Barnstaple Central (421)
Bicycle TheftBarnstaple South (5)Barnstaple Central (12)
BurglaryBarnstaple South (14)Barnstaple Central (50)
Criminal Damage and ArsonBarnstaple Sticklepath (44)Barnstaple Central (130)
DrugsBarnstaple South (27)Barnstaple Central (84)
Other CrimeBarnstaple Central (8)Barnstaple South (13)
Other TheftBarnstaple South (31)Barnstaple Central (40)
Possession of WeaponsBarnstaple Sticklepath (3)Barnstaple Central (7)
Public OrderBarnstaple Sticklepath (18)Barnstaple Central (88)
Robbery (inc. mugging)Barnstaple Sticklepath (1)Barnstaple Central (4)
ShopliftingBarnstaple Pilton (17)Barnstaple Central (86)
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)Barnstaple Pilton (1)Barnstaple Central (5)
Vehicle CrimeBarnstaple Central (14)Barnstaple Sticklepath (20)
Violence and Sexual OffencesBarnstaple Sticklepath (131)Barnstaple Central (372)

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.

Anti-Social Behaviour+13%+24%-9%+3%+26%-20%+9%+55%-22%+84%
Bicycle Theft-+100%-50%-33%-71%-50%-80%--+33%
Criminal Damage and Arson-67%-23%-49%-53%+44%-5%+3%-47%+13%-11%
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%
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).

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