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Suffolk’s most dangerous neighbourhoods last year revealed with locations in Ipswich, Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds



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Suffolk is widely understood to be a safe, rural and relatively peaceful county but certain areas are far more prevalent than others when it comes to crime rates.

Higher rates of crime and the absence of safety in neighbourhoods can lead to other issues within communities and impact on the physical and emotional health of residents.

Here's a break-down of the top ten most dangerous areas in Suffolk last year, based on crime rates from February 2021 to March 2022 published on Suffolk Observatory.

Here's a break-down of the top ten most dangerous areas in Suffolk last year
Here's a break-down of the top ten most dangerous areas in Suffolk last year

1. Alexandra Ward

The Alexandra Ward, located in Ipswich town centre, had the highest crime rate last year with far higher rates in most offences than the Suffolk average and the average of England as a whole.

In total, 3,001 crimes were recorded in the ward, which includes the Museum Street and Buttermarket areas and university and college campuses, amounting to 275 crimes per 1,000 people.

The Alexandra Ward, located in Ipswich town centre, had the highest crime rate last year
The Alexandra Ward, located in Ipswich town centre, had the highest crime rate last year

Of these, violence and sexual offences had a rate of 108.7 per 1,000, far higher than the Suffolk average of 32.3 and England rate of 32.9.

This trend continued with public order offences, where Alexandra recorded a rate of 41.7 compared to Suffolk rate of 7.4 and England rate of 7.

Shoplifting was also more common in Ipswich town centre than the county and country as a whole, with a rate of 38.7 crimes per 1,000 people. Suffolk recorded a rate of 3.3 and England, 4.

3,206 crimes were committed in the ward during the year, giving a rate of 293 offences per 1,000 persons.

3,206 crimes were committed in the ward during the year, giving a rate of 293 offences per 1,000 persons
3,206 crimes were committed in the ward during the year, giving a rate of 293 offences per 1,000 persons

2. Harbour and Normanston Ward

The Harbour and Normanston Ward in Lowestoft, which includes the harbour and seafront as well as the town centre, was the second worst area in terms of crime rate between February 2021 and March this year.

A total of 3,443 crimes were recorded in the area throughout the year amounting to 211 cimes per 1,000 people.

Violence and sexual offences were again the highest rate in the ward with a rate of 97.2 per 1,000, almost three times the rate for Suffolk as a whole.

Lowestoft Beach. Picture by Mark Westley
Lowestoft Beach. Picture by Mark Westley

Criminal damage offences in Harbour and Normanston were also far higher than the county and national average, with a rate of 25.8 per 1,000, over three times the Suffolk rate of 7 and England rate of 7.7.

Public order offences, with a rate of 23.5 per 1,000 residents, were also far higher than that of Suffolk (7.4 per 1,000) and England (7 per 1,000).

3. Abbeygate Ward

The Abbeygate Ward in Bury St Edmunds includes the town centre from the area of Southgate Street to the vicinity of St Andrews Street North, including Angel Hill, Westgate Street and Guildhall Street.

This area recorded a total of 1,205 crimes in the year meaning 190 crimes per 1,000 people took place, making it the location with the third highest rate in the county.

Violence and sexual offences had a rate of 83.2 crimes per 1,000 people, again far higher than the Suffolk and England averages.

Angel Hill in the Abbeygate Ward, Bury St Edmunds. Picture by Mark Westley
Angel Hill in the Abbeygate Ward, Bury St Edmunds. Picture by Mark Westley

Public order offences and shoplifting were prevalent in this area, with a public order rate of 28.3 per 1,000 and a shoplifting rate of 18.7.

Criminal damage and arson was also commonplace, with a rate of 18.7 compared to Suffolk rate of 7 and England rate of 7.7.

4. Gipping Ward

The Gipping Ward in South West Ipswich had the fourth highest crime rate in the county, with total crimes between February 2021 and March 2022 amounting to 1,597, a rate of 168 per 1,000 people.

Violence and sexual offences were most prolific with a rate of 73.9, much higher than the Suffolk rate of 32.3 and England rate of 32.9.

Drug offences were also particularly prevalent in this area with 116 offences recorded in the year.

This amounts to a rate of 12.2 per 1,000 people, far higher than the county-wide rate of 2 and the England rate of 2.6.

5. Haverhill Central Ward

Haverhill Central, which includes High Street, Market Hill, Hamlet Road and Camps Road, recorded a crime rate of 156.2 crimes per 1,000 people in the time frame.

Violence and sexual offences made up for the majority of the crimes with a rate of 69.9 per 1,000 people, a total of 154 instances.

High Street, Haverhill. Picture: Google Maps (56851376)
High Street, Haverhill. Picture: Google Maps (56851376)

Shoplifting and public order also had high rates in the area, totalling 19.1 per 1,000 and 17.7 per 1,000 respectively.

Notably higher than the county and national rate (2.6 and 4), Haverhill Central recorded a burglary rate of 10.9 crimes per 1,000 people.

6. Westgate Ward

The Westgate ward finished the year with a crime rate of 123.9 per 1,000 residents.

Violence and sexual offences were the most prevalent in the community, with a total of 684 reported and a rate of 62 per 1,000 people.

Public order offences and criminal damage offences were also far higher than that of the county and national averages, coming in at 12.6 per 1,000 and 11.2 per 1,000 respectively.

The Westgate ward finished the year with a crime rate of 123.9 per 1,000 residents
The Westgate ward finished the year with a crime rate of 123.9 per 1,000 residents

7. Sudbury South East Ward

The Sudbury South East Ward, which includes streets from East Street to Northern Road, had a crime rate of 120.9 crimes per 1,000 people between February 2021 and March this year.

238 violence and sexual offences made up for the most popular crimes in the area, with a rate of 56 per 1,000 residents.

Northern Road, Sudbury. Picture: Google maps (56851538)
Northern Road, Sudbury. Picture: Google maps (56851538)

Criminal damage and public order were also prevalent here, recording 16.3 and 13.5 crimes per 1,000 people respectively.

8. Eastgate Ward

With a crime rate of 120.4 crimes per 1,000 residents, the Eastgate Ward was the eighth most dangerous location in the county during the time period.

Violence and sexual offences remained the most prevalent, with 54.6 crimes per 1,000 people recorded.

Criminal damage (14.1 per 1,000) and public order (19.3 per 1,000) were also higher in the ward than the average in the county and England as a whole.

Burglary was also more commonplace in the ward, recording 7.8 offences per 1,000 people compared to the national rate of 4 and the Suffolk rate of 2.

9. St Olaves Ward

The St Olaves Ward in Bury St Edmunds, which includes the Howard Estate and Northern Way industrial estate, recorded a crime rate of 120.3 crimes per 1,000 people.

286 violence and sexual offences were reported during the time, amounting to a rate of 64 per 1,000 people.

Public order and criminal damage was, again, above the average for Suffolk and England (7.4 per 1,000 and 7 per 1,000) with both crimes coming in at 12.8 per 1,000 within the ward.

The St Olaves Ward recorded a crime rate of 120.3 crimes per 1,000 people
The St Olaves Ward recorded a crime rate of 120.3 crimes per 1,000 people

10. Newmarket East Ward

Newmarket East Ward, which includes the area surrounding Cheveley Road, Old Station Road, Bury Road and Mill Hill, had a crime rate of 118.1 per 1,000 residents in the year.

Violence and sex offences were the most common crime, with 470 reported and a crime rate of 59 offences per 1,000.

Public order was also more common than average, with a rate of 11.2 per 1,000 people compared to the Suffolk rate of 7.4 and England rate of 7.

Criminal damage and arson also came in above average with a rate of 10.5 per 1,000 residents, above the Suffolk rate of 7 and England rate of 7.7

Lowest crime rate - Risby Ward

The Risby ward near Bury St Edmunds had the lowest crime rate of the recorded areas, coming in at just 17.5 crimes per 1,000 residents with 49 total crimes.

21 of these were violence and sexual offences, a rate of 7 per 1,000 people which is far less than the Suffolk average of 32.3 and the England average of 32.9.

There were zero reports of several crime types in the Risby Ward, including drug offences, instances of shoplifting and theft from a person.