Jan 16 2015

Harrow is The “Only Borough With Below Average Crime” Say The Met.

police_bmw_150x150But are they right?

Firstly, it’s important to say that according to the data published by the Met – and we can’t find any indication on whether this has been independently validated – Harrow has the lowest crime rate across London for December 2014. If we take the figures at face value, that’s great news. Even though the methodology for working out the crime rate may be flawed (it’s based on the number of notifiable crimes per 1,000 head of population), having the lowest crime rate is certainly good.

In fact, Harrow Police say “…we are the only borough in London below the average crime rate…” – and it’s here the admiration ends.

There are 32 police boroughs in London (33, if you count the City of London, which isn’t part of the Met, so we can ignore that). The Met has published the crime rate for each of those 32:


Barking and Dagenham 6.87
Barnet 5.51
Bexley 4.5
Brent 6.18
Bromley 5.6
Camden 11.26
Croydon 6.91
Ealing 6.4
Enfield 5.86
Greenwich 6.37
Hackney 8.19
Hammersmith and Fulham 9.41
Haringey 7.31
Harrow 4.05
Havering 5.55
Hillingdon 6.38
Hounslow 6.91
Islington 10.84
Kensington and Chelsea 10.25
Kingston upon Thames 5.39
Lambeth 8.63
Lewisham 6.64
Merton 5.27
Newham 7.82
Redbridge 6.24
Richmond upon Thames 4.56
Southwark 8.18
Sutton 5.07
Tower Hamlets 8.79
Waltham Forest 6.23
Wandsworth 5.97
Westminster 20.23

All good so far. The average crime rate, in case you’re wondering in 7.2928 crimes per 1,000 population across each borough. If we take that date, and rank it in order, from smallest to largest, we get this:



Given that the average crime rate is 7.2928 (marked as a red line in the graph above), exactly 21 boroughs have below average crime rate, and 11 have above average. Harrow is not, as the Met would have you believe the only one. of course, you could argue that the scoring is flawed by the inclusion of Westminster, given the low number of population and high number of visitors with their ensuing crimes.

If we look closer, we see that Islington, with a crime rate of 10.84 is only 0.59 above Kensington & Chelsea’s 10.25 – yet this is enough to put K&C into the ‘average’ group, whilst Islington remains above average.

The Met’s own map, using their rankings, looks like this, with yellow being average:


Our map, allocating the boroughs into four equal ranges, we get this map:



Note: Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database rights.

Obviously, this still has Harrow as a nice pale blue banding, a banding it also shares with Bexley and Richmond upon Thames. But to paint Harrow as the perfect nirvana in a crime-ridden world isn’t exactly telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

But enough. We’d still like to know how the Borough Commander managed to bring Fraud and Forgery down to near zero, the moment he landed in the borough, though.


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  1. Thaya

    Certainly a mathematical non sense. Only Borough below the average?

  2. Someonewhocares

    By definition some boroughs will be below average and some above average, that’s how averages work of course! We can only assume that ‘they did not think their statement through’ unfortunately as the result is meaningless. Have to admit we did not realise it was some kind of ‘contest’ either. Furthermore it only lists ‘notified’ crimes and so it should be listed as such not crimes per se?

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