Dorchester Crime Overview

Dorchester is the third most dangerous small town in Dorset, and is the 24th most dangerous overall out of Dorset's 274 towns, villages, and cities. The overall crime rate in Dorchester in 2020 was 62 crimes per 1,000 people. This compares poorly to Dorset's overall crime rate, coming in 2.0% higher than the Dorset rate of 60 per 1,000 residents. For England, Wales, and Northern Ireland as a whole, Dorchester is the 294th most dangerous small town, and the 1,968th most dangerous location out of all towns, cities, and villages.

In December 2020, Dorchester was the worst small town in Dorset for burglary, with 4 crimes reported and a crime rate of 0.19 per 1,000 inhabitants. November 2020 was also a bad month for Dorchester residents, when it was Dorset's most dangerous small town for criminal damage and arson, recording 15 crimes at a rate of 0.70 per 1,000 residents. Dorchester recorded 6 reports of drugs during December 2020, making its crime rate of 0.28 the worst small town for drugs in Dorset that month.

The most common crimes in Dorchester are violence and sexual offences, with 526 offences during 2020, giving a crime rate of 25. This is 9% higher than 2019's figure of 478 offences and a difference of 2.24 from 2019's crime rate of 22. Dorchester's least common crime is robbery, with 5 offences recorded in 2020, a decrease of 20% from 2019's figure of 6 crimes.

Compare Dorchester to other towns and cities

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

Dorchester Crime Map

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Summary of Crimes in Dorchester This Year

 DorchesterDorset 
CrimeCountRateCountRateRate Difference
Anti-Social Behaviour75435.1725,48132.946% more dangerous
Bicycle Theft130.611,1631.50146% safer
Burglary432.012,9163.7788% safer
Criminal Damage and Arson1838.546,2258.056% more dangerous
Drugs793.691,1991.5558% more dangerous
Other Crime90.425350.6964% safer
Other Theft1255.834,1485.368% more dangerous
Possession of Weapons60.283080.4043% safer
Public Order813.783,1584.088% safer
Robbery50.233600.47104% safer
Shoplifting1567.282,6263.3953% more dangerous
Theft From the Person70.333300.4330% safer
Vehicle Crime864.013,6634.7318% safer
Violence and Sexual Offences52624.5420,04125.906% safer

Crime in Dorchester Compared To Dorset

Dorchester Compared to Nearby Small Towns

Small TownTotal CrimesCrime RateRate Difference
Ferndown Town73739.0558% safer
Sherborne42743.1643% safer
Gillingham52443.6141% safer
Shaftesbury41846.7832% safer
Blandford Forum52948.1328% safer
Dorchester1,31961.53-
Portland83562.731.9% more dangerous
Bridport59070.7913% more dangerous

Dorchester Crime Trends

 Crime Rate Per 1,000 Residents 
Crime2017201820192020Trend
Anti-Social Behaviour42342735Getting worse
Bicycle Theft1.81.70.700.61Safer
Burglary753.42.0Safer
Criminal Damage and Arson1010109Safer
Drugs1.22.63.03.7Getting worse
Other Crime0.420.510.890.42Safer
Other Theft101176Safer
Possession of Weapons0.230.330.470.28Safer
Public Order2.34.363.8Safer
Robbery (inc. mugging)0.230.560.280.23Safer
Shoplifting11967Safer
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)1.00.510.750.33Safer
Vehicle Crime3.63.73.84.0Getting worse
Violence and Sexual Offences17242225Getting worse

Changes In Dorchester's Crime Rates Over Time

Chart of CrimeRate.Front.Models.CombinedCityModel's crime rate trends over time

Comparing Dorchester to the UK's Major Cities

Small TownCrime RateRate Difference
Dorchester61.53-
Barnet67.719% more dangerous
Coventry77.4121% more dangerous
Croydon83.2226% more dangerous
Sheffield85.8128% more dangerous
Bristol86.2129% more dangerous
Leicester97.4437% more dangerous
Birmingham102.8740% more dangerous
Liverpool107.2843% more dangerous
Bradford133.0254% more dangerous
Leeds137.1055% more dangerous

Crime in Dorchester's Neighbourhoods

NeighbourhoodCrime CountCrime RateDanger Rank
Dorchester East34739Second
Dorchester West & Poundbury97278First

Crime in Dorchester During Coronavirus Lockdowns

Looking at the months the UK was in lockdown in 2020 due to Covid-19, how did crime rates in Dorchester change compared to the same month in 2019? The biggest increase in lockdown crime came in December, when Dorchester saw a 433% increase in shoplifting. Dorchester saw a large fall in public order during October, when it fell by 94% compared to October in 2019.

CrimeMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Anti-Social Behaviour+14%+45%+38%+11%+18%+35%-5%-+84%+146%
Bicycle Theft-50%---+400%-----
Burglary-36%-88%-67%-20%-83%--+20%-67%+33%
Criminal Damage and Arson+73%-50%+50%+60%-33%+6%-44%-13%-59%-25%
Drugs-60%+33%-29%+80%+350%-+267%-45%-+200%
Other Crime-----57%-----
Other Theft-42%--46%-57%-33%--46%-7%+20%+23%
Possession of Weapons------+100%---
Public Order-42%-71%-40%-33%+8%--50%-94%-44%-14%
Shoplifting+13%-11%-50%+44%-37%+33%+40%+89%-20%+433%
Theft From the Person-50%-50%----50%----
Vehicle Crime-69%-38%-40%+275%-50%--75%-+40%+67%
Violence and Sexual Offences+27%+15%-10%-14%+40%-25%+69%+8%-5%-3%

Frequently Asked Questions About Crime in Dorchester

What police force serves Dorchester?
Dorchester's local territorial police force is the Dorset Police.
How dangerous is Dorchester?
Dorchester is the third most dangerous small town in Dorset.
What is Dorchester's most common crime?
The most common crimes in Dorchester are violence and sexual offences.
What is the least common crime in Dorchester?
Dorchester's least common crime is robbery (inc. mugging).

Last updated: 01 Apr 2021