UK Property Investment

York has been revealed as the safest city in the UK, with the lowest crime rate 

Middlesbrough is the cheapest city to buy a property, however it has the highest crime rate 

Plymouth is the best city to move to for friendly neighbours 

The safety and community aspect of a neighbourhood is a significant deciding factor when moving home, alongside other major considerations like the location, cost of property and local amenities. To highlight some of the most desirable places to live in the UK, Swann Security has investigated crime rates and property prices, as well as nationwide survey data about people’s relationships with their neighbours.  

The best areas to move to for community spirit 

The cities with the best relationship with their neighbours 
Rank City % who say they have a good relationship with their neighbours Crime Rate (per 1,000 people) Avg. price for 3-bed property (£) 
Plymouth 69.4% 85.19 185,000 
Belfast 69% 91 163,538 
Cardiff 67.5% 98.36 225,000 
Edinburgh 66.7% 64 273,000 
Liverpool 65.1% 117.79 135,000 
Norwich 63.7% 128.98 211,000 
Bristol 61.1% 108.04 280,000 
Southampton 61% 121.11 245,000 
Glasgow 58% 72 160,000 
10 Leeds 57.5% 123.36 190,000 

Plymouth: The residents of Plymouth are most likely to say they get along well with their neighbours, and the city also has the most community events of all UK cities. 

Belfast: Belfast comes in second place, with 69% stating they get along well with their neighbours. They’re also one of the top two cities that say everyone in the local area knows each other, alongside Plymouth. 

Cardiff: Cardiff ranks third for friendly neighbours, with 67.5% saying they have a good relationship with them. Of all UK cities, they’re also the most likely to socialise with their neighbours. 

Edinburgh: Putting the Scottish capital in fourth position, 66.7% of Edinburgh residents get along well with their neighbours. 50% also say that people look out for each other in the local community. 

Liverpool: Liverpool ranks fifth for friendly neighbours with 65.1% saying they have a good relationship. 3 in 5 (55.8%) also use social media to connect with their community. 

The safest areas in the UK 

The cities with the lowest crime rate 
Rank City Crime Rate (per 1,000 people) 
York 60.6 
Poole 70.69 
Swindon 73.04 
Coventry 74.04 
Swansea 77.75 
Telford 84.84 
Plymouth 85.19 
Watford 90.21 
Wolverhampton 91.51 
10 Warrington 92.05 

York: With just 60.6 crimes per 1,000 people, this makes York the safest city in terms of crime. It’s also a great choice if you’re looking for fresh air, thanks to its abundance of green spaces and low pollution levels.  

Poole: The second safest city in the UK with 70.69 crimes per 1,000 people is Poole, which also has the largest natural harbour in the whole of Europe.  

Swindon: Coming in third, Swindon has 73.04 crimes per 1,000 people. If you’re an art fan, the Swindon Museum & Art Gallery is home to one of the best collections of 20th century British art outside of London.  

Coventry: Ranking as fourth safest with 74.04 crimes per 1,000 people, Coventry also has one of the shortest average commute times in the UK, at 44 minutes daily. 

Swansea: Swansea has a crime rate of 77.75 per 1,000 people. Known for being lively and fun, there’s plenty to do in and around the city. 

The areas with the highest crime in the UK 

The cities with the highest crime rate 
Rank City Crime Rate (per 1,000 people) 
Middlesbrough 160.92 
Manchester 159.38 
Kingston Upon Hull 149.08 
Bradford 130.87 
Norwich 128.98 
Leeds 123.36 
Southampton 121.11 
Nottingham 120.32 
Newport 120.22 
10 Bolton 119.09 

Middlesbrough: Unfortunately, Middlesbrough has the highest crime rate in the UK, at 160.92 per 1,000 people. This said, it is on the small side with a population of only 177.5k, bringing down total crime figures in comparison to larger cities. 

Manchester: Manchester has the second highest crime rate with 159.38 crimes per 1,000 people. But if you’re a foodie, you’ll love that it has more restaurants than any other city after London. 

Kingston Upon Hull: Ranking third with 149.08 crimes per 1,000 people, Hull also has the second lowest average rent price of all UK cities.  

Bradford: Bradford sits in fourth place with 130.87 crimes per 1,000 people. But if you’re looking for a quick and easy trip to work, Bradford offers the shortest average commute time at 39 minutes a day. 

Norwich: Norwich has a crime rate of 128.98 per 1,000 people, but as the most complete medieval city in the UK, it’s also steeped in exciting history.  

While property price and local attractions can make certain parts of the UK desirable places to live, if feeling safe and welcome in your local area is a deciding factor for your move, you may want to consider some of the low-crime cities listed above. A recent study by Swann investigated the sense of community spirit in cities across the UK. You can find out more about the tightest knit communities here


Relationship with neighbours and community: Data is based on results from a survey of 2,019 British adults 

Crime rates

Property prices 

Commute time