Harlow Crime Overview

Harlow is the second most dangerous major town in Essex, and is among the top 20 most dangerous overall out of Essex's 319 towns, villages, and cities. The overall crime rate in Harlow in 2020 was 110 crimes per 1,000 people. This compares poorly to Essex's overall crime rate, coming in 29% higher than the Essex rate of 78 per 1,000 residents. For England, Wales, and Northern Ireland as a whole, Harlow is among the top 20 most dangerous major towns, and the 363rd most dangerous location out of all towns, cities, and villages.

In December 2020, Harlow had the worst crime rate in Essex for theft from the person, with 12 crimes reported and a crime rate of 0.14 per 1,000 inhabitants. August 2016 was also a bad month for Harlow residents, when it was Essex's most dangerous area for drugs, recording 27 crimes at a rate of 0.31 per 1,000 residents. Harlow recorded 114 reports of shoplifting during September 2015, making its crime rate of 1.3 the worst for shoplifting in Essex that month.

The most common crimes in Harlow are violence and sexual offences, with 4,391 offences during 2020, giving a crime rate of 50. This is 5% higher than 2019's figure of 4,154 offences and a difference of 2.72 from 2019's crime rate of 48. Harlow's least common crimes are possession of weapons, with 68 offences recorded in 2020, a decrease of 16% from 2019's figure of 79 crimes.

Compare Harlow to other towns and cities

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

Harlow Crime Map

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Crime in Harlow Compared To Essex

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Summary of Crimes in Harlow This Year

 HarlowEssex 
CrimeCountRateCountRateRate Difference
Anti-Social Behaviour3,54940.7049,41426.7634% more dangerous
Bicycle Theft1441.651,8671.0139% more dangerous
Burglary3874.447,1213.8613% more dangerous
Criminal Damage and Arson88810.1814,0377.6025% more dangerous
Drugs4645.326,4523.4934% more dangerous
Other Crime1742.003,2051.7413% more dangerous
Other Theft5906.779,4275.1025% more dangerous
Possession of Weapons680.781,1960.6517% more dangerous
Public Order1,02811.7915,0938.1731% more dangerous
Robbery921.061,2270.6638% more dangerous
Shoplifting5015.757,1183.8533% more dangerous
Theft From the Person760.879920.5438% more dangerous
Vehicle Crime7778.9110,5505.7136% more dangerous
Violence and Sexual Offences4,39150.3665,39435.4130% more dangerous

Harlow Compared to Nearby Major Towns

Major TownTotal CrimesCrime RateRate Difference
Chelmsford8,75273.7049% safer
Colchester12,75692.3519% safer
Grays7,27096.1714% safer
Harlow9,580109.88-
Basildon14,364122.0610% more dangerous

Crime Over Time in Harlow

View crime percentage over time for

Recent Crimes in Harlow

DateCrime TypeLocationOutcome
August 2021ShopliftingOn or near Dukes PathInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
August 2021DrugsOn or near South GateLocal resolution
August 2021Other theftOn or near South GateInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
August 2021Public orderOn or near South GateUnable to prosecute suspect
August 2021Theft from the personOn or near South GateInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
August 2021Violence and sexual offencesOn or near South GateUnable to prosecute suspect
August 2021Violence and sexual offencesOn or near South GateUnable to prosecute suspect
August 2021Violence and sexual offencesOn or near South GateUnable to prosecute suspect
August 2021Violence and sexual offencesOn or near South GateUnable to prosecute suspect
August 2021Violence and sexual offencesOn or near South GateUnable to prosecute suspect
August 2021Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Sports/Recreation AreaUnable to prosecute suspect
August 2021Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Sports/Recreation AreaAction to be taken by another organisation
August 2021Criminal damage and arsonOn or near NightclubUnable to prosecute suspect
August 2021Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Monkswick RoadUnable to prosecute suspect
August 2021Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Monkswick RoadUnable to prosecute suspect
August 2021Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Monkswick RoadUnable to prosecute suspect
August 2021Criminal damage and arsonOn or near WillowfieldUnable to prosecute suspect
August 2021Vehicle crimeOn or near WillowfieldInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
August 2021Vehicle crimeOn or near WillowfieldInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
August 2021Violence and sexual offencesOn or near WillowfieldUnable to prosecute suspect

Harlow Crime Trends

 Crime Rate Per 1,000 Residents 
Crime2017201820192020Trend
Anti-Social Behaviour38393241Getting worse
Bicycle Theft2.42.42.71.6Safer
Burglary4.6664.4Safer
Criminal Damage and Arson10111110Safer
Drugs2.72.64.05Getting worse
Other Crime1.61.72.22.0Getting worse
Other Theft9897Safer
Possession of Weapons0.890.960.910.78Safer
Public Order791112Getting worse
Robbery (inc. mugging)0.771.11.41.1Safer
Shoplifting8766Safer
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)1.01.10.730.87Safer
Vehicle Crime8999Getting worse
Violence and Sexual Offences27394850Getting worse

Changes In Harlow's Crime Rates Over Time

Offences in Harlow's Green Spaces

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

NameASBDrugsPublic OrderRobberyVSOAll OthersCrimes per Hectare
Long Ley Playing Field26-3-8419
Rectory Field Playing Field2-1-101.7
The Dashes Playing Field653-3813
The Stow Playing Field10-317411

Comparing Harlow to the UK's Major Cities

Major TownCrime RateRate Difference
Barnet67.7162% safer
Coventry77.4142% safer
Croydon83.2232% safer
Sheffield85.8128% safer
Bristol86.2127% safer
Leicester97.4413% safer
Birmingham102.877% safer
Liverpool107.282.4% safer
Harlow109.88-
Bradford133.0217% more dangerous
Leeds137.1020% more dangerous

Crime in Harlow's Neighbourhoods

Passmores & The High is the most dangerous neighbourhood in Harlow, followed by Mark Hall & Templefields in second place, and Staple Tye & Latton Bush as the third most dangerous area. Harlow's safest neighbourhoods are, in order, Church Langley, Kingsmoor, and Potter Street.

NeighbourhoodCrime CountCrime RateDanger Rank
Bush Fair & Brays Grove827106Fifth
Church Langley42749Eighth
Kingsmoor57779Seventh
Mark Hall & Templefields1,160152Second
Nettleswell926116Fourth
Passmores & The High1,960232First
Potter Street70295Sixth
Staple Tye & Latton Bush1,020142Third

Harlow Neighbourhood Crime Breakdown

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

Crime TypeSafest NeighbourhoodMost Dangerous Neighbourhood
Anti-Social BehaviourChurch Langley (126)Passmores & The High (542)
Bicycle TheftChurch Langley (1)Passmores & The High (54)
BurglaryChurch Langley (11)Staple Tye & Latton Bush (71)
Criminal Damage and ArsonChurch Langley (40)Passmores & The High (164)
DrugsChurch Langley (25)Passmores & The High (136)
Other CrimeKingsmoor (7)Passmores & The High (29)
Other TheftPotter Street (34)Passmores & The High (133)
Possession of WeaponsChurch Langley (4)Staple Tye & Latton Bush (13)
Public OrderKingsmoor (43)Passmores & The High (247)
Robbery (inc. mugging)Church Langley (2)Passmores & The High (27)
ShopliftingKingsmoor (2)Passmores & The High (213)
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)Potter Street (2)Passmores & The High (39)
Vehicle CrimeChurch Langley (32)Staple Tye & Latton Bush (105)
Violence and Sexual OffencesChurch Langley (187)Passmores & The High (778)

Crime in Harlow During Coronavirus Lockdowns

Looking at the months the UK was in lockdown in 2020 due to Covid-19, how did crime rates in Harlow change compared to the same month in 2019? The biggest increase in lockdown crime came in October, when Harlow saw a 140% increase in theft from the person. Harlow saw a large fall in theft from the person during May, when it fell by 83% compared to May in 2019. Harlow saw consistent falls in the crime rate of several types of crime during every month of its Coronavirus lockdown, including bicycle theft, burglary, and criminal damage and arson.

CrimeMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Anti-Social Behaviour+10%+68%+63%+13%+22%+28%-6%+16%+65%+60%
Bicycle Theft-13%-39%-20%+27%-43%-46%-33%-50%-64%-22%
Burglary+73%-9%-32%-8%-25%-61%-46%-64%-59%-33%
Criminal Damage and Arson+1%-12%-24%-2%-23%-16%-24%-25%-6%-7%
Drugs+43%+96%+128%+18%+68%+11%-9%+50%+20%+28%
Other Crime-21%-13%+50%-27%-35%+36%-10%-7%-53%-13%
Other Theft-13%-50%-32%-29%-12%-26%+11%+14%-18%-40%
Possession of Weapons-50%-50%+57%-40%+40%+100%+67%+40%-75%-63%
Public Order-4%-9%+8%+1%+35%+9%+15%+12%+3%+18%
Robbery-+29%-65%+100%-57%-29%-62%-25%+20%+14%
Shoplifting+8%-62%-36%-46%-29%-32%+7%+14%+61%+8%
Theft From the Person--80%-83%-40%+17%+100%+57%+140%-25%+71%
Vehicle Crime+52%-63%-67%-17%-11%+23%+5%+22%+10%-43%
Violence and Sexual Offences-3%-9%+3%-10%+31%+8%+6%0%-+11%

Frequently Asked Questions About Crime in Harlow

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

Last updated: 05 Oct 2021