Watford Crime Overview

Watford is the second safest major town in Hertfordshire, and is the 28th most dangerous overall out of Hertfordshire's 141 towns, villages, and cities. The overall crime rate in Watford in 2020 was 63 crimes per 1,000 people. This compares poorly to Hertfordshire's overall crime rate, coming in 5% higher than the Hertfordshire rate of 60 per 1,000 residents. For England, Wales, and Northern Ireland as a whole, Watford is the 27th safest major town, and the 1,848th most dangerous location out of all towns, cities, and villages.

In December 2020, Watford had the worst crime rate in Hertfordshire for bicycle theft, with 20 crimes reported and a crime rate of 0.14 per 1,000 inhabitants. November 2020 was also a bad month for Watford residents, when it was Hertfordshire's most dangerous area for burglary, recording 37 crimes at a rate of 0.26 per 1,000 residents. Watford recorded 84 reports of criminal damage and arson during November 2020, making its crime rate of 0.59 the worst for criminal damage and arson in Hertfordshire that month.

The most common crimes in Watford are violence and sexual offences, with 3,283 offences during 2020, giving a crime rate of 23. This is 5% lower than 2019's figure of 3,453 offences and a difference of 1.20 from 2019's crime rate of 24. Watford's least common crimes are possession of weapons, with 84 offences recorded in 2020, a decrease of 40% from 2019's figure of 118 crimes.

Compare Watford to other towns and cities

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

Watford Crime Map

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Crime in Watford Compared To Hertfordshire

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Summary of Crimes in Watford This Year

CrimeCountRateCountRateRate Difference
Anti-Social Behaviour3,21622.7626,05921.913.7% more dangerous
Bicycle Theft2641.871,5061.2732% more dangerous
Burglary4112.914,0233.3816% safer
Criminal Damage and Arson8716.167,2416.091.1% more dangerous
Drugs3262.312,6242.214.3% more dangerous
Other Crime1941.371,4721.249% more dangerous
Other Theft8936.326,8065.729% more dangerous
Possession of Weapons840.595680.4819% more dangerous
Public Order6664.715,5574.670.85% more dangerous
Robbery1200.857120.6029% more dangerous
Shoplifting7625.396,3585.350.74% more dangerous
Theft From the Person1821.298180.6947% more dangerous
Vehicle Crime8826.246,7305.669% more dangerous
Violence and Sexual Offences3,28323.2326,80322.533.0% more dangerous

Watford Compared to Nearby Major Towns

Major TownTotal CrimesCrime RateRate Difference
St Albans4,56051.9722% safer
Hemel Hempstead6,78565.964.1% more dangerous
Stevenage7,67181.5422% more dangerous

Crime Over Time in Watford

View crime percentage over time for

Watford Crime Trends

 Crime Rate Per 1,000 Residents 
Anti-Social Behaviour33232423Safer
Bicycle Theft2.
Criminal Damage and Arson8766Safer
Other Crime1. worse
Other Theft8786Safer
Possession of Weapons2.91.60.840.59Safer
Public Order6754.7Safer
Robbery (inc. mugging)
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)
Vehicle Crime8796Safer
Violence and Sexual Offences21242423Getting worse

Changes In Watford's Crime Rates Over Time

Offences in Watford's Green Spaces

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

NameASBDrugsPublic OrderRobberyVSOAll OthersCrimes per Hectare
Callowland Recreation Ground2---913.3
Harebreaks Recreation Ground8---226
Harwoods Recreation Ground1----10.83
Manor House Grounds3-2-161.8
Orchard Park----612.0
Oxhey Activity Park181137516
Oxhey Grange Playing Fields-----10.71
Oxhey Park18113752.8
Smug Oak Green21-1--741
St Matthew's Church114-1223
Watford Fields Recreation Ground1---402.1
Woodside Recreation Ground511-421.6

Comparing Watford to the UK's Major Cities

Major TownCrime RateRate Difference
Barnet67.717% more dangerous
Coventry77.4118% more dangerous
Croydon83.2224% more dangerous
Sheffield85.8126% more dangerous
Bristol86.2127% more dangerous
Leicester97.4435% more dangerous
Birmingham102.8739% more dangerous
Liverpool107.2841% more dangerous
Bradford133.0252% more dangerous
Leeds137.1054% more dangerous

Crime in Watford's Neighbourhoods

Central Watford is the most dangerous neighbourhood in Watford, followed by North Watford in second place, and Tudor as the third most dangerous area. Watford's safest neighbourhoods are, in order, Leggatts, Nascot Wood, and Stanborough.

NeighbourhoodCrime CountCrime RateDanger Rank
Carpenders Park42060Ninth
Central Watford2,498240First
Nascot Wood3924513th
North Watford69688Second
Oxhey Hall & Hayling4035411th
West Watford56365Sixth
Woodside & Leavesden Green52170Fifth

Watford Neighbourhood Crime Breakdown

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

Crime TypeSafest NeighbourhoodMost Dangerous Neighbourhood
Anti-Social BehaviourCarpenders Park (95)Central Watford (876)
Bicycle TheftTudor (4)Central Watford (75)
BurglaryOxhey Hall & Hayling (16)Central Watford (61)
Criminal Damage and ArsonNascot Wood (35)Central Watford (172)
DrugsLeggatts (9)Central Watford (104)
Other CrimeNascot Wood (6)Central Watford (40)
Other TheftStanborough (15)Central Watford (276)
Possession of WeaponsWoodside & Leavesden Green (1)Central Watford (35)
Public OrderNascot Wood (18)Central Watford (196)
Robbery (inc. mugging)Nascot Wood (3)Central Watford (40)
ShopliftingCassiobury (1)Central Watford (438)
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)Woodside & Leavesden Green (1)Central Watford (143)
Vehicle CrimeStanborough (31)Tudor (95)
Violence and Sexual OffencesTudor (86)Central Watford (790)

Crime in Watford During Coronavirus Lockdowns

Looking at the months the UK was in lockdown in 2020 due to Covid-19, how did crime rates in Watford change compared to the same month in 2019? The biggest increase in lockdown crime came in May, when Watford saw a 100% increase in drugs. Watford saw a large fall in shoplifting during May, when it fell by 84% compared to May in 2019. Watford saw consistent falls in the crime rate of several types of crime during every month of its Coronavirus lockdown, including burglary, drugs, other theft, shoplifting, vehicle crime, and violence and sexual offences.

Anti-Social Behaviour+8%+18%-11%-20%-2%-4%-1%-8%+8%-24%
Bicycle Theft-32%-56%-6%-2%-78%-61%-44%+30%-25%+18%
Criminal Damage and Arson-5%-34%-39%-19%-18%+1%-+33%+12%-
Other Crime-29%--52%-28%+13%-47%-28%+67%-+13%
Other Theft-14%-68%-41%-27%-46%-13%-12%-13%+8%-17%
Possession of Weapons+60%--50%--8%+22%-50%+14%-71%-57%
Public Order-17%-30%+15%-4%-20%-2%-31%+25%-27%-14%
Theft From the Person-29%-82%-63%-80%-75%-35%-24%-47%-59%-17%
Vehicle Crime-33%-55%-40%-46%-35%-38%-37%-19%-25%+31%
Violence and Sexual Offences-9%-9%-18%-10%-4%-8%+16%-13%-2%-5%

Frequently Asked Questions About Crime in Watford

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

Last updated: 07 May 2021