Is Sheffield Safe? A Complete Safety Guide for Sheffield

Is Sheffield safe? The answer is kind of. While it is ranked as the most dangerous major city in South Yorkshire, it is much safer than London, Leeds, or Manchester. The statistics speak for themselves; the crime rate per 1,000 people in 2021 was just 91. 

If you take the necessary precautions, you’ll have a wonderful time in Sheffield. The city is just starting to shake that dreary-northern city stereotype (entirely misplaced). There are some fantastic things to do and see. But before we get carried away, what precautions do you need to remember? This safety guide will prepare you for every aspect of your Sheffield experience. Let’s take an honest, occasionally brutal look at this humble English city.

Is Sheffield a safe city centre? 

Sheffield is a relatively safe city centre. If you stick to the city centre in the middle of the day, you’ll experience no issues. Theft from the person is uncommon. While you shouldn’t flaunt expensive goods anywhere, there is no particular risk of being robbed in Sheffield’s city centre. The centre is always busy, so you’ll find safety in numbers, with many people around. 

At night, Sheffield city centre becomes a little more dangerous. The city’s most common crimes are violence, sexual assault, and criminal damage. These crimes are more prevalent at night, so take care when walking in poorly lit, quieter areas and avoid getting into altercations. Unlike in Leeds city centre, there isn’t as widespread a presence of bouncers (nightclub and bar security guards). Therefore, it is best to stick to the busiest streets or take an Uber if you need to venture across Sheffield’s city centre at night. Unfortunately, this is especially the case for women. 

Is Sheffield a safe place to live?

As a whole, Sheffield is a safe place to live. The main issues with living in Sheffield are a moderate concern about burglary, drug dealing, and property vandalism. Investing in crime deterrents, like CCTV cameras, automatic exterior lights, and a good alarm system, is essential. While the city has a reputation for being a bit ‘rough around the edges’, it is mostly just harmless Northern grit. The city has an industrial aesthetic that usually looks riskier than it is. Still, investing in good preventative measures is a fantastic way to take things one step further and protect your home. With alarms, CCTV cameras, and automatic lighting, you’ll be able to relax about the burglary (just don’t do something stupid like leave your door unlocked). 

Similarly, you should take extra care at night when Sheffield experiences slightly higher crime rates. Women should be particularly careful about sexual assault and harassment after dark. Everyone should be mindful of after-dark violence – especially on a rowdy Friday or Saturday night. Sheffield is much safer than Manchester or London at night, but it still pays to be cautious. When living in Sheffield, you’ll have to remember this and not get lulled into a false sense of blind security.

Is Sheffield safe at night?

Sheffield is moderately safe at night. You should take care walking alone and be mindful of which areas you spend time in after dark. All the standard safety advice applies, like not walking alone down quiet alleys or shadowy green spaces. Sheffield has many parks (1/3 of the city is green space), making it beautiful in the day, but by night these are firm no-go areas. At night, these remote parks are hotspots for sexual assault and drug dealing and use. You should also avoid pubs and public transport before and after a game on match days. We Yorkshiremen and women REALLY care about our football. But sadly, there’s always one group that takes things too far and causes fights, so it’s best to avoid these scenarios completely. 

Still, as a whole, you’ll find Sheffield safe and relatively sociable after dark – especially in the city centre. In 2022, the city was ranked as the UK’s 25th safest city for a night out. And you can always splurge on a bar and club queue jump pass to avoid standing around outside.

Is Sheffield safe for students?

Sheffield is moderately safe for students but lots of fun. Be wary of all the city’s general crimes, like drug dealing, mugging, burglary, and sexual assault. Students should invest in water-tight home security (trust us, it’s worth splurging the extra cash) and be fussy about landlords. Students should also aim to travel in groups or pairs rather than walking alone, particularly at night. In an ideal world, it is best to split an Uber than walk back after dark. 

Sheffield is an excellent city for students, mainly because of its affordability and diverse, down-to-earth atmosphere. The university has students from over 150 countries, and the city has many different ethnic and cultural communities. Sheffield is a real northern hub. And its low cost of living is just the cherry on top. While students in London and Manchester scrape their loans together to fund their monthly rent, you’ll have plenty left over for crazy nights out, travel, and takeaways. Win, win.

Sheffield FAQs

Now that we’ve covered the question of ‘is Sheffield safe’, let’s look at some common FAQs. 

How far is Sheffield from Manchester?

Sheffield is 40 miles from Manchester. The cities are an hour and 20 minutes apart by car and an hour direct by train. 

How far is Sheffield from Birmingham?

Sheffield is 90 miles from Birmingham. The cities are an hour and 30 minutes apart by car and train.

How far is Sheffield from Leeds?

Sheffield is 40 miles from Leeds. The cities are around 50 minutes apart by car and 45 minutes apart by train. 

What’s on in Sheffield for families?

There are plenty of things to do and see in Sheffield for families. The National Videogame Museum, Weston Park Museum, and National Emergency Services Museum always have new exhibitions. Holly Hagg runs alpaca treks, and you can also meet animals like lemurs at the Tropical Butterfly House.

Conclusion: How safe is Sheffield?

Safety in Sheffield is partly what you make of it and partly a bit of luck. Overall, the city is safe for students and a great place to live and visit. Sheffield is really up and coming, so don’t sleep on this exciting cultural getaway. You can take extra steps like carrying personal alarms but we don’t really think it’s necessary. And if you need inspiration about where to stay in Sheffield, check out our guide on the best hotels in Sheffield.

Are you interested in hearing more about safety in Yorkshire? Check out our guides on safety in Leeds and safety in York (FYI, Leeds is one of the UK’s most high-crime cities).

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