Reading Crime Overview

Reading is among the top 5 most dangerous major towns in the South East, and among the top 20 most dangerous overall out of the UK's major towns. The overall crime rate in Reading in 2020 was 89 crimes per 1,000 people.

In September 2020, Reading had the worst crime rate in the South East for theft from the person, with 28 crimes reported and a crime rate of 0.17 per 1,000 inhabitants. August 2020 was also a bad month for Reading residents, when it was the South East's most dangerous area for bicycle theft, recording 113 crimes at a rate of 0.70 per 1,000 residents. Reading recorded 68 reports of drugs during January 2019, making its crime rate of 0.42 the worst for drugs in the South East that month.

The most common crimes in Reading are violence and sexual offences, with 5,619 offences during 2020, giving a crime rate of 35. This is 2.0% higher than 2019's figure of 5,509 offences and a difference of 0.68 from 2019's crime rate of 34. Reading's least common crimes are possession of weapons, with 155 offences recorded in 2020, a decrease of 10% from 2019's figure of 170 crimes.

Reading Crime Map

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Summary of Crimes in Reading This Year

 Reading
CrimeCountRate
Anti-Social Behaviour2,24813.90
Bicycle Theft6894.26
Burglary8415.20
Criminal Damage and Arson1,4438.92
Drugs5873.63
Other Crime2601.61
Other Theft1,1296.98
Possession of Weapons1550.96
Public Order1,0686.60
Robbery2271.40
Shoplifting7754.79
Theft From the Person2571.59
Vehicle Crime1,2777.89
Violence and Sexual Offences5,61934.73

Reading Crime Trends

 Crime Rate Per 1,000 Residents 
Crime2017201820192020Trend
Anti-Social Behaviour23181414Safer
Bicycle Theft64.84.34.3Safer
Burglary8755Safer
Criminal Damage and Arson1111109Safer
Drugs3.53.63.53.6Getting worse
Other Crime1.31.61.61.6Getting worse
Other Theft1111107Safer
Possession of Weapons1.11.11.00.96Safer
Public Order2.64.257Getting worse
Robbery1.41.61.41.4Safer
Shoplifting10874.8Safer
Theft From the Person3.72.52.51.6Safer
Vehicle Crime8978Safer
Violence and Sexual Offences23313435Getting worse

Comparing Reading to the UK's Major Cities

Major TownsCrime RateRate Difference
Coventry71.5024% safer
Sheffield73.9920% safer
Kirklees74.2319% safer
Croydon77.1815% safer
Bradford79.1912% safer
London80.7010% safer
Reading88.56-
Birmingham89.020.52% more dangerous
Bristol91.573.3% more dangerous
Leeds91.903.6% more dangerous
Leicester102.5114% more dangerous
Liverpool105.9416% more dangerous

Crime in Reading During Coronavirus Lockdowns

Looking at the months the UK was in lockdown in 2020 due to Covid-19, how did crime rates in Reading change compared to the same month in 2019? The biggest increase in lockdown crime came in November, when Reading saw a 109% increase in public order. Reading saw a large fall in theft from the person during August, when it fell by 76% compared to August in 2019.

CrimeMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctOct
Anti-Social Behaviour+6%+5%-12%-14%+8%+14%+8%+8%+19%
Bicycle Theft+63%-17%-45%+60%+44%+28%+3%-42%-14%
Burglary+40%+13%-+17%+10%+14%-3%-23%-4%
Criminal Damage and Arson-8%-20%-22%-8%+9%-6%-1%-16%-19%
Drugs+12%-10%+2%+31%+30%+1%+73%-22%+62%
Other Crime-24%-40%+10%-13%+15%+9%+69%+30%+36%
Other Theft-14%-56%-20%-33%-29%-45%-25%+5%-10%
Possession of Weapons-42%-36%+70%+6%-+38%+70%+100%-35%
Public Order-16%-17%+18%+16%+27%+28%+60%+48%+109%
Robbery-14%-31%--19%+40%-8%+30%-58%+40%
Shoplifting-18%-69%-55%-33%-7%-25%+29%+12%-35%
Theft From the Person+20%-67%-50%-65%-35%-76%-3%--26%
Vehicle Crime+18%-5%-28%-10%-13%+17%+20%+93%+86%
Violence and Sexual Offences+22%-14%+5%-8%+19%+37%+10%+4%+1%

Frequently Asked Questions About Crime in Reading

What police force serves Reading?
Reading's local territorial police force is the Thames Valley Police.
How dangerous is Reading?
Reading is among the top 5 most dangerous major towns in the South East.
What is Reading's most common crime?
The most common crimes in Reading are violence and sexual offences.
What is the least common crime in Reading?
Reading's least common crimes are possession of weapons.

Last updated: 01 Mar 2021