Community Safety overview


The 2018 strategic assessment states: Crime has been increasing in recent years, with a 30% increase from 2015/16 to 2017/18. The peak crime categories include assault with injury, assault without injury, criminal damage, other theft and shoplifting. These categories account for over half of all volume of crime.

When looking at crime in a different perspective – harm – and using the ONS Crime Severity Tool, these volume crimes account for 20% of harm across the county. Using the ONS Crime Severity Tool to look at the most harmful crime categories, gives a different picture to that mentioned above. The most harmful crime types include residential and commercial burglary, assaults, wounding, rape, robbery and sexual activity involving a child. These crimes account for 25% of the volume, but 68% of harm. Investigations into the most harmful crimes are also the most resource intensive, not just for the police, but for partners as well. Usually, the score for each partnership can be seen on page 3 of the community safety dashboard, but Lancashire Constabulary were unable to supply 2018/19 data due to technical difficulties.

As part of the strategic process a Living in Lancashire survey was conducted, sending out 2,916 questionnaires to residents across Lancashire. There was a 68% (1,991) response rate with all community safety, crime and policing questions answered by respondents. Analysis of the results found the following highlights:

  • 85% of respondents felt safe in their local area – with the age group of 60 yrs+ feeling most safe (88%).
  • A lack of police presence (14%) was the most significant reason why respondents felt unsafe in their local area.
  • More than three-quarters of respondents felt that issues with violence, sexual exploitation and organised crime were not a big problem.
  • 38% of respondents felt that burglary, with half of respondents aged 25-44 years, was a problem.
  • 53% felt drug dealing was a problem in their area, with respondents aged 25-59 years having most concern.
  • Dangerous driving was seen as a big problem for 49% of respondents (increase from previous survey).
  • Less than half of respondents felt that the police and other local public services are dealing with crime and ASB successfully – this has been reducing in recent surveys.
  • Cleanliness of the streets (34%) and access to green areas (12%) were issues that had increased in dissatisfaction in local communities.

Crime in England and Wales 2019/20

The latest publication from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) for 12 months ending March 2020 reports that the level of crime has been broadly stable in recent years, however, the latest figures estimate a significant 9% reduction in the year ending March 2020. Underlying this were significant falls in theft (12%) and criminal damage (13%) and almost all other crime types saw non-significant falls.

Latest full year figures from the Home Office for 2019/20 on police recorded crime show that there were 143,736 crimes (excluding fraud) in the Lancashire-14 area. This represents a reduction of 13% (-21,632 crimes) in the Lancashire-14 area compared with 2019/20. This is significantly lower than the England and Wales increase of 1% and the largest decrease across all the police forces. Lancashire has the 11th highest rate per thousand population of crime in England and Wales (down from 5th 2018/19). Violence against the person accounts for 40% of all recorded crime in Lancashire-14, however this is a decrease of 10% (-6,403 crimes), whilst possession of weapons offences had the largest increase of 23% (+199 crimes), it accounted for only 1% of all recorded crime in Lancashire-14. 

Data for Community Safety Partnerships areas shows that in the year ending June 2020, Blackpool had the third highest recorded total crime rate per thousand population of the CSPs in England and Wales (excluding Greater Manchester) and the highest rate of violence against the person and second highest on sexual offences. Burnley had the 15th highest rate of total recorded crime and the fourth highest rate of non-residential burglary. 

Please note, there have been changes both in categories recorded and in recording practice which have significantly impacted the figures. The crime data integrity re-inspection 2019 judged that Lancashire Constabulary has significantly improved its crime-recording arrangements since the 2017 inspection and is therefore recording more crime. Lancashire Constabulary moved to a new crime recording system in November 2018.

A report detailing the recorded crime data is available to view on the dashboard page.

See further analysis download below.

Page updated February 2021