Colchester Crime Overview

Colchester is the second safest major town in Essex, and is the 34th most dangerous overall out of Essex's 319 towns, villages, and cities. The overall crime rate in Colchester in 2020 was 92 crimes per 1,000 people. This compares poorly to Essex's overall crime rate, coming in 16% higher than the Essex rate of 78 per 1,000 residents. For England, Wales, and Northern Ireland as a whole, Colchester is the 41st most dangerous major town, and the 653rd most dangerous location out of all towns, cities, and villages.

In November 2020, Colchester had the worst crime rate in Essex for bicycle theft, with 41 crimes reported and a crime rate of 0.30 per 1,000 inhabitants. December 2020 was also a bad month for Colchester residents, when it was Essex's most dangerous area for drugs, recording 55 crimes at a rate of 0.40 per 1,000 residents. Colchester recorded 81 reports of shoplifting during September 2020, making its crime rate of 0.59 the worst for shoplifting in Essex that month.

The most common crimes in Colchester are violence and sexual offences, with 6,099 offences during 2020, giving a crime rate of 44. This is 0.97% lower than 2019's figure of 6,158 offences and a difference of 0.43 from 2019's crime rate of 45. Colchester's least common crime is theft from the person, with 79 offences recorded in 2020, a decrease of 86% from 2019's figure of 147 crimes.

Compare Colchester to other towns and cities

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

Colchester Crime Map

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Crime in Colchester Compared To Essex

Summary of Crimes in Colchester This Year

CrimeCountRateCountRateRate Difference
Anti-Social Behaviour4,19730.3849,41426.7612% more dangerous
Bicycle Theft2381.721,8671.0141% more dangerous
Burglary5323.857,1213.860.26% safer
Criminal Damage and Arson1,2619.1314,0377.6017% more dangerous
Drugs8526.176,4523.4943% more dangerous
Other Crime2842.063,2051.7416% more dangerous
Other Theft7285.279,4275.103.2% more dangerous
Possession of Weapons1100.801,1960.6519% more dangerous
Public Order1,40110.1415,0938.1719% more dangerous
Robbery920.671,2270.661.5% more dangerous
Shoplifting6544.737,1183.8519% more dangerous
Theft From the Person790.579920.545% more dangerous
Vehicle Crime4263.0810,5505.7185% safer
Violence and Sexual Offences6,09944.1565,39435.4120% more dangerous

Colchester Compared to Nearby Major Towns

Major TownTotal CrimesCrime RateRate Difference
Chelmsford8,75273.7025% safer
Grays7,27096.174.0% more dangerous
Harlow9,580109.8816% more dangerous
Basildon14,364122.0624% more dangerous

Crime Over Time in Colchester

View crime percentage over time for

Colchester Crime Trends

 Crime Rate Per 1,000 Residents 
Anti-Social Behaviour31292730Getting worse
Bicycle Theft2.
Criminal Damage and Arson910109Safer
Drugs2.42.54.46Getting worse
Other Crime1. worse
Other Theft7775Safer
Possession of Weapons0.640.921.00.80Safer
Public Order791010Getting worse
Robbery (inc. mugging)0.901.21.10.67Safer
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)1.10.981.10.57Safer
Vehicle Crime4.
Violence and Sexual Offences30404544Getting 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 2020.

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

Comparing Colchester to the UK's Major Cities

Major TownCrime RateRate Difference
Barnet67.7136% safer
Coventry77.4119% safer
Croydon83.2211% safer
Sheffield85.818% safer
Bristol86.217% safer
Leicester97.445% more dangerous
Birmingham102.8710% more dangerous
Liverpool107.2814% more dangerous
Bradford133.0231% more dangerous
Leeds137.1033% more dangerous

Crime in Colchester's Neighbourhoods

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

NeighbourhoodCrime CountCrime RateDanger Rank
Abbey Field69288Fifth
Central Colchester2,725235First
Mile End & Braiswick1,855125Third
New Town & Hythe1,921136Second
Parson's Heath1,09178Sixth
Prettygate & Westlands31143Ninth

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 (119)Central Colchester (1,008)
Bicycle TheftPrettygate & Westlands (2)Central Colchester (99)
BurglaryMile End & Braiswick (28)Central Colchester (106)
Criminal Damage and ArsonPrettygate & Westlands (20)Central Colchester (258)
DrugsPrettygate & Westlands (11)Central Colchester (180)
Other CrimeParson's Heath (19)Central Colchester (51)
Other TheftLexden (13)Central Colchester (207)
Possession of WeaponsPrettygate & Westlands (2)Central Colchester (24)
Public OrderPrettygate & Westlands (33)Central Colchester (292)
Robbery (inc. mugging)Prettygate & Westlands (1)Central Colchester (23)
ShopliftingAbbey Field (2)Central Colchester (301)
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)Lexden (1)Central Colchester (48)
Vehicle CrimePrettygate & Westlands (11)Central Colchester (58)
Violence and Sexual OffencesPrettygate & Westlands (142)Central Colchester (1,078)

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 186% increase in drugs. Colchester saw a large fall in theft from the person during April, when it fell by 89% compared to April in 2019. Other Theft saw a fall in every month of Colchester's lockdown.

Anti-Social Behaviour-21%+48%+17%-10%+0%+8%+2%+27%+82%+96%
Bicycle Theft+8%-30%-61%-54%-39%-11%-40%-18%+46%+10%
Criminal Damage and Arson+37%-36%-26%-11%-12%-22%+2%-15%-33%-26%
Other Crime+108%-24%-3%-34%-63%+50%+4%+40%-43%+80%
Other Theft-17%-44%-43%-5%-15%+4%-14%-38%-23%-29%
Possession of Weapons-18%-73%+75%+25%-33%-25%--18%-33%-67%
Public Order+14%-19%+18%+19%-19%-13%-10%+1%+19%+3%
Theft From the Person-52%-89%-67%-13%-50%-25%-54%-30%-70%-56%
Vehicle Crime+41%-42%-17%-29%-3%+20%+15%-69%-57%-24%
Violence and Sexual Offences-11%-16%-10%+3%+4%+22%+17%-7%-9%-6%

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 theft from the person (inc. pickpocketing).

Last updated: 07 May 2021