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Crime and Safety in Preston, Lancashire

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Preston is the third most dangerous major town in Lancashire, and is among the top 5 most dangerous overall out of Lancashire's 236 towns, villages, and cities. The overall crime rate in Preston in 2021 was 118 crimes per 1,000 people. This compares poorly to Lancashire's overall crime rate, coming in 35% higher than the Lancashire rate of 77 per 1,000 residents. For England, Wales, and Northern Ireland as a whole, Preston is among the top 20 most dangerous major towns, and the 389th most dangerous location out of all towns, cities, and villages.

In November 2021, Preston had the worst crime rate in Lancashire for bicycle theft, with 27 crimes reported and a crime rate of 0.20 per 1,000 inhabitants. December 2021 was also a bad month for Preston residents, when it was Lancashire's most dangerous area for burglary, recording 111 crimes at a rate of 0.82 per 1,000 residents. Preston recorded 241 reports of criminal damage and arson during November 2021, making its crime rate of 1.8 the worst for criminal damage and arson in Lancashire that month.

The most common crimes in Preston are violence and sexual offences, with 7,030 offences during 2021, giving a crime rate of 52. This is 10% higher than 2020's figure of 6,358 offences and a difference of 4.95 from 2020's crime rate of 47. Preston's least common crime is theft from the person, with 137 offences recorded in 2021, an increase of 12% from 2020's figure of 120 crimes.

Preston 2022 Crime Scorecard

Third Most Dangerous

Major Towns, Lancashire

57% higher, regional crime rate

North West

35% higher, national crime rate

England, Wales & NI

Local Crime in Context

As of 2022, the crime rate in Preston is 57% higher than the North West and 35% higher than the England, Wales & Northern Ireland overall figure.

Preston Crime Rate Over Time

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Preston
North West
England, Wales & NI

Preston Crime Map

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

Last updated: 04 Aug, 2022

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Hover over a point to see a breakdown of crime types recorded at that location. You can also filter by individual crime types, or use a combinations of offences to visualize the data you need.

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Historical Crime Rates for Preston

YearCrime Rate per
1,000 people
Total Crimes
202111816,026
202010914,808
201912717,240
201814920,248
201710914,742
20169112,397

Crime in Preston Compared To Lancashire

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Summary of Crimes in Preston This Year

 PrestonLancashire 
CrimeCountRateCountRateRate Difference
Anti-Social Behaviour9,55370.4172,68948.18 32% more dangerous
Bicycle Theft1551.147090.47 59% more dangerous
Burglary1,0287.586,4544.28 44% more dangerous
Criminal Damage and Arson2,04415.0714,1829.40 38% more dangerous
Drugs3362.482,5121.66 33% more dangerous
Other Crime3962.923,1312.08 29% more dangerous
Other Theft1,37510.139,2886.16 39% more dangerous
Possession of Weapons2011.481,1540.76 49% more dangerous
Public Order1,3399.879,6316.38 35% more dangerous
Robbery1911.418100.54 62% more dangerous
Shoplifting8436.215,8893.90 37% more dangerous
Theft From the Person1371.016860.45 55% more dangerous
Vehicle Crime9517.016,0334.00 43% more dangerous
Violence and Sexual Offences7,03051.8155,91037.06 28% more dangerous

Preston Compared to Nearby Major Towns

Major TownTotal CrimesCrime RateRate Difference
Bamber Bridge3,33748.80142% safer
Blackburn11,91098.4920% safer
Preston16,026118.12-
Burnley9,861118.290.14% more dangerous
Blackpool21,271145.8719% more dangerous

Crime Over Time in Preston

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Recent Crimes in Preston

DateCrime TypeLocationOutcome
June 2022Public orderOn or near Beech StreetInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
June 2022Violence and sexual offencesOn or near HospitalUnable to prosecute suspect
June 2022Criminal damage and arsonOn or near Wilbraham StreetUnable to prosecute suspect
June 2022Criminal damage and arsonOn or near Ecroyd RoadUnable to prosecute suspect
June 2022Criminal damage and arsonOn or near Redcar AvenueInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
June 2022Criminal damage and arsonOn or near PinewayInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
June 2022Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Fitzroy StreetLocal resolution
June 2022Public orderOn or near Hazelhurst RoadUnable to prosecute suspect
June 2022Criminal damage and arsonOn or near Lowndes StreetInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
June 2022Vehicle crimeOn or near Morris RoadInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
June 2022Violence and sexual offencesOn or near William Young CloseUnable to prosecute suspect
June 2022Criminal damage and arsonOn or near Thorpe CloseInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
June 2022Vehicle crimeOn or near Church Walk GardensInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
June 2022Public orderOn or near Petrol StationUnable to prosecute suspect
June 2022Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Levens StreetInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
June 2022BurglaryOn or near TurnfieldInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
June 2022Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Beech StreetUnable to prosecute suspect
June 2022Vehicle crimeOn or near Parking AreaInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
June 2022Possession of weaponsOn or near Isherwood StreetInvestigation complete; no suspect identified
June 2022Violence and sexual offencesOn or near Spa StreetUnable to prosecute suspect

Preston Crime Trends

 Crime Rate Per 1,000 Residents 
Crime2018201920202021Trend
Anti-Social Behaviour50538270 Getting worse
Bicycle Theft2.41.61.61.1 Safer
Burglary131088 Safer
Criminal Damage and Arson19151315 Safer
Drugs2.42.53.02.5 Getting worse
Other Crime2.51.92.32.9 Getting worse
Other Theft15141010 Safer
Possession of Weapons0.881.21.41.5 Getting worse
Public Order1410910 Getting worse
Robbery (inc. mugging)1.71.41.31.4 Safer
Shoplifting11956 Safer
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)2.61.40.881.0 Safer
Vehicle Crime91077 Safer
Violence and Sexual Offences56494752 Getting worse

Changes In Preston's Crime Rates Over Time

Offences in Preston's Green Spaces

We only display green spaces in Preston that are named, and have had crimes recorded within their boundaries during 2021.

NameASBDrugsPublic OrderRobberyVSOAll OthersCrimes per Hectare
Oxhey's Recreation Ground3----01.8
Ribbleton Park35141206

Comparing Preston to the UK's Major Cities

Major TownCrime RateRate Difference
Barnet67.0876% safer
Croydon82.4843% safer
Sheffield91.1030% safer
Bristol93.7726% safer
Coventry102.3715% safer
Leicester111.756% safer
Preston118.12-
Liverpool127.908% more dangerous
Birmingham137.1714% more dangerous
Bradford145.6019% more dangerous
Leeds153.0623% more dangerous

Crime in Preston's Neighbourhoods

Preston Town Centre is the most dangerous neighbourhood in Preston, followed by St Matthew's in second place, and Brookfield & Holme Slack as the third most dangerous area. Preston's safest neighbourhoods are, in order, Cadley & College, Fulwood, and Longsands.

NeighbourhoodCrime CountCrime RateDanger Rank
Ashton-on-Ribble & Larches1,173110Eighth
Brookfield & Holme Slack1,326130Third
Cadley & College37948Tenth
Fulwood3594111th
Ingol759126Sixth
Longsands44367Ninth
Moor Park894125Seventh
Plungington & University1,617129Fourth
Preston Town Centre3,152289First
St George's915127Fifth
St Matthew's1,583182Second

Preston Neighbourhood Crime Breakdown

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

Crime TypeSafest NeighbourhoodMost Dangerous Neighbourhood
Anti-Social BehaviourFulwood (245)Preston Town Centre (2,147)
Bicycle TheftFulwood (1)Preston Town Centre (39)
BurglaryFulwood (39)Preston Town Centre (166)
Criminal Damage and ArsonLongsands (26)Preston Town Centre (350)
DrugsCadley & College (2)Preston Town Centre (85)
Other CrimeLongsands (2)St Matthew's (55)
Other TheftFulwood (24)Preston Town Centre (259)
Possession of WeaponsCadley & College (1)Preston Town Centre (53)
Public OrderCadley & College (18)Preston Town Centre (351)
Robbery (inc. mugging)Longsands (1)St Matthew's (35)
ShopliftingSt Matthew's (21)Preston Town Centre (303)
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)Fulwood (1)Preston Town Centre (43)
Vehicle CrimeFulwood (21)Plungington & University (152)
Violence and Sexual OffencesFulwood (160)Preston Town Centre (1,341)

Crime in Preston During Coronavirus Lockdowns

Looking at the months the UK was in lockdown in 2020 due to Covid-19, how did crime rates in Preston change compared to the same month in 2019? The biggest increase in lockdown crime came in September, when Preston saw a 217% increase in possession of weapons. Preston saw a large fall in theft from the person during April, when it fell by 86% compared to April in 2019. Theft From the Person saw a fall in every month of Preston's lockdown.

CrimeMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Anti-Social Behaviour+30%+98%+95%+169%+4%+31%+39%+45%+53%+42%
Bicycle Theft-27%-35%-32%-20%-27%+44%-30%+46%+20%+45%
Burglary-22%-44%-25%-53%-17%-8%+1%-19%+9%-44%
Criminal Damage and Arson-21%-31%-36%-9%+5%-30%+2%-11%-7%-8%
Drugs+7%+35%+24%+48%+15%+7%+39%-26%+81%+31%
Other Crime+11%+19%-4%+57%+20%+122%+44%+38%+8%+92%
Other Theft-12%-48%-39%-39%-32%-30%-29%-40%-25%-30%
Possession of Weapons-8%+60%+18%+6%-44%+29%+217%-32%+18%-32%
Public Order-12%-55%-21%+14%-10%+7%-7%-24%-12%-21%
Robbery-64%+13%+18%-30%-81%+38%+29%+58%-25%-50%
Shoplifting-29%-72%-70%-78%-43%-52%-40%-51%-45%-9%
Theft From the Person-42%-86%-19%-55%-33%-73%-47%-40%-8%+50%
Vehicle Crime+10%-38%-48%-54%-29%-9%+5%-41%-40%-46%
Violence and Sexual Offences-8%+2%-17%-10%-5%+8%+3%-7%-14%-4%

Frequently Asked Questions About Crime in Preston

What police force serves Preston?
Preston's local territorial police force is the Lancashire Constabulary.

How dangerous is Preston?
Preston is the third most dangerous major town in Lancashire.

What is Preston's most common crime?
The most common crimes in Preston are violence and sexual offences.

What is the least common crime in Preston?
Preston's least common crime is theft from the person (inc. pickpocketing).

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