The Complete University Guide reveals best and worst universities for student-related crimes in South West


The safest and riskiest universities in the South West for student-relevant crimes are published today (Monday, 22 July) by the authoritative and independent Complete University Guide.

Compiled from official police data, the ranking gives the clearest picture possible of the crime rates for almost 120 universities in England and Wales.

The Royal Agricultural University emerged with the lowest incidence of student-relevant crime within three miles of its campus in Cirencester, ahead of the nearby University of Gloucestershire and Bath Spa in second and third places.

The University of Bristol had the highest incidence, followed by the neighbouring University of the West of England, Bristol.

Outside London, the universities of Aberystwyth and Durham emerged with the lowest cumulative crime rates in England and Wales. Hull was the most crime-prone.

It is estimated that one 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. And they relate to the areas surrounding universities, not solely to university premises.

“While universities, especially those in high crime areas, do much to advise students on precautions, many students, particularly those from overseas attracted by formidable academic reputations, are often not aware of the risks in the areas around their chosen institutions.

“All prospective students should be able to assess the risks for individual institutions with much greater precision, and, in the absence of data for crimes affecting university students specifically, either on or off campuses, this survey offers 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.

“Our universities do not exist in isolation from the communities within which they are located, and, regrettably, crime is a constant presence.”

Universities in Greater London are located in areas with the highest crime rates and are listed separately.

The Complete University Guide offers a number of top tips to help students keep their possessions safe and secure. 

* The website defines violent crime as common assault, grievous bodily harm and sexual offences.