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Crime and Safety in Colchester

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Colchester is the second safest major town in Essex, and is the 36th most dangerous overall out of Essex's 315 towns, villages, and cities. The overall crime rate in Colchester in 2021 was 96 crimes per 1,000 people. This compares poorly to Essex's overall crime rate, coming in 16% higher than the Essex rate of 81 per 1,000 residents. For England, Wales, and Northern Ireland as a whole, Colchester is the 37th most dangerous major town, and the 631st most dangerous location out of all towns, cities, and villages.

In November 2021, Colchester had the worst crime rate in Essex for drugs, with 56 crimes reported and a crime rate of 0.41 per 1,000 inhabitants. June 2021 was also a bad month for Colchester residents, when it was Essex's most dangerous area for other crime, recording 29 crimes at a rate of 0.21 per 1,000 residents. Colchester recorded 80 reports of shoplifting during December 2021, making its crime rate of 0.58 the worst for shoplifting in Essex that month.

The most common crimes in Colchester are violence and sexual offences, with 6,682 offences during 2021, giving a crime rate of 48. This is 13% higher than 2020's figure of 5,834 offences and a difference of 6.13 from 2020's crime rate of 42. Colchester's least common crime is robbery, with 92 offences recorded in 2021, an increase of 1.1% from 2020's figure of 91 crimes.

Colchester 2022 Crime Scorecard

Second Safest

Major Towns, Essex

27% higher, regional crime rate

East of England

24% higher, national crime rate

England, Wales & NI

Local Crime in Context

As of 2022, the crime rate in Colchester is 27% higher than the East of England and 24% higher than the England, Wales & Northern Ireland overall figure.

Colchester Crime Rate Over Time

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Colchester
East of England
England, Wales & NI

Colchester Crime Map

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

Last updated: 11 May, 2022

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Hover over a point to see a breakdown of crime types recorded at that location. You can also filter by individual crime types, or use a combinations of offences to visualize the data you need.

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Historical Crime Rates for Colchester

YearCrime Rate per
1,000 people
Total Crimes
20219613,278
20209012,482
201910113,940
20189513,139
20178111,134
2016669,109

Crime in Colchester Compared To Essex

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Summary of Crimes in Colchester This Year

 ColchesterEssex 
CrimeCountRateCountRateRate Difference
Anti-Social Behaviour3,41824.7438,40220.80 16% more dangerous
Bicycle Theft1771.281,6500.89 30% more dangerous
Burglary4183.035,8403.16 4.3% safer
Criminal Damage and Arson1,1808.5413,5347.33 14% more dangerous
Drugs6494.705,3622.90 38% more dangerous
Other Crime2832.053,1801.72 16% more dangerous
Other Theft8636.2510,2495.55 11% more dangerous
Possession of Weapons1030.751,1820.64 15% more dangerous
Public Order1,52611.0516,4258.89 20% more dangerous
Robbery920.671,2500.68 1.5% safer
Shoplifting8306.017,0953.84 36% more dangerous
Theft From the Person1000.721,0380.56 22% more dangerous
Vehicle Crime3752.7110,1545.50 103% safer
Violence and Sexual Offences6,68248.3772,86439.46 18% more dangerous

Colchester Compared to Nearby Major Towns)

Major TownTotal CrimesCrime RateRate Difference
Chelmsford9,88383.2216% safer
Colchester13,27896.13-
Grays7,617100.764.6% more dangerous
Harlow10,086115.6817% more dangerous
Basildon14,679124.7423% more dangerous

Crime Over Time in Colchester

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Recent Crimes in Colchester

DateCrime TypeLocationOutcome
March 2022Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Ipswich RoadUnable to prosecute suspect
March 2022Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Fairfield GardensAction to be taken by another organisation
March 2022Vehicle crimeOn or near Rambler CloseInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
March 2022Vehicle crimeOn or near Valentinus CrescentInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
March 2022Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Walnut Tree WayUnable to prosecute suspect
March 2022Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Alefounder CloseUnable to prosecute suspect
March 2022Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Scarfe WayUnable to prosecute suspect
March 2022Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Holman CrescentUnable to prosecute suspect
March 2022Public orderOn or near Albany GardensInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
March 2022Public orderOn or near Harwich RoadUnable to prosecute suspect
March 2022Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Land LaneOffender given a caution
March 2022Criminal damage and arsonOn or near Talavera CrescentInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
March 2022Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Pedestrian SubwayUnable to prosecute suspect
March 2022Other theftOn or near Edward Paxman GardensInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
March 2022Other crimeOn or near James StreetUnable to prosecute suspect
March 2022Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Princess DriveUnable to prosecute suspect
March 2022Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Ipswich RoadUnable to prosecute suspect
March 2022BurglaryOn or near Holborough CloseUnable to prosecute suspect
March 2022Other theftOn or near Rainsborowe RoadInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
March 2022Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Glisson SquareInvestigation complete; no suspect identified

Colchester Crime Trends

 Crime Rate Per 1,000 Residents 
Crime2018201920202021Trend
Anti-Social Behaviour29273125 Safer
Bicycle Theft2.92.41.71.3 Safer
Burglary653.93.0 Safer
Criminal Damage and Arson101099 Safer
Drugs2.54.464.7 Getting worse
Other Crime1.72.22.12.0 Getting worse
Other Theft7756 Safer
Possession of Weapons0.931.00.780.75 Safer
Public Order9101011 Getting worse
Robbery (inc. mugging)1.21.10.660.67 Safer
Shoplifting9956 Safer
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)1.01.10.580.72 Safer
Vehicle Crime4.33.93.12.7 Safer
Violence and Sexual Offences39444248 Getting worse

Changes In Colchester's Crime Rates Over Time

Offences in Colchester's Green Spaces

We only display green spaces in Colchester that are named, and have had crimes recorded within their boundaries during 2021.

NameASBDrugsPublic OrderRobberyVSOAll OthersCrimes per Hectare
Lexden Park-1---00.09

Comparing Colchester to the UK's Major Cities

Major TownCrime RateRate Difference
Coventry39.93141% safer
Birmingham49.6094% safer
Barnet67.0843% safer
Croydon82.4817% safer
Sheffield90.037% safer
Bristol90.526% safer
Colchester96.13-
Leicester111.5914% more dangerous
Liverpool123.0622% more dangerous
Bradford132.2827% more dangerous
Leeds150.9436% more dangerous

Crime in Colchester's Neighbourhoods

Central Colchester is the most dangerous neighbourhood in Colchester, followed by Greenstead in second place, and New Town & Hythe as the third most dangerous area. Colchester's safest neighbourhoods are, in order, Abbey Field, Lexden, and Prettygate & Westlands.

NeighbourhoodCrime CountCrime RateDanger Rank
Abbey Field55571Seventh
Central Colchester3,264281First
Greenstead1,845136Second
Highwoods77178Sixth
Lexden36665Eighth
Mile End & Braiswick1,713115Fourth
New Town & Hythe1,842131Third
Parson's Heath1,11280Fifth
Prettygate & Westlands44160Ninth

Colchester Neighbourhood Crime Breakdown

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

Crime TypeSafest NeighbourhoodMost Dangerous Neighbourhood
Anti-Social BehaviourPrettygate & Westlands (105)Central Colchester (861)
Bicycle TheftLexden (1)Central Colchester (87)
BurglaryLexden (7)Central Colchester (85)
Criminal Damage and ArsonPrettygate & Westlands (25)Central Colchester (271)
DrugsPrettygate & Westlands (5)Central Colchester (156)
Other CrimePrettygate & Westlands (6)Greenstead (45)
Other TheftLexden (19)Central Colchester (240)
Possession of WeaponsPrettygate & Westlands (1)Central Colchester (38)
Public OrderPrettygate & Westlands (46)Central Colchester (387)
Robbery (inc. mugging)Highwoods (2)Central Colchester (33)
ShopliftingAbbey Field (3)Central Colchester (333)
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)New Town & Hythe (4)Central Colchester (63)
Vehicle CrimePrettygate & Westlands (8)Central Colchester (51)
Violence and Sexual OffencesAbbey Field (260)Central Colchester (1,484)

Crime in Colchester During Coronavirus Lockdowns

Looking at the months the UK was in lockdown in 2020 due to Covid-19, how did crime rates in Colchester change compared to the same month in 2019? The biggest increase in lockdown crime came in May, when Colchester saw a 200% increase in drugs. Colchester saw a large fall in theft from the person during April, when it fell by 91% compared to April in 2019.

CrimeMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Anti-Social Behaviour-20%+56%+15%-4%+3%+8%+2%+26%+81%+113%
Bicycle Theft+8%-27%-60%-54%-39%-11%-33%-23%+43%+10%
Burglary-42%-59%-45%-57%+10%-16%+54%-46%-45%-37%
Criminal Damage and Arson+37%-40%-29%-12%-15%-28%+1%-26%-35%-27%
Drugs+52%+57%+200%+64%+44%-28%-23%+79%+3%-16%
Other Crime+108%-22%+7%-34%-63%+50%+4%+18%-47%+63%
Other Theft-16%-43%-42%-12%-17%-3%-19%-37%-22%-21%
Possession of Weapons-18%-73%+69%--42%-25%-9%-18%-29%-67%
Public Order+21%-16%+22%+8%-18%-12%-12%-+19%+6%
Robbery-44%-58%-50%-21%-7%-88%-42%-31%-18%-20%
Shoplifting-50%-69%-80%-21%-61%-48%-26%-45%-38%-42%
Theft From the Person-57%-91%-64%-13%-55%-25%-50%-36%-63%-56%
Vehicle Crime+47%-44%-17%-32%+8%+13%+18%-70%-55%-24%
Violence and Sexual Offences-19%-18%-12%+0%+2%+22%+11%-9%-11%-2%

Frequently Asked Questions About Crime in Colchester

What police force serves Colchester?
Colchester's local territorial police force is the Essex Police.

How dangerous is Colchester?
Colchester is the second safest major town in Essex.

What is Colchester's most common crime?
The most common crimes in Colchester are violence and sexual offences.

What is the least common crime in Colchester?
Colchester's least common crime is robbery (inc. mugging).

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