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Crime and income deprivation

Crimes recorded by neighbourhood income deprivation decile in London (2022)

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Recorded crime in London is more prevalent in the neighbourhoods with the highest levels of income deprivation:

  • Overall, 52% more crimes were recorded in the most income-deprived areas in 2022
  • Violence, robbery and sexual offences were recorded 2.1x more in the most income-deprived 10% of areas compared to the least income-deprived 10%
  • Drugs and weapons offences were recorded 2.3 times more in the most income-deprived 10% of areas compared to the least income-deprived 10%.

This data is based on police recorded crime – which measures offences that are reported to and/or recorded by the police. It covers January-December 2022 and shows a similar distribution of reported offences compared to the March 2019 - February 2020 period, suggesting that any changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, are being removed.

Whilst crimes recorded by the police in the most deprived neighbourhoods has seen a very slight decrease (less than 1%) between the two periods, it decreased by 13% in the least deprived neighbourhoods. And although recorded crime has decreased overall, recorded instances of anti-social behaviour, public order and miscellaneous offences as well as violence, robbery and sexual offences have increased.

It is notable that in both categories, although recorded offences have increased in all other neighbourhoods regardless of their deprivation status, they have decreased for the least deprived 10% of neighbourhoods.

These figures only scratch the surface of what is undoubtedly a complex relationship between crime and deprivation. Only a subset of crimes are brought to the police’s attention and this can be influenced by where police resources are focused. Overall crime levels are almost certainly higher than indicated here. Other ways of measuring crime statistics, such as the British Crime Survey, can provide better estimates of long term national trends. Learn more about measuring crime here.

Crimes recorded by neighbourhood income deprivation decile in London (pre-pandemic) (March 2019-February 2020)