Nelson Crime Overview

Nelson is the third most dangerous medium-sized town in Lancashire, and is among the top 20 most dangerous overall out of Lancashire's 241 towns, villages, and cities. The overall crime rate in Nelson in 2020 was 96 crimes per 1,000 people. This compares poorly to Lancashire's overall crime rate, coming in 24% higher than the Lancashire rate of 72 per 1,000 residents. For England, Wales, and Northern Ireland as a whole, Nelson is the 46th most dangerous medium-sized town, and the 577th most dangerous location out of all towns, cities, and villages.

In August 2020, Nelson was the worst medium-sized town in Lancashire for burglary, with 23 crimes reported and a crime rate of 0.73 per 1,000 inhabitants. October 2020 was also a bad month for Nelson residents, when it was Lancashire's most dangerous medium-sized town for drugs, recording 11 crimes at a rate of 0.35 per 1,000 residents. Nelson recorded 9 reports of other crime during December 2020, making its crime rate of 0.29 the worst medium-sized town for other crime in Lancashire that month.

The most common crimes in Nelson are violence and sexual offences, with 1,402 offences during 2020, giving a crime rate of 45. This is 16% higher than 2019's figure of 1,173 offences and a difference of 7.30 from 2019's crime rate of 37. Nelson's least common crime is theft from the person, with 10 offences recorded in 2020, a decrease of 50% from 2019's figure of 15 crimes.

Compare Nelson to other towns and cities

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

Nelson Crime Map

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Crime in Nelson Compared To Lancashire

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Summary of Crimes in Nelson This Year

 NelsonLancashire 
CrimeCountRateCountRateRate Difference
Anti-Social Behaviour2,23471.2488,46658.6318% more dangerous
Bicycle Theft150.488670.5719% safer
Burglary1745.557,4914.9611% more dangerous
Criminal Damage and Arson33310.6213,6289.0315% more dangerous
Drugs862.742,4861.6540% more dangerous
Other Crime692.202,5911.7222% more dangerous
Other Theft34210.919,7706.4841% more dangerous
Possession of Weapons331.059890.6637% more dangerous
Public Order2528.048,0945.3633% more dangerous
Robbery110.357520.5043% safer
Shoplifting1625.175,4113.5931% more dangerous
Theft From the Person100.325550.3716% safer
Vehicle Crime1103.516,2574.1518% safer
Violence and Sexual Offences1,40244.7150,36333.3825% more dangerous

Nelson Compared to Nearby Medium-Sized Towns

Medium-Sized TownTotal CrimesCrime RateRate Difference
Leyland2,36959.9859% safer
Skelmersdale2,23465.8845% safer
Chorley3,04881.0418% safer
Morecambe3,09387.1610% safer
Darwen2,38187.709% safer
Nelson2,99995.63-
Accrington3,891109.2612% more dangerous
Fleetwood2,965113.1415% more dangerous

Crime Over Time in Nelson

View crime percentage over time for

Nelson Crime Trends

 Crime Rate Per 1,000 Residents 
Crime2017201820192020Trend
Anti-Social Behaviour55403771Getting worse
Bicycle Theft0.450.800.480.48Safer
Burglary91396Safer
Criminal Damage and Arson12121011Safer
Drugs1.31.81.62.7Getting worse
Other Crime0.802.22.02.2Getting worse
Other Theft13141411Safer
Possession of Weapons0.260.480.611.0Getting worse
Public Order3.01178Getting worse
Robbery (inc. mugging)0.730.860.960.35Safer
Shoplifting4.14.04.25Getting worse
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)0.991.20.480.32Safer
Vehicle Crime7653.5Safer
Violence and Sexual Offences30473745Getting worse

Changes In Nelson's Crime Rates Over Time

Offences in Nelson's Green Spaces

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

NameASBDrugsPublic OrderRobberyVSOAll OthersCrimes per Hectare
Walverden Park26---545

Comparing Nelson to the UK's Major Cities

Medium-Sized TownCrime RateRate Difference
Barnet67.7141% safer
Coventry77.4124% safer
Croydon83.2215% safer
Sheffield85.8111% safer
Bristol86.2111% safer
Nelson95.63-
Leicester97.441.9% more dangerous
Birmingham102.877% more dangerous
Liverpool107.2811% more dangerous
Bradford133.0228% more dangerous
Leeds137.1030% more dangerous

Crime in Nelson's Neighbourhoods

NeighbourhoodCrime CountCrime RateDanger Rank
Marsden43160Fourth
Nelson Bradley67197Third
Nelson East1,138110First
Nelson West83098Second

Nelson Neighbourhood Crime Breakdown

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

Crime TypeSafest NeighbourhoodMost Dangerous Neighbourhood
Anti-Social BehaviourMarsden (343)Nelson East (977)
Bicycle TheftNelson East (4)Nelson West (6)
BurglaryMarsden (19)Nelson Bradley (47)
Criminal Damage and ArsonNelson West (69)Nelson East (146)
DrugsMarsden (3)Nelson East (38)
Other CrimeMarsden (14)Nelson Bradley (18)
Other TheftMarsden (27)Nelson East (135)
Possession of WeaponsMarsden (1)Nelson East (16)
Public OrderMarsden (33)Nelson East (99)
Robbery (inc. mugging)Nelson Bradley (2)Nelson East (5)
ShopliftingMarsden (1)Nelson West (77)
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)Nelson West (2)Nelson East (5)
Vehicle CrimeNelson Bradley (19)Nelson East (51)
Violence and Sexual OffencesMarsden (249)Nelson East (491)

Crime in Nelson During Coronavirus Lockdowns

Looking at the months the UK was in lockdown in 2020 due to Covid-19, how did crime rates in Nelson change compared to the same month in 2019? The biggest increase in lockdown crime came in June, when Nelson saw a 600% increase in possession of weapons. Nelson saw a large fall in vehicle crime during April, when it fell by 81% compared to April in 2019.

CrimeMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Anti-Social Behaviour+36%+83%+99%+185%+29%+143%+157%+137%+93%+79%
Bicycle Theft---60%+33%---+100%--
Burglary-50%-56%-14%-26%-14%+77%--44%-16%-55%
Criminal Damage and Arson-24%+11%-35%-38%+89%+120%-15%-12%+21%-53%
Drugs+50%+250%+400%+367%+150%-20%-+120%-58%+33%
Other Crime--56%+40%+25%-+100%-14%-60%-50%+50%
Other Theft-30%-7%-31%--44%-3%+3%-28%-35%-24%
Possession of Weapons+400%--50%+600%-67%-+500%+600%--
Public Order-35%-39%-17%+88%-4%+44%+67%+44%+136%+36%
Robbery----+100%--75%-33%--67%
Shoplifting+27%-6%-14%+50%-62%+288%+150%-+60%-50%
Theft From the Person----50%+200%-----50%
Vehicle Crime-58%-81%-74%+33%-+17%+29%-31%-37%-20%
Violence and Sexual Offences-1%+6%+41%-6%+17%+22%+21%+13%+52%+64%

Frequently Asked Questions About Crime in Nelson

What police force serves Nelson?
Nelson's local territorial police force is the Lancashire Constabulary.
How dangerous is Nelson?
Nelson is the third most dangerous medium-sized town in Lancashire.
What is Nelson's most common crime?
The most common crimes in Nelson are violence and sexual offences.
What is the least common crime in Nelson?
Nelson's least common crime is theft from the person (inc. pickpocketing).

Last updated: 07 May 2021