Preston Crime Overview

Preston is the third most dangerous major town in Lancashire, and is among the top 10 most dangerous overall out of Lancashire's 241 towns, villages, and cities. The overall crime rate in Preston in 2020 was 102 crimes per 1,000 people. This compares poorly to Lancashire's overall crime rate, coming in 29% higher than the Lancashire rate of 72 per 1,000 residents. For England, Wales, and Northern Ireland as a whole, Preston is the 30th most dangerous major town, and the 471st most dangerous location out of all towns, cities, and villages.

In November 2020, Preston had the worst crime rate in Lancashire for bicycle theft, with 16 crimes reported and a crime rate of 0.12 per 1,000 inhabitants. November 2020 was also a bad month for Preston residents, when it was Lancashire's most dangerous area for burglary, recording 98 crimes at a rate of 0.72 per 1,000 residents. Preston recorded 28 reports of drugs during August 2020, making its crime rate of 0.21 the worst for drugs in Lancashire that month.

The most common crimes in Preston are violence and sexual offences, with 5,895 offences during 2020, giving a crime rate of 43. This is 4.4% lower than 2019's figure of 6,154 offences and a difference of 1.91 from 2019's crime rate of 45. Preston's least common crime is theft from the person, with 117 offences recorded in 2020, a decrease of 57% from 2019's figure of 184 crimes.

Compare Preston to other towns and cities

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

Preston Crime Map

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Crime in Preston Compared To Lancashire

Summary of Crimes in Preston This Year

CrimeCountRateCountRateRate Difference
Anti-Social Behaviour10,13574.7088,46658.6322% more dangerous
Bicycle Theft2041.508670.5762% more dangerous
Burglary9877.277,4914.9632% more dangerous
Criminal Damage and Arson1,64712.1413,6289.0326% more dangerous
Drugs3922.892,4861.6543% more dangerous
Other Crime2932.162,5911.7220% more dangerous
Other Theft1,2259.039,7706.4828% more dangerous
Possession of Weapons1831.359890.6651% more dangerous
Public Order1,0868.008,0945.3633% more dangerous
Robbery1691.257520.5060% more dangerous
Shoplifting7105.235,4113.5931% more dangerous
Theft From the Person1170.865550.3757% more dangerous
Vehicle Crime8726.436,2574.1535% more dangerous
Violence and Sexual Offences5,89543.4550,36333.3823% more dangerous

Preston Compared to Nearby Major Towns

Major TownTotal CrimesCrime RateRate Difference
Bamber Bridge2,55937.42171% safer
Blackburn10,71788.6215% safer
Burnley8,544102.490.91% more dangerous
Blackpool19,125131.1523% more dangerous

Crime Over Time in Preston

View crime percentage over time for

Preston Crime Trends

 Crime Rate Per 1,000 Residents 
Anti-Social Behaviour64464975Getting worse
Bicycle Theft1.
Criminal Damage and Arson17181312Safer
Drugs1. worse
Other Crime1. worse
Other Theft1214139Safer
Possession of Weapons0.530.851.11.4Getting worse
Public Order4.014108Safer
Robbery (inc. mugging)
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)
Vehicle Crime8896Safer
Violence and Sexual Offences31524543Getting 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 2020.

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
Barnet67.7150% safer
Coventry77.4131% safer
Croydon83.2222% safer
Sheffield85.8118% safer
Bristol86.2118% safer
Leicester97.444.2% safer
Birmingham102.871.3% more dangerous
Liverpool107.285% more dangerous
Bradford133.0224% more dangerous
Leeds137.1026% 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 St George's 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 & Larches1,065100Seventh
Brookfield & Holme Slack1,250123Fifth
Cadley & College40251Tenth
Moor Park917128Fourth
Plungington & University1,458116Sixth
Preston Town Centre2,904266First
St George's964134Third
St Matthew's1,424164Second

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 (261)Preston Town Centre (2,204)
Bicycle TheftFulwood (1)Preston Town Centre (58)
BurglaryFulwood (24)Preston Town Centre (189)
Criminal Damage and ArsonFulwood (46)Preston Town Centre (259)
DrugsFulwood (3)Preston Town Centre (86)
Other CrimeFulwood (5)St Matthew's (41)
Other TheftFulwood (26)Preston Town Centre (285)
Possession of WeaponsCadley & College (2)Preston Town Centre (56)
Public OrderFulwood (26)Preston Town Centre (274)
Robbery (inc. mugging)Fulwood (1)Preston Town Centre (34)
ShopliftingIngol (3)Preston Town Centre (374)
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)Fulwood (1)Preston Town Centre (54)
Vehicle CrimeFulwood (23)Moor Park (80)
Violence and Sexual OffencesFulwood (133)Preston Town Centre (1,112)

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.

Anti-Social Behaviour+32%+92%+87%+156%+3%+27%+39%+43%+56%+41%
Bicycle Theft-29%-35%-29%--25%+44%-16%+38%+14%+44%
Criminal Damage and Arson-21%-28%-38%-11%+1%-30%+2%-11%-3%-8%
Other Crime-+13%-13%+68%+4%+124%+35%+45%+8%+108%
Other Theft-11%-45%-37%-38%-32%-31%-28%-43%-26%-34%
Possession of Weapons-25%+50%+20%--50%+38%+217%-24%+18%-28%
Public Order-13%-58%-23%+14%-13%+2%-9%-20%-13%-17%
Theft From the Person-39%-86%-25%-55%-40%-70%-47%-50%-8%+50%
Vehicle Crime+3%-37%-46%-61%-27%-1%+8%-36%-42%-42%
Violence and Sexual Offences-5%+1%-20%-10%0%+6%-1%-5%-13%-1%

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).

Last updated: 07 May 2021