Top 10 safest places to live in the UK

Shetland – the safest place to live in the UK

Feeling secure in your own home is a basic right. That’s why so many people think ‘safety first’ when looking for a new home. If you want to know how safe the area of your property search is, read on. Our guide discusses the importance of safety to homebuyers and renters, and lists the top 10 safest places to live in the UK.

Safety matters – Homeowners value safety more than ever

The pandemic continues to reshape the UK property market. The pandemic ‘race for space’ saw an increase in the value placed on larger rooms and gardens. Now, post-pandemic, housing demand has crept back into London and other major cities.

The past few years have impacted the way people search for a new home. Today, buyers and renters will think much more carefully about how safe an area really is before committing to it. With uncertainty over interest rates and the cost of living, moving home is more of a risky business than ever. When people move, they want to be certain they’ll be safe and comfortable in their new home.

The top 10 safest places to live in the UK

While there are plenty of factors that determine the overall safety of an area, for this article we’re focusing on crime. This is because crime is one of the most impactive and easily trackable safety concerns.

The following list contains the UK counties or districts with the lowest crime rates between 2022 and 2023. It uses the latest crime data, taken from these reports:

Crime in England and Wales: year ending September 2023 – Office of National Statistics

Recorded Crime in Scotland, 2022-23 – Scottish Government

Police Recorded Crime in Northern Ireland Update to 31st August 2023 – Police Service of Northern Ireland

Owing to the slight differences in the time periods covered, and the differences in the way crime data is recorded and reported in each country, the list below concentrates on the 10 safest places in England and Wales. We’ve also provided separate lists for the safest areas in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

*Please note: The following rankings use recorded crime data in these three reports to determine ‘crimes per 1,000 people’ rates. It also considers severity and violence levels of crime.

Let’s explore the 10 safest places to live in the UK:

10. Bedfordshire

69.0 crimes per 1,000 people

Bedfordshire benefits from a well-connected transport network and proximity to London, while also enjoying access to beautiful rural landscapes. Its low crime rate is a symptom of its affluent commuter towns and overall high desirability as a place to live.


Located in the East of England, Bedfordshire is a county known for its rural scenery and attractive market towns. A place where you can find some excellent schools and universities, as well as great entertainment facilities – like theatres and cinemas. The population currently Read more about Bedfordshire

9. Norfolk

67.6 crimes per 1,000 people

This rural county sits in East Anglia, with a long coastline and vast expanses of low-lying countryside. The county is a popular tourist destination with pretty beaches and the splendid Norfolk Broads, while bustling Norwich is a welcoming university city with a great reputation for quality of life.


Norfolk is a county in the East of England. The city of Norwich is the county town and largest settlement. Norfolk has a population of just under million inhabitants, making it one of the most populous counties in England’s Eastern region. If you’re looking Read more about Norfolk

8. Warwickshire

67.1 crimes per 1,000 people

The county of Warwickshire combines access to beautiful countryside with nearby connections to Birmingham and other large urban settlements. The county is home to some of the most desirable towns and cities in the West Midlands, including Warwick and Leamington Spa, as well as the vibrant post-industrial city of Coventry.


Warwickshire is an amazing county located in the heart of England, just south of Birmingham and north of Oxfordshire. The county has an area of approximately 900 square miles and a population of around half a million people. It is well known for its Read more about Warwickshire

7. Dorset

65.8 crimes per 1,000 people

Dorset is a ceremonial county in South West England that has been delighting tourists and residents for decades. While the coast offers pretty seaside towns like Weymouth and Bournemouth, the interior of Dorset is a verdant green belt that reminds everyone who comes here what makes English countryside so special.


Dorset is a county in the south of England and has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The Dorset County Museum houses many historic artefacts from before the Iron Age, and it is one of the best museums in Britain for archaeology. For prospective home Read more about Dorset

6. Hertfordshire

63.1 crimes per 1,000 people

Hertfordshire is one of England’s ‘Home Counties’ and contains a huge swathe of green beauty just north of London. Diverse and desirable in its property market, Hertfordshire also boasts a reassuringly low crime rate, that only serves to boost its attractiveness to new buyers and renters looking to move here.


Hertfordshire is a county in the East of England that has been an important centre for trade, industry and commerce since the Iron Age. The county has over 760,000 residents, which makes it one of the most populous counties in England. It also contains Read more about Hertfordshire

5. Suffolk

62.4 crimes per 1,000 people

Tucked away in the eastern end of England, Suffolk is a beautiful and fascinating slice of English history and culture, as the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of East Anglia was an epicentre of Viking incursions and subsequent cultural meshing. Today, it’s a quiet, tranquil and ever-appealing place to visit and live.


Suffolk is one of the counties in England that has a beautiful coastline, rolling hills and rural villages. It’s also home to some of the best schools in the country so you can be sure your children will have an excellent education. Suffolk is Read more about Suffolk

4. Surrey

61.0 crimes per 1,000 people

Surrey is just south of Greater London and enjoys a high level of employment opportunities, accessibility and infrastructure development. These all help make it a safe and desirable place to live. It comes extremely close in its low crime rate to that of North Yorkshire, demonstrating the comparable calm of both areas.


Surrey is a county in the south of England. It has an area of 1,663 square kilometres and a population of 1.2 million people. Surrey borders London to the North West and Hampshire to the East. The county has many beautiful parks which are Read more about Surrey

3. North Yorkshire

59.4 crimes per 1,000 people

North Yorkshire is a huge rural county that nevertheless maintains a great sense of community. This culture of inclusiveness helps North Yorkshire keep crime low and neighbourly spirits high.

North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire is one of the most beautiful counties in England. It has rolling hills, gorgeous countryside and stunning coastlines. If you are considering buying a home in North Yorkshire then this article will give you all the information that you need to make Read more about North Yorkshire

2. Devon and Cornwall

57.0 crimes per 1,000 people

Devon and Cornwall are great centres of tourism. They have many impressive features, including rugged coastal beauty, great surfing and clotted cream! The friendly, welcoming locals and the region’s reliably low crime rates only make it more attractive.


Devon is a large, picturesque county in England. The county has much to offer those looking for a peaceful and serene place to live, with plenty of scenic areas and attractive cities. For those considering moving there permanently, this guide will provide information about Read more about Devon

1. Wiltshire

56.9 crimes per 1,000 people

Topping our list of the safest places to live in England and Wales is Wiltshire, a charming rural county in South West England. Green and chock-full of history – Stone Henge being a prime example – Wiltshire is also very affluent. Prosperity often results in lower crime rates, and that definitely applies to Wiltshire.


Wiltshire is one of the larger counties in England and has many beautiful towns and stretches of pristine countryside to explore. Whether you’re looking for a rural retreat or metropolitan excitement, Wiltshire will have something for you. We’ll take a look at some of Read more about Wiltshire

Northern Ireland’s top 3 safest places to live

3. Ards & North Down

The Lake At Mount Stewart, County Down, Image credit: Bangor Art

40.5 crimes per 1,000 people

Ards and North Down is a district in Northern Ireland, immediately east of the capital, Belfast. It’s a beautiful part of the country, enjoying 115 miles of unspoilt scenic coastline. This, combined with its ruined castles, holy wells, abbeys and military forts, make it a tourism magnet. Its enduring success is partly driven by its safety and low crime rates.

2. Fermanagh & Omagh

38.5 crimes per 1,000 people

Located in the southwest of Northern Ireland, this rural district has low crime levels and a very low population density. Much of the area is covered with lakes, waterways and forests, creating a peaceful and secluded feel with beautiful landscapes.

1. Mid Ulster

33.7 crimes per 1,000 people

The safest place to live in Northern Ireland is the district of Mid Ulster. The district covers a large rural area in the heart of the country, with much of its eastern border meeting the shores of Lough Neagh. The area benefits from low population density, owing to its relatively rural setting and small towns.

Scotland’s top 3 safest places to live

3. East Dunbartonshire

25.4 crimes per 1,000 people

Third in Scotland is East Dunbartonshire. The district borders Glasgow to the south and consists of relatively small towns, surrounded by beautiful countryside. The area is well-connected, with relatively low deprivation and access to plenty of untouched green space.

2. East Renfrewshire

23.8 crimes per 1,000 people

Coming very close to the top spot is East Renfrewshire, situated to the southwest of Glasgow. This small but inviting area is largely rural, with a heavy emphasis on supporting small businesses. This probably helps keep the interconnectedness of its inhabitants high, and crime low.

Midhowe Broch  [Image credit: MichaelMaggs]

1. Orkney Islands

22.8 crimes per 1,000 people

The Orkneys are among the most beautiful and historically fascinating in all of the British Isles. They are also currently the safest place to live in terms of having the lowest per capita crime rate of any UK region. With permanently gorgeous panoramic views, friendly neighbours and so much more, the Orkneys remain one of the most desirable (and safest) places for escaping the pressures of mainland living.

Looking Deeper: What makes a place ‘safe’ to live in?

Many factors contribute to whether you feel safe and secure in your home and local area. If you ask someone if where they live is safe, they might think about the local crime rate first. However, there are other considerations too.

The following are the main safety factors to consider in an area. Think about these if you’re looking to move home and have safety on your mind.

Two police officers walking along the street

Low crime

This is the big one. A low crime rate is a solid indicator that an area is a safe place to live and work. Fortunately, crime statistics for your target area are readily available online. This makes crime one of the easier safety factors to accurately assess.

Volume of crime: This is how many crimes take place within an area overall. A low overall crime rate indicates that the area is well policed.

Type of crime: If possible, dig deeper into the stats and find out what kind of crime regularly occurs in the area. Are there lots of burglaries? Maybe it’s a prosperous area that’s a target for professional thieves. Pickpocketing and muggings? These are common problems in touristy areas. Try to discover what kind of crime happens in the area, and decide if you’re likely to be vulnerable to it.

Police/safety initiatives: Look beyond the stats. What are the police, social services and the government doing in this area to curb crime? Are there initiatives in place? Is there solid investment in safety-related improvements? This is important to know, because it may help determine if the area’s crime rate is likely to increase or decrease in the future.

A carpenter measuring up a ceiling joist.

High building standards

If disasters like Grenfell and the ongoing debacle around cladding have proved anything, it’s that building standards matter. While an area may use many different property developers, basic research will show if it has a history of shoddy building projects. Look for major news stories of preventable fires, collapsed buildings, endemic damp and so on. Failing that, look into the reputation of the developer who delivered the home you want to buy/rent. Our area guides and reviewer comments can be a big help here. Remember, the quality of the materials and craftsmanship in your home is an essential safety consideration.

An area of flooded land.

Low flood risks

Along with fire, flooding is one of the more common causes of property damage and loss of life. Currently, around 5 million homes in the UK are at risk of flooding. Around 30% of owners/renters, representing 1.5 million homes, are yet to take any action to secure against flooding. Like crime, flooding is a well-mapped phenomenon in the UK. offers a free comprehensive service that records historical flood data for an area, and its long-term flood risks. More broadly, living close to rivers and in valleys or other low-lying areas is a definite cause for further investigation.

Low vulnerability to climate change

Climate change is a global concern, but some areas are more vulnerable to it than others. Flooding is one obvious risk that is being heightened by climate change, but there are others. As an island, the UK’s coastal areas are at greater risk of erosion. The latest comprehensive UK Climate Risk report says that the current percentage of coastline vulnerable to erosion is 28% for England and Wales. Northern Ireland and Scotland have it slightly better at 19.5% and 19% respectively.

A street crossing with period buildings

Good road systems

Road collisions for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians represent another major safety consideration. Check if your intended new area has a well-developed road system. Also, check its track record on road-based incidents. Don’t make the mistake of always assuming that ‘rural = safer’, as country roads are deadlier than you think.

A person exercising in a park surrounded by trees

Clean air

Safety includes physical health and wellbeing, not just sources of danger. The World Health Organisation estimates that air pollution kills around 7 million people every year. While the UK has some of the lowest air pollution levels in the developed world, this does vary between regions. You can quickly check past, current and forecasted air pollution levels across the UK using the DEFRA site.

What is HomeViews?

Hopefully, this list is helpful in highlighting some of the safest places to live in the UK. If you’re interested in moving to the capital, we also have a top 10 list of the safest places to live in London. Good luck on your hunt for a safe, secure and sensational home.

Read more

HomeViews provides verified resident reviews of the UK’s housing developments. We’re working with developers, house builders, operators, housing associations and the Government to recognise high performers and help improve standards in the built environment.

written by

Jan Moys

A residential property expert with over 15 years’ experience creating content... Read all

A residential property expert with ov... Read all