Complete University Guide reveals best, worst cities for student-related crimes
The best – and worst – cities for student-related crimes are published today (Tuesday, June 19) by the authoritative and independent Complete University Guide.
Compiled from official police data, the ranking gives the clearest picture possible of the crime rates across 103 universities in England and Wales.
For the first time this year, the Guide publishes crime figures for all universities in England and Wales. In past years it has focused on cities with two or more universities.
Universities in Greater London are located in areas with the highest crime rates and are listed separately. London Metropolitan University fares worst and Kingston best.
Outside London, the University of Buckingham, the UK’s longest-established private university, emerged with the lowest cumulative crime rates, followed by the universities of Aberystwyth and Durham. Manchester’s universities are clustered as the most crime-prone, together with the University of Leeds.
It is estimated that a third of students become victims of crime, mainly theft and burglary, and about 20 per cent of student robberies occur in the first six weeks of the academic year.
Official data for crimes affecting students are not available, so The Complete University Guide has selected three crimes as most relevant to students, namely burglary, robbery and violent crime*. The ranking is based on the cumulative rate of all three crimes.
Bernard Kingston, founder of The Complete University Guide, says: "While these crimes are the three most commonly perpetrated against students, the figures relate to all victims, not just students.
"Our new methodology allows potential students to assess the risks for individual institutions which much greater precision, at least for England and Wales. In the absence of data for crimes affecting university students specifically, either on or off campuses, they offer the best available guide. But it would be reassuring for university applicants and their parents if such information was readily available from the universities. It is clearly a matter of considerable concern when considering where to study as an undergraduate."
Birmingham’s universities – Aston, Birmingham City, and Birmingham – topped the table for robberies, while Aberystwyth, Trinity St David and Durham were the least affected. Wales performed less well when it came to violent crime, with Glyndŵr University heading the list, followed by Portsmouth and Bristol universities. Gloucestershire and University of Wales, Newport, were the safest.
Dr Kingston said: "Quality of tuition and the prospects for employment after graduation are key elements in choosing a university course, but it is important not to overlook other aspects of the environment in which the student will be living for three or more years.
"Our university cities do not exist in isolation from the communities within which they are located, and, regrettably, crime is a constant presence."
* The police.uk website defines violent crime as common assault, grievous bodily harm and sexual offences.