New study reveals the best UK areas with the highest community spirit

  • 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. this not only can impact your day-to-day life but also your mental health. To highlight some of the most desirable and friendly 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 (£) 
1  Plymouth  69.4%  85.19  185,000 
2  Belfast  69%  91  163,538 
3  Cardiff  67.5%  98.36  225,000 
4  Edinburgh  66.7%  64  273,000 
5  Liverpool  65.1%  117.79  135,000 
6  Norwich  63.7%  128.98  211,000 
7  Bristol  61.1%  108.04  280,000 
8  Southampton  61%  121.11  245,000 
9  Glasgow  58%  72  160,000 
10  Leeds  57.5%  123.36  190,000 


  1. 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. 
  1. 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. 
  1. 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. 
  1. 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. 
  1. 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) 
1  York  60.6 
2  Poole  70.69 
3  Swindon  73.04 
4  Coventry  74.04 
5  Swansea  77.75 
6  Telford  84.84 
7  Plymouth  85.19 
8  Watford  90.21 
9  Wolverhampton  91.51 
10  Warrington  92.05 


  1. 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.  
  1. 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.  
  1. 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.  
  1. 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. 
  1. 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) 
1  Middlesbrough  160.92 
2  Manchester  159.38 
3  Kingston Upon Hull  149.08 
4  Bradford  130.87 
5  Norwich  128.98 
6  Leeds  123.36 
7  Southampton  121.11 
8  Nottingham  120.32 
9  Newport  120.22 
10  Bolton  119.09 


  1. 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. 
  1. 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. 
  1. 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.  
  1. 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. 
  1. 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.