Is Birmingham Safe? An Ultimate Birmingham Safety Guide

Birmingham is well-known for being the UK’s ‘Second City’ and has been the biggest city outside of London since World War One. The city provides tourists and locals with various things to do, from world-class museums and galleries to countryside walks and exciting venues and restaurants. Yet, Birmingham’s safety has been questioned in recent years, with it being named the most dangerous major city in the West Midlands. This leaves the question, is Birmingham safe?

As someone who has lived in Birmingham for nearly three years, I have felt safe in my local area and the city centre. Birmingham also keeps attracting people to visit, especially through the Commonwealth Games last year. However, some people will encounter experiences in the city that make them feel unsafe, and crime rates show that Birmingham poses a few dangers to safety. However, this is unsurprising because it is a major city in the UK. 

The following guide will answer any safety concerns that people visiting or moving to Birmingham may have. Hopefully, by the end of the guide, you’ll feel reassured that Birmingham isn’t as dangerous as some say. So, let’s find out, is Birmingham safe? 

Is Birmingham Safe to Visit?

If you are travelling with a group of people, it is a lot safer than travelling alone. For one, you’ll feel more relaxed knowing you have support if someone does dangerously approach you, and you’re less likely to be approached if you’re in a group. If you do decide to travel by yourself, I’d recommend sticking to the central part of the city and using your common sense – Birmingham is bustling with people, so during the day, there are plenty of people around to be alert to danger. Brummie people tend to be very friendly too.

The overall crime rate in Birmingham in 2022 was 145 crimes per 1000 people. This makes Birmingham the second most dangerous major city in the UK and the 245th most dangerous location in terms of towns, cities, and villages. In 2023, Birmingham fell 76% higher in its National Crime Rate. 

Around Christmas time, with the German markets and big events in the city, pickpockets can rise, so be wary of where you keep your belongings when travelling around the city. 

So, how safe is Birmingham? While these statistics may show Birmingham to be unsafe, day-to-day, the city is a reasonably safe area where you don’t encounter any worrying citations. But, like most major cities, there will be some areas to avoid that are more dangerous than other places in the UK. However, if you stick to busier areas and remain cautious, as you would do elsewhere, you will have an exciting, enjoyable, safe time in the city. We’d recommend staying in these top 5 nicest areas when you visit Birmingham.

You can also check out these top 11 day trips from Birmingham to really spice up your itinerary.

Is Birmingham Safe at Night?

Birmingham has a delightful range of bars and restaurants, especially along Brindley Place, where you’ll find Las Iguanas, Slug and Lettuce, and The Alchemist. Like anywhere, however, there are always risks to going out at night, where crime is more likely to occur undetected in the dark. If you travel around at night, it’s always best to go in a group and keep to well-lit streets or use Uber and taxis to get home.

Some areas in Birmingham, such as Sutton Park and Edgbaston, have an extremely low level of crime compared to other parts of the city. If you stay around the Broad Street area or the main high street in the city centre, you’ll find plenty of people around, and these areas tend to be well-lit.

Selly Oak, where many students live in Birmingham, can often be more unsafe, with regular reports of sexual assault, burglary and theft. However, the police are good at responding to crime and patrolling the area at night.

Is Birmingham Safe for Women?

Women may feel cautious travelling to any place in the UK and abroad, especially going out at night where there is a risk of drunk people and men harassing them. If I’m with others when I go out at night in the city centre, I feel perfectly safe knowing there are others around me to keep me safe. If I’m by myself in the dark, I do become more alert and worried about being approached – but I would feel the same in any city. It is important to remember, though, that the most common crime in Birmingham is violence and sexual offences. There were 76,805 offences during 2022, creating a crime rate of 66.

During the daytime, however, women shouldn’t be too cautious about safety and security because there is more police surveillance and the general public around. 

By travelling in groups at night, having your phone on you, and following standard safety precautions if you notice any signs of danger, Birmingham is safe for women.

Is Birmingham Safe to Live In?

In December 2022, Birmingham was the West Midlands’ most dangerous area for burglary; 801 crimes were recorded at a rate of 0.69 for every 1000 residents. This was recorded around Christmas, when people may have new expensive items in their houses, encouraging burglaries. Still, it is unknown whether this increased the crime rate in 2022.

Tourists have been told to avoid Balsall Heath, Sparkbrook, Moseley and Hockley because of the high rates of property damage and violent crimes being reported regularly. Contrastingly, the safest areas have been said to be Bromsgrove, Sutton Coldfield, Northfield and Solihull. 

Birmingham is one of the cheapest places to live, too and offers a wide variety of shops, walks, and entertainment, as well as plenty of jobs. While some areas do have higher crime rates, Birmingham is a fairly safe place to live.

Is Birmingham Safe for Students?

As a student myself, I feel safe living in Birmingham. As previously mentioned, I feel the least safe in Selly Oak, where I have been approached in the past, and I know people who have been burgled or bothered by people coming up to them. But being a student does not pose a greater risk of living in Birmingham.

The University of Birmingham states that the university campus is generally very safe, with its dedicated security team working 24/7, 365 days a year. They offer advice and help, from securing your bike to keeping safe at home, and patrol campus regularly. 

Many international students move to study in Birmingham too, and the city offers an array of cultures and diversity that makes people feel at home. Universities provide a global community and a safe space for people to be themselves. 

Is Birmingham City Centre Safe?

Crimes termed as violence against the person were recorded at a rate of more than 72 offences per 1000 people in 2022.

While Birmingham does have a crime rate higher than the national average, the city centre near the Bullring is relatively safe; there are more people around this area and regular security guards and police who keep an eye out for any danger. As long as you keep your belongings close to you and alert anyone if you see anything suspicious, the city centre isn’t a particularly dangerous place in the city.

The city centre is where most people will visit when they come to Birmingham; the Bullring provides plenty of shops and food outlets for your visit, as well as the centre having activities such as mini golf and bowling, and the museum, sealife, concert arenas, and theatres. 


Is Birmingham safe? In my opinion, Birmingham is a city that is worth a visit, despite the scare-mongering of its above-average crime rates. While it is hard to not overthink the statistics showing Birmingham can be unsafe, as long as you travel with other people or remain cautious and limit travelling in unknown places at night, Birmingham should remain a key place to visit on your travelling bucket list. And if you need more reassurance, just check out my guide on where to stay in Birmingham, which gives you the rundown on all the safest areas. 

If you keep an eye out for anything suspicious while you’re exploring the many attractions of the city, you will feel safer and reassured. You may feel more reassured by carrying safety gadgets like personal alarms – which emit piercing noises when set off, frightening would-be criminals and drawing attention to yourself. Overall, though, whether you’re looking to move to Birmingham as a resident or student or just travel here for a day, Birmingham is a great city for food, culture, and fun.

By Cara-Louise Scott 

Cara-Louise Scott is a student journalist currently living in Birmingham. Having recently finished her undergraduate degree, she regularly writes for her student paper and Empoword, and has a passion for all things travel, food and books. She is due to begin her NCTJ course in the Autumn to become a qualified journalist.

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