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New data released by TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk reveals North East has the nation’s highest levels of student-relevant crime #cugcrime16

Tom Allingham
19 September 2016

The North East’s safest and higher-risk university neighbourhoods for student-relevant crimes are revealed today (Monday, September 19) by TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk. 

Compiled from official police data, TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk ranking gives the most authoritative picture possible of the crime rates for the most common offences affecting students at almost 130 universities and other higher education institutions in England and Wales.

TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk has taken professional advice on the crimes most relevant to students. It uses three offences: burglary, robbery and violence and sexual crimes. Universities are then ranked on the cumulative rate of all three crimes occurring over 12 months in those areas where students live in term-time. While these offences are the three of greatest relevant to students, the figures themselves are based on all victims in the locality, not just students.

For 2016, TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk has significantly revised its methodology so that comparisons with earlier years are not significant. They no longer relate to areas within three miles of the designated main campus. Instead they are derived from the term-time addresses given by students themselves.

As official data for crimes affecting students are not available, and universities do not publish any data on a comparable basis, the figures relate to all crimes within the three categories. They are not a direct measure of these crimes against students.

Durham University students have by far the lowest levels of crime in the North East in the areas where they live during term time, also recording the region’s lowest scores for all three of the relevant crimes measured. Teesside University’s students face the highest levels of crime in the region, again by a significant margin, and also the North East’s highest scores for Burglary, Robbery and Violence and sexual offences. 

Areas where Teesside students live have the fourth highest level of crime among English and Welsh universities, with no institution from the North East making the Top Ten universities for low crime levels. On a national level, the North East has the highest crime level of any region, including the highest level of violence and sexual offences. 

RegionBurglaryRobberyViolence and
sexual offences
CUG Total
South East 6.37 0.78 22.21 29.36
South West 7.09 0.70 23.21 31.00
West Midlands 7.52 1.92 22.50 31.93
East of England 6.95 1.09 26.91 34.96
Wales 7.16 0.57 28.32 36.05
London 8.24 2.77 29.95 36.97
East Midlands 10.77 1.76 26.38 38.92
Yorkshire and the Humber 11.11 1.53 26.73 39.36
North West 10.84 2.01 30.10 42.95
North East 9.16 1.09 33.25 43.51

This year’s release also sees TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk assign scores for student residential areas close to the individual campuses of each university. A number of universities have vastly different scores for their students’ residential areas depending on the campus measured. Students at one of Queen Mary’s two campuses (Mile End) live in areas with 17.80 incidents per 1,000 residents (the second lowest crime rate of the 64 London campuses ranked), while the other (Whitechapel) had just over double that figure (35.86 incidents per 1,000 residents). 

Other key findings:

  • The rate for the three student-relevant crimes in the areas where students live in England and Wales is 36.5 per 1,000 residents
  • Burglary rates are lowest in the South East (3.37) and highest in Yorkshire and the Humber (11.11), the North West (10.84) and the East Midlands (10.77)
  • Robbery rates are below two incidents per 1,000 residents in every region except for the North West (2.01) and London (2.77)
  • Violence and sexual violence rates are lowest in the South East (22.21) and the West Midlands (22.50), and highest in the North West (30.1) and North East (33.25)

Dr Bernard Kingston, principal author of TheCompleteUniversityGuide.co.uk, said: “In contrast with the United States where the Clery Act requires universities in receipt of federal funds to disclose campus crime statistics, UK universities do not have to collect and publish data for crimes against students on and near their campuses.

“Regrettably, in the UK, universities are either unable or unwilling to disclose the rates of crime directly affecting their students on campus, let alone off campus, a matter of considerable interest to potential applicants and their parents.

“Our data accurately reflect the levels of crime of greatest relevance to students in the streets where they live while studying at university. They provide information that is not available to students from their prospective choices of university and which, alongside other advice, assist them to make informed decisions about where to live and study.

“We have refined our methodology to reflect the level of crime where students live while studying. This is fairer to universities in city centres or with multiple campuses.”