Chelmsford Crime Overview

Chelmsford is the safest major town in Essex, and is the 62nd most dangerous overall out of Essex's 319 towns, villages, and cities. The overall crime rate in Chelmsford in 2020 was 74 crimes per 1,000 people. This compares favourably to Essex's overall crime rate, coming in 6% lower than the Essex rate of 78 per 1,000 residents. For England, Wales, and Northern Ireland as a whole, Chelmsford is the 42nd safest major town, and the 1,244th most dangerous location out of all towns, cities, and villages.

In August 2020, Chelmsford had the worst crime rate in Essex for bicycle theft, with 31 crimes reported and a crime rate of 0.26 per 1,000 inhabitants. January 2020 was also a bad month for Chelmsford residents, when it was Essex's most dangerous area for other crime, recording 46 crimes at a rate of 0.39 per 1,000 residents. Chelmsford recorded 13 reports of theft from the person during October 2020, making its crime rate of 0.11 the worst for theft from the person in Essex that month.

The most common crimes in Chelmsford are violence and sexual offences, with 4,070 offences during 2020, giving a crime rate of 34. This is 2.9% lower than 2019's figure of 4,186 offences and a difference of 0.98 from 2019's crime rate of 35. Chelmsford's least common crimes are possession of weapons, with 66 offences recorded in 2020, a decrease of 45% from 2019's figure of 96 crimes.

Compare Chelmsford to other towns and cities

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

Chelmsford Crime Map

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Crime in Chelmsford Compared To Essex

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Summary of Crimes in Chelmsford This Year

 ChelmsfordEssex 
CrimeCountRateCountRateRate Difference
Anti-Social Behaviour3,11326.2149,41426.762.1% safer
Bicycle Theft2291.931,8671.0148% more dangerous
Burglary3052.577,1213.8650% safer
Criminal Damage and Arson7826.5814,0377.6016% safer
Drugs3623.056,4523.4914% safer
Other Crime2682.263,2051.7423% more dangerous
Other Theft5444.589,4275.1011% safer
Possession of Weapons660.561,1960.6516% safer
Public Order9257.7915,0938.174.9% safer
Robbery690.581,2270.6614% safer
Shoplifting6625.577,1183.8531% more dangerous
Theft From the Person1030.879920.5438% more dangerous
Vehicle Crime3673.0910,5505.7185% safer
Violence and Sexual Offences4,07034.2765,39435.413.3% safer

Chelmsford Compared to Nearby Major Towns

Major TownTotal CrimesCrime RateRate Difference
Chelmsford8,75273.70-
Colchester12,75692.3520% more dangerous
Grays7,27096.1723% more dangerous
Harlow9,580109.8833% more dangerous
Basildon14,364122.0640% more dangerous

Crime Over Time in Chelmsford

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Recent Crimes in Chelmsford

DateCrime TypeLocationOutcome
August 2021Criminal damage and arsonOn or near Christy AvenueInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
August 2021Other theftOn or near Christy AvenueInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
August 2021Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Christy AvenueOffender given a caution
August 2021Criminal damage and arsonOn or near Tindal StreetInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
August 2021Criminal damage and arsonOn or near Tindal StreetInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
August 2021Other theftOn or near Tindal StreetInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
August 2021Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Tindal StreetUnable to prosecute suspect
August 2021Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Tindal StreetUnable to prosecute suspect
August 2021Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Tindal StreetUnable to prosecute suspect
August 2021Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Tindal StreetUnable to prosecute suspect
August 2021Criminal damage and arsonOn or near SupermarketUnable to prosecute suspect
August 2021Public orderOn or near SupermarketUnable to prosecute suspect
August 2021Violence and sexual offencesOn or near SupermarketInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
August 2021Violence and sexual offencesOn or near SupermarketUnable to prosecute suspect
August 2021Violence and sexual offencesOn or near SupermarketUnable to prosecute suspect
August 2021Criminal damage and arsonOn or near Parking AreaInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
August 2021Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Parking AreaUnable to prosecute suspect
August 2021BurglaryOn or near Kings RoadInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
August 2021Theft from the personOn or near Kings RoadInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
August 2021Public orderOn or near High Street ChelmsfordInvestigation complete; no suspect identified

Chelmsford Crime Trends

 Crime Rate Per 1,000 Residents 
Crime2017201820192020Trend
Anti-Social Behaviour22222326Getting worse
Bicycle Theft3.32.53.01.9Safer
Burglary4.3652.6Safer
Criminal Damage and Arson7787Safer
Drugs2.02.53.83.0Getting worse
Other Crime2.03.72.92.3Safer
Other Theft7774.6Safer
Possession of Weapons0.670.840.810.56Safer
Public Order6788Getting worse
Robbery (inc. mugging)0.830.800.830.58Safer
Shoplifting7776Safer
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)1.21.41.20.87Safer
Vehicle Crime4.1553.1Safer
Violence and Sexual Offences23293534Getting worse

Changes In Chelmsford's Crime Rates Over Time

Offences in Chelmsford's Green Spaces

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

NameASBDrugsPublic OrderRobberyVSOAll OthersCrimes per Hectare
Coronation Park-----20.35
Lionmede Recreation Ground10-2-207
Pollards Meadow1----00.73

Comparing Chelmsford to the UK's Major Cities

Major TownCrime RateRate Difference
Barnet67.719% safer
Chelmsford73.70-
Coventry77.414.8% more dangerous
Croydon83.2211% more dangerous
Sheffield85.8114% more dangerous
Bristol86.2115% more dangerous
Leicester97.4424% more dangerous
Birmingham102.8728% more dangerous
Liverpool107.2831% more dangerous
Bradford133.0245% more dangerous
Leeds137.1046% more dangerous

Crime in Chelmsford's Neighbourhoods

Central Chelmsford is the most dangerous neighbourhood in Chelmsford, followed by Melbourne in second place, and Waterhouse Lane & Admirals Park as the third most dangerous area. Chelmsford's safest neighbourhoods are, in order, Great Baddow North & East, Moulsham East, and Springfield South & Coronation Park.

NeighbourhoodCrime CountCrime RateDanger Rank
Central Chelmsford3,492274First
Galleywood47367Fourth
Great Baddow North & East20927Eighth
Melbourne960116Second
Moulsham East22233Seventh
Moulsham West53566Fifth
Springfield South & Coronation Park39250Sixth
Waterhouse Lane & Admirals Park1,157110Third

Chelmsford Neighbourhood Crime Breakdown

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

Crime TypeSafest NeighbourhoodMost Dangerous Neighbourhood
Anti-Social BehaviourMoulsham East (100)Central Chelmsford (1,337)
Bicycle TheftGreat Baddow North & East (2)Central Chelmsford (170)
BurglaryGreat Baddow North & East (3)Central Chelmsford (84)
Criminal Damage and ArsonGreat Baddow North & East (14)Central Chelmsford (234)
DrugsMoulsham East (4)Central Chelmsford (144)
Other CrimeMoulsham East (5)Central Chelmsford (157)
Other TheftGreat Baddow North & East (10)Central Chelmsford (227)
Possession of WeaponsGreat Baddow North & East (1)Central Chelmsford (36)
Public OrderMoulsham East (11)Central Chelmsford (405)
Robbery (inc. mugging)Great Baddow North & East (2)Central Chelmsford (48)
ShopliftingGreat Baddow North & East (10)Central Chelmsford (346)
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)Melbourne (1)Central Chelmsford (73)
Vehicle CrimeMoulsham East (15)Central Chelmsford (88)
Violence and Sexual OffencesGreat Baddow North & East (91)Central Chelmsford (1,480)

Crime in Chelmsford During Coronavirus Lockdowns

Looking at the months the UK was in lockdown in 2020 due to Covid-19, how did crime rates in Chelmsford change compared to the same month in 2019? The biggest increase in lockdown crime came in August, when Chelmsford saw a 107% increase in bicycle theft. Chelmsford saw a large fall in theft from the person during May, when it fell by 92% compared to May in 2019. Chelmsford saw consistent falls in the crime rate of several types of crime during every month of its Coronavirus lockdown, including burglary, criminal damage and arson, other theft, and vehicle crime.

CrimeMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Anti-Social Behaviour+14%+39%+12%+12%+20%+18%+5%+6%+74%+16%
Bicycle Theft+9%-68%+6%-47%-50%+107%-29%-82%-61%-38%
Burglary-59%-73%-65%-32%-61%+10%-43%-52%-68%-53%
Criminal Damage and Arson-1%-43%-44%-15%+15%-3%-28%-26%-43%-54%
Drugs-46%+51%+46%-30%-13%-38%-47%-17%-37%-39%
Other Crime-19%-+60%-29%+35%-19%-52%-39%-41%-70%
Other Theft-53%-66%-46%-31%-47%+17%-7%-24%-41%-12%
Possession of Weapons-30%-73%+60%-50%-64%-11%-43%+75%-30%-
Public Order-29%-29%-3%+1%+21%+60%+6%-4%+3%-26%
Robbery-41%-67%-50%+100%-56%-22%-38%+33%--71%
Shoplifting+14%-32%-61%-39%+5%+46%-3%-6%-36%-56%
Theft From the Person-50%-58%-92%-88%-56%-25%+33%+8%-71%-38%
Vehicle Crime-64%-82%-69%-56%--54%-37%-22%-7%-40%
Violence and Sexual Offences+1%-11%-18%+4%+13%-+9%-22%-10%-19%

Frequently Asked Questions About Crime in Chelmsford

What police force serves Chelmsford?
Chelmsford's local territorial police force is the Essex Police.
How dangerous is Chelmsford?
Chelmsford is the safest major town in Essex.
What is Chelmsford's most common crime?
The most common crimes in Chelmsford are violence and sexual offences.
What is the least common crime in Chelmsford?
Chelmsford's least common crimes are possession of weapons.

Last updated: 05 Oct 2021