With Cardiff being Wales’s capital city, it certainly provides many amazing attractions for those visiting for the day or staying overnight. However, its safety didn’t come across well to those who completed a poll via the Daily Mirror in September 2021. So, is Cardiff safe?
On the face of it, this beautiful city provides many attractions, an airport for international visitors, and exciting restaurants & bars. I felt safe myself touring this city for a whole day; however, not everyone will feel the same as me when it comes to either visiting or living in Cardiff.
With this in mind, the following guide will answer the safety concerns that a tourist or resident may have, and they will be reassured and feel more confident that a visit to Cardiff might not be as bad as expected. So, is Cardiff really safe? Let’s find out.
Is Cardiff Safe?
If you are a solo traveller who fancies a trip to Cardiff to take in the sights, you will want to have fun and use common sense in certain situations. It is straightforward to enjoy Cardiff, and there is what feels like a never-ending list of attractions. If you visit Cardiff with people you know and trust, you will certainly feel more relaxed when exploring this city.
If you are a keen cycler and cycling around Cardiff, then you will need to bear in mind that bike theft in this city was the worst out of the whole South Glamorgan area. According to Crime Rate UK, in December 2022, bike theft reached a statistic of 0.38 per 1000 people. Of course, if you don’t have a bike, then this isn’t something you need to worry about, but cyclists will need to consider installing a bike lock for that extra bit of security when leaving their bikes to visit a certain indoor place.
Violence and sexual offenses are certainly the top crime in Cardiff, with over 12,000 incidents reported throughout 2022. The simple way to avoid this happening to you when visiting Cardiff is to stick to a familiar crowd of people, especially when going out at night. You can also invest in safety gadgets like personal alarms to use as a deterrent in an emergency.
Is Cardiff Safe to Live in?
Cardiff’s many houses, flats, and apartments look attractive and appealing, particularly for the average first-time buyer. If you are one of these first-time buyers, however, you may want to look away now because, in a 2021 poll by 2,000 adults across the UK, Cardiff was voted one of the least safe cities to live in.
In the same year, Cardiff reported a massive increase in the illegal use of knives, vandalism, and car theft. Even I found these statistics shocking, as I thought Cardiff would have been one of the safest places to live. Unfortunately, I had to reread the article to double-check if I was reading it right.
As well as these increases, it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise if increases in CCTV and smart light installations were also reported in Cardiff. If you are a first-time buyer and bravely did not look away from this section, then it will be wise to consider these installations in your new home.
Is Cardiff Safe at Night?
Cardiff has a wide range of bars, restaurants, and clubs, which those in their 20s and 30s will love to experience when visiting Cardiff, whatever the occasion. A survey by The Cardiff Tab showed that Cardiff came out as the 11th safest city for a night out. The overall score for a typical night out was 7.12 out of 10, which took into account the safety of walking alone, any violent crimes that people need to be aware of, and any possible hate crime.
Cardiff has a reputation for having one of the UK’s liveliest nightlife, so having a decent safety score here is vital for this city. This is especially true if hundreds of students studying in Cardiff want to go out and feel safe while enjoying themselves.
There have been issues reported in the past of some people being wary of homeless people and drunk people in the streets, making them uncomfortable, especially women. This is where travelling home in a group will be handy so that no one is singled out intentionally.
The good thing here is that night marshals are deployed on the streets of Cardiff to reduce people harassing others and help guide those intoxicated to a taxi service that will help them get home safely.
Areas to Avoid in Cardiff
According to a blog on the Regional Security Guarding website, the following five areas are recommended to be avoided where possible. These areas are as follows:
- St Mellon’s West
- Cathays South & Bute Park
These are the main areas that have experienced massive increases in crime rates, with Cathay’s South & Bute Park experiencing a whopping 370% crime rate. Cardiff University is very close to this area, so students reading this article will feel slightly worried that a dangerous area is nearby.
So long as you avoid these areas as best as possible, you are more likely to feel safer and secure. You would have to be very unfortunate to be the victim of a crime, especially in the areas mentioned above, so there is still a good chance that you will be able to carry on with life as normal as you explore or continue to live in Cardiff.
Is Cardiff City Centre Safe?
Cardiff city centre is the main area I visited, and honestly, I felt very safe walking around by myself and exploring certain parts of the city centre. I even ventured out a little bit and explored. I visited Cardiff Castle, slightly outside the city centre, and even though it was right next to one of the most dangerous areas of Cardiff, I still felt comfortable wandering around it.
While I have never experienced Cardiff city centre at night properly, this would be good for more groups of people looking to spend an evening out, or even the whole night out. Solo travellers visiting the city centre of Cardiff should, of course, feel free to go out in the evening as they please; however, even I would feel wary of my surroundings and always plan on how to get back to my accommodation.
No discouragement here is intended, as even I would be interested in going out in the town on an evening in the city centre independently.
Is Cardiff Safe for Women?
As I mentioned earlier, women, among all others, may feel somewhat cautious about how they get home at night, especially if drunk people and people experiencing homelessness undermine them. This can affect women’s confidence in going out and having a good time, solo or with a group of other women.
The fact that night marshals patrolling the streets of Cardiff should reassure these women, especially if they have had a fair few drinks, meaning that there is an extra security net.
During the daytime, women shouldn’t worry too much about their safety and security, depending on where they are visiting or living. They should be able to carry on with their daily activities as usual, such as carrying out a weekly food shop. Of course, visiting the friendliest neighbourhoods of Cardiff will help.
So, is Cardiff safe for women? Generally, it is, as plenty of measures already exist to ensure they remain safe and can live a happy Cardiff life.
In my not-so-humble opinion, Cardiff is a city worth visiting no matter whom you go with. So even though certain facts in this article may have put you off from visiting this Welsh capital, you should still visit it and not overthink the statistics of Cardiff’s crime rates.
It is important to look around you in Cardiff and, above all, enjoy its many attractions. This will make you feel even safer and remove any unjustified anxiety over safety in Cardiff. My advice? Visit Cardiff, have fun, and add completed adventures in Wales to your list. There are some pretty fabulous waterfalls nearby as well.
By Louie Amos
Louie Amos is a freelance travel writer currently operating in the UK. Having achieved his BCJ Diploma in Travel Journalism, he regularly posts articles on his website The Travelling Foodie, as well as Everything UK Travel