The most dangerous places to live in England and Wales revealed as crimes including robbery and sex offences ranked

THE most dangerous places to live in the UK where residents are most at risk of theft, sex crimes and violent attacks can be revealed today.

Sun Online analysis of the the latest government figures reveals where you are most at risk of becoming a victim of crime in England and Wales.

Cleveland tops Britain's blacklist and replaces West Yorkshire as the most dangerous region in the country, with sky-high rates of violent crime and criminal damage.

The north-east county – which includes towns such as Middlesbrough, Hartlepool and Redcar – suffers crime rate more than double that of neighbours North Yorkshire.

The list of crime hotspots is dominated by the north of England, with West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Durham and Humberside making up the top five.

North Yorkshire is the safest place to live in England and Wales, with the lowest rates of violent offences and among the best burglary and robbery stats.

Devon and Cornwall, Dyfed-Powys, Wiltshire and Surrey were also among the safest areas in the country.

Perhaps surprisingly, London is just eighth in the blacklist with 80.3 victim-based crimes per 1,000 people.

The Home Office figures show how many offences were committed – per head of population – across five victim-based crime categories.

Crimes such as drug offences and possession of a weapon, where no victim is directly involved, are not included in the statistics.

DRUG TURF WARS AND ARSON CRAZE IN NORTHERN CRIME BLACKSPOTS



Cleveland's rocketing rates of violence and criminal damage have seen a string of murders in the last year and even police have been attacked while tackling problem estates.

Arson across Cleveland is more than four times the national average and 85 per cent of fires in the area are started deliberately – compared to around 50 per cent nationally.

Firestarters caused a total of 3,656 blazes in 2018/19 – with offences up 36 per cent in the last five years.

The thugs are estimated to have caused £18m in damage last year, with cars and other vehicles the most common items being torched.

Even police vehicles are not safe, with a number of attacks carried out as officers respond to emergency calls.

Just last month, a two police officers were attacked and one was kicked in the face after a car, supermarket trolleys and a large amount of waste was dumped on a huge bonfire in Hemlington.

Witnesses said the blaze had been started by a large group of 'grown men' who had been drinking on Bonfire Night.

In April, a police van was torched on Doxford Walk, Middlesbrough, as two officers responded to a 999 call.


Council and fire bosses launched an arson reduction strategy in March is response to the "eye-watering" figures and said the majority of offences are happening in a few areas of high deprivation.

Ian Hayton, chief fire officer of Cleveland Fire & Rescue, said: "It's a real issue that we certainly need to address here.

"It endangers life, it damages property, it causes destruction to the local environment, it blights on our neighbourhoods and it has a real detrimental effect on the people of our community and our local authorities."

Cleveland was hit by an explosion of violent offences last Christmas, with police launching four murder investigations in a week.

Michael Deakin died after collapsing outside a bar in Stockton on December 27 following an alleged brawl.

Francis Betteridge, 62, was found dead inside his bungalow in South Bank, Middlesbrough the same day after a suspected attack.

John Wright, 41, was stabbed beaten to death on December 29 on Parliament Street in Stockton and Jordan Vaughan, 21, was found guilty of his murder earlier this month.

Mum-of-six Stacey Cooper, 34, was found stabbed to death with a kitchen knife at her home in Redcar on New Year's Eve.

Suspected killer Liam Murray, 27, was found dead in his prison cell at HMP Durham while awaiting trial.




West Yorkshire Police suffered the highest rate of violent crime – including 26 murders – as it faces a battle against drugs and gang-related crimes.

The county is estimated to have 146 crime gangs, with around half linked to drug dealing.

West Yorkshire Police launched Operation Jemlock to combat violence and knife crime in April last year in response to an explosion in violence which has seen areas like Bradford West post a 435 per cent increase in violent offences since 2011.

The city's drug war is believed to have been behind a string of attacks and the murders of Mohammed Ayaz, 20, and Asghar Badshah, 39, last year.

Mr Ayaz's body was found dumped naked in the middle of the road in the Allerton area of the city after being tortured for six hours.

He was abducted by drug dealers Robert Wainwright, 26, Raheel Khan, 27, and Suleman Khan, 20, and kicked stamped and urinated inside a disused industrial unit.

Mr Badshah, from Bradford, was found dead inside the wall cavity of a disused Yorkshire bank in Batley, eight miles away from his home, after vanishing for a month.

He is believed to have owed money to a gang at the time of his death.

No-one has been charged in connection with his murder.





West Yorkshire Police launched Operation Jemlock in April last year to tackle violent crime in the region. The operation has seen more than 4,000 arrests and 500 weapons seized.

The force added violent offences have dropped, with knife crime 12 per cent down, since its launch.

Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams, said: "Tackling serious violent crime is a priority for West Yorkshire Police, so the people that live, work and visit here can feel safer.

"We are committed to working with partners and using a victim-focused approach to achieve reductions in this area of criminality.

"Operation Jemlock, our targeted response to violent crime, has seen more than 560 weapons taken off the streets of West Yorkshire and a reduction in knife crime of nearly 12 per cent since its inception in April 2019.

"This means there have been far fewer victims of violent offences such as robbery, which is down by almost a fifth in West Yorkshire when compared to the previous 20 months."



CRIME DROPS DURING LOCKDOWN – BUT VIOLENT OFFENCES UP

Crime across England and Wales dropped five per cent in the last year, according to the latest Home Office figures from June 2019 to June 2020.

Offences plummeted during the first Covid lockdown in March and April, with burglaries, sex offences and thefts down across the country.

Thefts plunged by 15 per cent and robbery fell by 10 per cent.

Criminal damage was down eight per cent and sex offences decreased by seven per cent.

But the UK's murder rate rose by nine per cent year-on-year and violent crime was up three per cent overall with a big increase in domestic violence.

Harassment and stalking also increased by 13 per cent with offences believed to have been fuelled by social media during lockdown.

Cleveland Police did not respond to a request to comment.


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