Exeter Crime Overview

Exeter is the most dangerous major town in Devon, and is among the top 10 most dangerous overall out of Devon's 430 towns, villages, and cities. The overall crime rate in Exeter in 2020 was 64 crimes per 1,000 people. This compares poorly to Devon's overall crime rate, coming in 20% higher than the Devon rate of 51 per 1,000 residents. For England, Wales, and Northern Ireland as a whole, Exeter is the 28th safest major town, and the 1,800th most dangerous location out of all towns, cities, and villages.

In December 2020, Exeter had the worst crime rate in Devon for bicycle theft, with 14 crimes reported and a crime rate of 0.11 per 1,000 inhabitants. December 2020 was also a bad month for Exeter residents, when it was Devon's most dangerous area for other crime, recording 40 crimes at a rate of 0.32 per 1,000 residents. Exeter recorded 8 reports of theft from the person during August 2020, making its crime rate of 0.06 the worst for theft from the person in Devon that month.

The most common crimes in Exeter are violence and sexual offences, with 3,579 offences during 2020, giving a crime rate of 28. This is 7% lower than 2019's figure of 3,813 offences and a difference of 1.86 from 2019's crime rate of 30. Exeter's least common crime is robbery, with 44 offences recorded in 2020, a decrease of 93% from 2019's figure of 85 crimes.

Compare Exeter to other towns and cities

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

Exeter Crime Map

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Crime in Exeter Compared To Devon

Summary of Crimes in Exeter This Year

CrimeCountRateCountRateRate Difference
Anti-Social Behaviour3,86130.6928,25923.5423% more dangerous
Bicycle Theft1250.994390.3763% more dangerous
Burglary2662.112,6442.204.3% safer
Criminal Damage and Arson9197.308,1196.767% more dangerous
Drugs4803.823,3132.7628% more dangerous
Other Crime4673.711,6151.3564% more dangerous
Other Theft5514.384,3703.6417% more dangerous
Possession of Weapons1180.948390.7026% more dangerous
Public Order7485.954,8414.0332% more dangerous
Robbery440.353870.329% more dangerous
Shoplifting3923.122,8972.4123% more dangerous
Theft From the Person600.482750.2352% more dangerous
Vehicle Crime3092.462,2621.8824% more dangerous
Violence and Sexual Offences3,57928.4529,57324.6413% more dangerous

Exeter Compared to Nearby Major Towns

Major TownTotal CrimesCrime RateRate Difference
Paignton3,99059.677% safer

Crime Over Time in Exeter

View crime percentage over time for

Exeter Crime Trends

 Crime Rate Per 1,000 Residents 
Anti-Social Behaviour32302631Getting worse
Bicycle Theft2.
Criminal Damage and Arson91097Safer
Other Crime1. worse
Other Theft9974.4Safer
Possession of Weapons0.620.740.910.94Getting worse
Public Order5666Getting worse
Robbery (inc. mugging)0.410.600.680.35Safer
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)
Vehicle Crime3.
Violence and Sexual Offences27323028Safer

Changes In Exeter's Crime Rates Over Time

Offences in Exeter's Green Spaces

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

NameASBDrugsPublic OrderRobberyVSOAll OthersCrimes per Hectare
Cowick Barton Playing Field1111-321.8
Hamlin Lane Playing Field1121-502.2
Heavitree Pleasure Ground-----20.23

Comparing Exeter to the UK's Major Cities

Major TownCrime RateRate Difference
Barnet67.715% more dangerous
Coventry77.4117% more dangerous
Croydon83.2223% more dangerous
Sheffield85.8125% more dangerous
Bristol86.2126% more dangerous
Leicester97.4434% more dangerous
Birmingham102.8738% more dangerous
Liverpool107.2840% more dangerous
Bradford133.0252% more dangerous
Leeds137.1053% more dangerous

Crime in Exeter's Neighbourhoods

Central Exeter is the most dangerous neighbourhood in Exeter, followed by Wonford & St Loye's in second place, and St Thomas East as the third most dangerous area. Exeter's safest neighbourhoods are, in order, Exwick & Foxhayes, Heavitree West & Polsloe, and St Thomas West.

NeighbourhoodCrime CountCrime RateDanger Rank
Alphington & Marsh Barton45061Sixth
Central Exeter2,228184First
Exwick & Foxhayes2853811th
Heavitree East & Whipton South44058Seventh
Heavitree West & Polsloe35842Tenth
Middlemoor & Sowton84767Fifth
Pinhoe & Whipton North47751Eighth
St James's Park & Hoopern68071Fourth
St Leonard's31847Ninth
St Thomas East60674Third
St Thomas West2713712th
Wonford & St Loye's63376Second

Exeter Neighbourhood Crime Breakdown

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

Crime TypeSafest NeighbourhoodMost Dangerous Neighbourhood
Anti-Social BehaviourHeavitree West & Polsloe (105)Central Exeter (1,299)
Bicycle TheftExwick & Foxhayes (2)Central Exeter (49)
BurglaryExwick & Foxhayes (5)Central Exeter (81)
Criminal Damage and ArsonHeavitree West & Polsloe (37)Central Exeter (237)
DrugsExwick & Foxhayes (15)Central Exeter (208)
Other CrimeSt Thomas West (2)Middlemoor & Sowton (298)
Other TheftExwick & Foxhayes (15)Central Exeter (156)
Possession of WeaponsExwick & Foxhayes (2)Central Exeter (44)
Public OrderSt Thomas West (12)Central Exeter (266)
Robbery (inc. mugging)Middlemoor & Sowton (1)Central Exeter (15)
ShopliftingHeavitree East & Whipton South (1)Central Exeter (156)
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)Middlemoor & Sowton (1)Central Exeter (30)
Vehicle CrimePinhoe & Whipton North (16)St Thomas West (35)
Violence and Sexual OffencesHeavitree West & Polsloe (142)Central Exeter (924)

Crime in Exeter During Coronavirus Lockdowns

Looking at the months the UK was in lockdown in 2020 due to Covid-19, how did crime rates in Exeter change compared to the same month in 2019? The biggest increase in lockdown crime came in June, when Exeter saw a 258% increase in other crime. Exeter saw a large fall in shoplifting during April, when it fell by 83% compared to April in 2019. Rates of bicycle theft and criminal damage and arson both fell year-on-year for every month during Exeter's lockdown.

Anti-Social Behaviour-13%+28%+28%+7%+27%+10%+12%+40%+58%+39%
Bicycle Theft-79%-54%-71%-22%-36%-33%-63%-60%-56%+17%
Criminal Damage and Arson-26%-36%-36%-20%-15%+14%-14%-25%-35%-14%
Other Crime+71%+221%+200%+258%+60%+11%+27%+96%+71%+90%
Other Theft-40%-53%-51%-42%-35%-19%-42%-39%-47%-9%
Possession of Weapons+33%-62%+31%+8%-33%-50%+83%-+40%+83%
Public Order-11%+44%-31%-19%-7%+35%-11%-10%-15%-
Theft From the Person-50%-80%-63%--73%+33%--56%-22%-43%
Vehicle Crime-13%-19%+26%-41%-21%-40%-65%-26%+17%-8%
Violence and Sexual Offences-16%-9%-18%-24%+0%+1%-8%-10%-9%-2%

Frequently Asked Questions About Crime in Exeter

What police force serves Exeter?
Exeter's local territorial police force is the Devon & Cornwall Police.
How dangerous is Exeter?
Exeter is the most dangerous major town in Devon.
What is Exeter's most common crime?
The most common crimes in Exeter are violence and sexual offences.
What is the least common crime in Exeter?
Exeter's least common crime is robbery (inc. mugging).

Last updated: 07 May 2021