Safest Places in the East of England

The East of England is home to almost 6 million people living in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. With safety as important as ever, the ValuePenguin team analysed the most recent data from police.uk via UKCrimeStats to determine the safest places in the East of England.

The 122 postal towns analysed in this regional study have populations over 3,000 and crime scores ranging from 798 to 4,917 (where a lower score indicates less crime). The crime score takes into account violent crime and property crime, adjusted for population size.

For more information on how we calculated the overall crime score, see our Methodology section below.

5 Safest Places in the East of England

The safest five postal towns in the region have an average crime score of 908, which is 56% lower than other towns in the study. Perhaps not surprisingly, small towns dominate as the safest places in the East of England.

1. Henlow

With a population of only around 6,000, Henlow in Central Bedfordshire is the safest post town in all of the East of England with an overall crime score of 798. Included in the Henlow post town are Henlow, Henlow Camp, Lower Stondon and Upper Stondon. Of particular note, SG16 has the lowest violent crime rate with a score of 624, an impressive 67% lower than average in the rest of the East of England. RAF Henlow is nearby, perhaps contributing to the town’s great safety record. Average income levels are over £47,000.

2. Knebworth

Knebworth postcode district SG3 is home to just over 7,000 people including the villages of Woolmer Green and Datchworth. With an overall crime score of 856, Knebworth is the safest post town in the North Hertfordshire region. Many Knebworth residents are retired or commute to work in either London or nearby towns; they are relatively affluent, with household income levels approaching £53,000 per year.

3. Melton Constable

Located in the county of Norfolk, the Melton Constable post town NR24 is home to only 4,400 people or so, spread over a number of small villages: Stody, Briston, Briningham, Brinton, Edgefield, Sharrington, Melton Constable, Plumstead and Swanton Novers. Melton Constable’s overall crime score of 930 ranks it as the 3rd safest post town in the East of England; its property crime score is also 930 – ranking the town the 2nd safest in terms of property crime. Average household income in the area is lower than other top-five towns, around £36,000 per year.

4. Welwyn

The Welwyn post town (AL6), including Welwyn (village), Ayot St Peter, Ayot St Lawrence, Digswell, Rabley Heath, and Tewin, enjoys an overall crime score of 943. The 11,000 residents can feel even safer knowing that their violent crime score is only 698, 3rd best in the East of England. The Hertfordshire Constabulary handles law enforcement, with local policing priorities centered around anti-social behaviour. Average household incomes of around £51,000 are well above average in this well-to-do area.

5. Hockley

Located just 20 minutes from Southend-on-Sea, the SS5 Hockley post town is home to 21,000 residents and ranked 5th in terms of safety in the East of England with an overall crime score of 1,016. It is a reasonably affluent area with average household incomes of £43,000.

Population Breakdown

Despite the fact that we adjust our crime scores for populations, it can still be difficult to compare a small village to a larger city. You’ll notice that the largest post town in our top five safest places in the East of England has a population of only 21,000 people. To account for this, we separated the post towns into three categories by population size: small post towns with populations between 3,000 and 20,000, midsize post towns with populations between 20,000 and 50,000 and large post towns with populations over 50,000. Here are our findings:

table showing safest towns in the East of England, UK, by small, medium and large towns
Safest Places in the East of England, according to Town Size

Full List of Places in the East of England

Below is the entire list of post towns in the East of England that we included in our “Safest Places in the East of England” study (we included all post towns with populations greater than 3,000). The towns are listed from the safest to the least safe, according to our analysis. The calculation for the crime scores can be found in the methodology section below.

RankPost TownCrime Score
1HENLOW798
2KNEBWORTH856
3MELTON CONSTABLE930
4WELWYN943
5HOCKLEY1,016
6SAFFRON WALDEN1,049
7SANDY1,087
8WOODBRIDGE1,183
9HALESWORTH1,210
10HOLT1,211
11SAWBRIDGEWORTH1,246
12EYE1,268
13TRING1,274
14HARPENDEN1,284
15FAKENHAM1,287
16ARLESEY1,297
17ATTLEBOROUGH1,313
18MANNINGTREE1,322
19ELY1,368
20NORTH WALSHAM1,375
21SOUTHWOLD1,386
22ABBOTS LANGLEY1,389
23BERKHAMSTED1,405
24BIGGLESWADE1,405
25HARLESTON1,419
26RICKMANSWORTH1,420
27ROYSTON1,428
28WARE1,447
29BILLERICAY1,451
30BECCLES1,466
31HUNSTANTON1,471
32RAYLEIGH1,477
33FRINTON-ON-SEA1,497
34DOWNHAM MARKET1,500
35SHEFFORD1,506
36BENFLEET1,516
37WYMONDHAM1,549
38DUNMOW1,569
39HALSTEAD1,604
40BUNTINGFORD1,621
41BURNHAM-ON-CROUCH1,627
42LEIGH-ON-SEA1,639
43HITCHIN1,643
44SHERINGHAM1,646
45BUSHEY1,655
46MALDON1,686
47BISHOP'S STORTFORD1,686
48CROMER1,724
49WELLS-NEXT-THE-SEA1,735
50BRANDON1,742
51STANFORD-LE-HOPE1,758
52KINGS LANGLEY1,764
53BALDOCK1,775
54DEREHAM1,776
55ST. NEOTS1,794
56SAXMUNDHAM1,798
57INGATESTONE1,798
58BUCKHURST HILL1,805
59ONGAR1,851
60LEIGHTON BUZZARD1,856
61HUNTINGDON1,915
62ROCHFORD1,923
63BROXBOURNE1,938
64BUNGAY1,942
65WICKFORD1,948
66MARCH1,999
67STOWMARKET2,003
68BURY ST. EDMUNDS2,004
69CHATTERIS2,007
70KING'S LYNN2,019
71ST. ALBANS2,043
72WALTON ON THE NAZE2,045
73SUDBURY2,063
74BRAINTREE2,086
75SWAFFHAM2,088
76DISS2,131
77POTTERS BAR2,186
78BEDFORD2,202
79EPPING2,206
80HERTFORD2,216
81LEISTON2,244
82RADLETT2,251
83BRENTWOOD2,263
84FELIXSTOWE2,293
85LETCHWORTH GARDEN CITY2,320
86CHELMSFORD2,322
87WITHAM2,343
88CAMBRIDGE2,352
89CHIGWELL2,365
90THETFORD2,372
91HODDESDON2,382
92NORWICH2,389
93CANVEY ISLAND2,441
94HEMEL HEMPSTEAD2,567
95NEWMARKET2,569
96WALTHAM CROSS2,576
97WELWYN GARDEN CITY2,623
98COLCHESTER2,683
99HAVERHILL2,715
100WISBECH2,716
101DUNSTABLE2,717
102WALTHAM ABBEY2,738
103IPSWICH2,818
104WATFORD2,843
105LOUGHTON2,936
106HARWICH2,997
107STEVENAGE3,029
108BOREHAMWOOD3,039
109LUTON3,094
110GRAYS3,124
111SOUTH OCKENDON3,232
112HARLOW3,239
113LOWESTOFT3,250
114HATFIELD3,283
115WESTCLIFF-ON-SEA3,287
116GREAT YARMOUTH3,393
117TILBURY3,618
118PURFLEET3,794
119SOUTHEND-ON-SEA4,206
120BASILDON4,296
121CLACTON-ON-SEA4,426
122STANSTED4,917

Methodology

To rank these post towns, we collected data from police.uk through the UKCrimeStats website, from March 2016 to March 2017, which covers England, Wales and Northern Ireland. We excluded post towns with fewer than 3,000 residents because areas with small populations are highly sensitive to crime fluctuations with fewer overall crimes committed. The raw data report included property crimes (burglary, vehicle crimes, criminal damage & arson, other theft and bike theft), and violent crimes (violent crimes, robbery and theft from person).

As the raw data was broken out by postcode district (e.g., AL1), we aggregated the data into post towns. For example, the post town of St. Albans includes postcode districts AL1, AL2, AL3 and AL4. We then standardized the data to reflect violent and property crimes per 100,000, to account for population. Next, we then calculated a “crime score” by weighting violent crime at 80% and property crime at 20%. Though property crime is more prevalent, we figured that violent crime is more concerning to town residents. Finally, we ranked the cities based on their crime scores.

Here is an alphabetical table of all East of England Post Towns along with their overall ranks, making it easier to compare different cities. See where your town lies!

RankPost TownPopulationViolent Crime per 100kProperty Crime per 100kCrime Score
22ABBOTS LANGLEY11,4911,1492,3501,389
16ARLESEY5,5841,1281,9701,297
17ATTLEBOROUGH15,8011,2911,3991,313
53BALDOCK13,3331,5302,7531,775
120BASILDON106,7953,8955,9014,296
30BECCLES22,3701,3591,8951,466
78BEDFORD209,4461,9443,2372,202
36BENFLEET49,1211,3802,0581,516
23BERKHAMSTED23,9211,1372,4751,405
24BIGGLESWADE23,9381,1322,4981,405
29BILLERICAY39,3231,1552,6351,451
47BISHOP'S STORTFORD54,0881,4792,5141,686
108BOREHAMWOOD37,6682,7824,0643,039
74BRAINTREE64,2001,9382,6792,086
50BRANDON19,0181,5932,3351,742
83BRENTWOOD67,4451,8983,7222,263
63BROXBOURNE17,2011,7852,5521,938
58BUCKHURST HILL12,8171,4513,2221,805
64BUNGAY10,8831,8742,2141,942
40BUNTINGFORD9,5101,4512,3031,621
41BURNHAM-ON-CROUCH15,9701,5531,9221,627
68BURY ST. EDMUNDS109,7751,9772,1112,004
45BUSHEY25,3451,3812,7501,655
88CAMBRIDGE258,6151,9354,0232,352
93CANVEY ISLAND38,1592,3092,9722,441
69CHATTERIS10,4351,5913,6702,007
86CHELMSFORD174,7032,1672,9432,322
89CHIGWELL19,9962,0003,8262,365
121CLACTON-ON-SEA67,0834,4324,4044,426
98COLCHESTER214,7822,6182,9422,683
48CROMER11,8081,7361,6771,724
54DEREHAM39,4771,7661,8161,776
76DISS32,7582,2071,8292,131
34DOWNHAM MARKET14,8561,4071,8711,500
38DUNMOW24,9411,4631,9931,569
101DUNSTABLE69,3362,0815,2582,717
19ELY64,7031,2601,8021,368
79EPPING22,2141,8283,7182,206
12EYE7,2241,1071,9101,268
15FAKENHAM15,8931,2081,6041,287
84FELIXSTOWE29,2942,1472,8742,293
33FRINTON-ON-SEA12,2801,3192,2071,497
110GRAYS73,4562,7494,6273,124
116GREAT YARMOUTH100,7283,3803,4423,393
9HALESWORTH9,9681,1441,4751,210
39HALSTEAD25,1891,4292,3031,604
25HARLESTON7,8101,3831,5621,419
112HARLOW86,3103,0324,0693,239
14HARPENDEN30,4861,0602,1811,284
106HARWICH22,2512,7863,8382,997
114HATFIELD46,0323,0874,0673,283
99HAVERHILL32,8642,6662,9122,715
94HEMEL HEMPSTEAD95,0092,2843,6982,567
1HENLOW6,0916241,494798
80HERTFORD35,3501,9183,4062,216
43HITCHIN60,2561,4722,3251,643
5HOCKLEY21,8519381,3271,016
91HODDESDON21,4782,1563,2872,382
10HOLT8,8511,0731,7631,211
31HUNSTANTON6,3621,3202,0751,471
61HUNTINGDON89,3241,7042,7571,915
57INGATESTONE10,0321,2663,9271,798
103IPSWICH219,5252,6823,3632,818
52KINGS LANGLEY11,2471,3963,2361,764
70KING'S LYNN109,1391,9822,1672,019
2KNEBWORTH7,1276591,642856
42LEIGH-ON-SEA49,9841,4442,4151,639
60LEIGHTON BUZZARD53,8231,5223,1941,856
81LEISTON6,5602,2262,3172,244
85LETCHWORTH GARDEN CITY33,2502,1802,8782,320
105LOUGHTON31,5152,6024,2742,936
113LOWESTOFT78,2293,2753,1513,250
109LUTON212,9212,7544,4543,094
46MALDON33,2051,5392,2741,686
18MANNINGTREE12,9781,1252,1111,322
66MARCH29,8691,8312,6721,999
3MELTON CONSTABLE4,409930930930
95NEWMARKET33,3432,5432,6722,569
20NORTH WALSHAM17,3421,5058531,375
92NORWICH366,9592,3652,4862,389
59ONGAR10,5441,4423,4901,851
77POTTERS BAR29,0821,8533,5182,186
118PURFLEET6,5323,2465,9863,794
82RADLETT12,6372,1212,7702,251
32RAYLEIGH32,0371,4111,7421,477
26RICKMANSWORTH40,8331,1172,6351,420
62ROCHFORD20,7731,6802,8931,923
27ROYSTON38,1951,2362,1971,428
6SAFFRON WALDEN31,6218191,9701,049
7SANDY24,1978392,0791,087
11SAWBRIDGEWORTH10,8651,0222,1451,246
56SAXMUNDHAM10,9451,7541,9741,798
35SHEFFORD12,3201,2992,3381,506
44SHERINGHAM8,4101,7241,3321,646
111SOUTH OCKENDON27,4442,8644,7043,232
119SOUTHEND-ON-SEA91,2884,0444,8534,206
21SOUTHWOLD4,0551,2331,9981,386
71ST. ALBANS114,8661,7523,2082,043
55ST. NEOTS43,7931,4913,0051,794
51STANFORD-LE-HOPE32,5181,5072,7651,758
122STANSTED6,7523,7779,4794,917
107STEVENAGE93,4032,9003,5443,029
67STOWMARKET39,1121,8952,4372,003
73SUDBURY46,6041,9762,4102,063
75SWAFFHAM10,2181,9962,4562,088
90THETFORD55,0162,3722,3702,372
117TILBURY16,7283,3604,6513,618
13TRING17,5991,0802,0511,274
102WALTHAM ABBEY23,5992,4114,0472,738
96WALTHAM CROSS57,6912,3783,3662,576
72WALTON ON THE NAZE6,6602,0122,1772,045
28WARE37,7991,2732,1431,447
104WATFORD117,2372,6753,5182,843
49WELLS-NEXT-THE-SEA3,0671,4023,0651,735
4WELWYN11,1816981,923943
97WELWYN GARDEN CITY47,3402,4823,1852,623
115WESTCLIFF-ON-SEA41,2123,1423,8683,287
65WICKFORD34,8731,6523,1311,948
100WISBECH56,0402,4643,7212,716
87WITHAM33,0212,0903,3582,343
8WOODBRIDGE42,3781,0311,7891,183
37WYMONDHAM17,4621,4601,9011,549

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