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Crime and Safety in Watford, Hertfordshire

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Watford is the safest major towns in Hertfordshire, and is the 38th most dangerous overall out of Hertfordshire's 140 towns, villages, and cities. The overall crime rate in Watford in 2021 was 56 crimes per 1,000 people. This compares favourably to Hertfordshire's overall crime rate, coming in 2.7% lower than the Hertfordshire rate of 58 per 1,000 residents. For England, Wales, and Northern Ireland as a whole, Watford is among the top 10 safest major town, and the 2,556th most dangerous location out of all towns, cities, and villages.

In December 2021, Watford had the worst crime rate in Hertfordshire for bicycle theft, with 24 crimes reported and a crime rate of 0.17 per 1,000 inhabitants. August 2021 was also a bad month for Watford residents, when it was Hertfordshire's most dangerous area for burglary, recording 46 crimes at a rate of 0.33 per 1,000 residents. Watford recorded 31 reports of drugs during April 2021, making its crime rate of 0.22 the worst for drugs in Hertfordshire that month.

The most common crimes in Watford are violence and sexual offences, with 3,035 offences during 2021, giving a crime rate of 21. This is 5% higher than 2020's figure of 2,880 offences and a difference of 1.10 from 2020's crime rate of 20. Watford's least common crimes are possession of weapons, with 98 offences recorded in 2021, an increase of 20% from 2020's figure of 78 crimes.

Watford 2022 Crime Scorecard

Safest

Major Towns, Hertfordshire

25% lower, regional crime rate

East of England

35% lower, national crime rate

England, Wales & NI

Local Crime in Context

As of 2022, the crime rate in Watford is 25% lower than the East of England and 35% lower than the England, Wales & Northern Ireland overall figure.

Watford Crime Rate Over Time

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Watford
East of England
England, Wales & NI

Watford Crime Map

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

Last updated: 02 Jun, 2022

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Historical Crime Rates for Watford

YearCrime Rate per
1,000 people
Total Crimes
2021567,981
2020567,918
2019709,934
2018699,815
2017689,609
2016577,993

Crime in Watford Compared To Hertfordshire

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Summary of Crimes in Watford This Year

 WatfordHertfordshire 
CrimeCountRateCountRateRate Difference
Anti-Social Behaviour2,51017.7624,48520.58 16% safer
Bicycle Theft2721.921,3311.12 42% more dangerous
Burglary2811.993,1172.62 32% safer
Criminal Damage and Arson7245.126,8565.76 12% safer
Drugs2741.942,4482.06 6% safer
Other Crime1340.951,3971.17 23% safer
Other Theft8405.946,8025.72 3.7% more dangerous
Possession of Weapons980.696130.52 25% more dangerous
Public Order5613.975,2454.41 11% safer
Robbery1010.715250.44 38% more dangerous
Shoplifting5163.655,7434.83 32% safer
Theft From the Person2511.789070.76 57% more dangerous
Vehicle Crime8946.336,6705.61 11% more dangerous
Violence and Sexual Offences3,03521.4827,36823.01 7% safer

Watford Compared to Nearby Major Towns)

Major TownTotal CrimesCrime RateRate Difference
Watford7,98156.48-
St Albans5,16158.824.0% more dangerous
Hemel Hempstead6,15259.806% more dangerous
Stevenage7,60880.8730% more dangerous

Crime Over Time in Watford

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Recent Crimes in Watford

DateCrime TypeLocationOutcome
April 2022BurglaryOn or near Gammons LaneInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
April 2022Violence and sexual offencesOn or near NightclubUnable to prosecute suspect
April 2022ShopliftingOn or near Parking AreaInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
April 2022Bicycle theftOn or near High StreetInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
April 2022Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Further/Higher Educational BuildingInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
April 2022Other theftOn or near Further/Higher Educational BuildingInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
April 2022Theft from the personOn or near WellstonesInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
April 2022ShopliftingOn or near Shopping AreaUnable to prosecute suspect
April 2022Other theftOn or near Tucker StreetInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
April 2022DrugsOn or near Durban Road EastUnable to prosecute suspect
April 2022Vehicle crimeOn or near SupermarketInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
April 2022Vehicle crimeOn or near Orphanage RoadInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
April 2022Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Parker StreetUnable to prosecute suspect
April 2022Criminal damage and arsonOn or near Eastlea AvenueInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
April 2022ShopliftingOn or near Farthing CloseInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
April 2022Other theftOn or near Gadswell CloseInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
April 2022Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Upton RoadInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
April 2022Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Meriden WayInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
April 2022ShopliftingOn or near Parking AreaInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
April 2022Vehicle crimeOn or near Pioneer WayInvestigation complete; no suspect identified

Watford Crime Trends

 Crime Rate Per 1,000 Residents 
Crime2018201920202021Trend
Anti-Social Behaviour20212018 Safer
Bicycle Theft1.83.01.81.9 Safer
Burglary3.63.52.52.0 Safer
Criminal Damage and Arson6555 Safer
Drugs3.12.62.01.9 Safer
Other Crime1.11.41.20.95 Safer
Other Theft7766 Safer
Possession of Weapons1.40.770.550.69 Safer
Public Order64.94.24.0 Safer
Robbery (inc. mugging)1.11.40.780.71 Safer
Shoplifting9953.6 Safer
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)2.52.11.21.8 Safer
Vehicle Crime6856 Safer
Violence and Sexual Offences22222021 Getting 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 2021.

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
Watford56.48-
Barnet67.0816% more dangerous
Croydon82.4832% more dangerous
Sheffield90.0537% more dangerous
Bristol90.5238% more dangerous
Coventry102.2445% more dangerous
Leicester111.5949% more dangerous
Liverpool123.0654% more dangerous
Birmingham129.6456% more dangerous
Bradford132.2857% more dangerous
Leeds150.9463% 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, Nascot Wood, Oxhey Hall & Hayling, and Stanborough.

NeighbourhoodCrime CountCrime RateDanger Rank
Carpenders Park42761Seventh
Cassiobury40651Tenth
Central Watford2,816270First
Garston55267Fifth
Holywell61766Sixth
Leggatts3945011th
Nascot Wood3604113th
North Watford65082Second
Oxhey41261Eighth
Oxhey Hall & Hayling3464712th
Stanborough2864014th
Tudor43074Third
West Watford52861Ninth
Woodside & Leavesden Green50968Fourth

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 (86)Central Watford (841)
Bicycle TheftOxhey Hall & Hayling (2)Central Watford (138)
BurglaryCassiobury (12)Central Watford (73)
Criminal Damage and ArsonCarpenders Park (25)Central Watford (201)
DrugsCassiobury (7)Central Watford (117)
Other CrimeOxhey Hall & Hayling (3)Central Watford (42)
Other TheftCassiobury (28)Central Watford (283)
Possession of WeaponsNascot Wood (1)Central Watford (46)
Public OrderNascot Wood (17)Central Watford (185)
Robbery (inc. mugging)Carpenders Park (1)Central Watford (50)
ShopliftingNascot Wood (1)Central Watford (343)
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)Holywell (1)Central Watford (189)
Vehicle CrimeWest Watford (50)Central Watford (169)
Violence and Sexual OffencesStanborough (103)Central Watford (980)

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 113% increase in drugs. Watford saw a large fall in theft from the person during June, when it fell by 85% compared to June 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, and vehicle crime.

CrimeMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Anti-Social Behaviour+5%+14%-13%-19%-2%-5%+2%-13%+1%-34%
Bicycle Theft-39%-58%-9%-2%-82%-64%-42%+38%-25%+18%
Burglary-45%-56%-20%+25%-15%-17%-41%-19%-14%-70%
Criminal Damage and Arson-13%-41%-43%-27%-16%-3%-9%+25%+1%-8%
Drugs-17%-59%+113%-30%-60%-9%-29%-27%-3%-11%
Other Crime-26%--55%-35%+29%-50%-31%+57%-23%+27%
Other Theft-14%-67%-46%-26%-48%-26%-10%-14%+6%-17%
Possession of Weapons+40%--44%+10%-17%+13%-44%+40%-71%-57%
Public Order-15%-37%+17%-15%-24%-2%-38%+20%-35%-14%
Robbery-38%-50%-38%-78%-47%-69%-14%-62%-54%-47%
Shoplifting-64%-78%-83%-65%-24%-7%-22%+10%-57%-36%
Theft From the Person-26%-81%-63%-85%-75%-35%-33%-45%-59%-13%
Vehicle Crime-31%-51%-42%-56%-35%-42%-39%-22%-28%+63%
Violence and Sexual Offences-10%-16%-18%-11%-9%+0%+9%-14%-8%0%

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 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.

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