New statistics suggest that 18 of the worst 20 universities in the UK for crime are in London.
The Complete University Guide used official police figures to measure rates of violent and sexual offences, burglaries and robberies within three miles of campuses across England and Wales.
According to the report, King’s College London (which was ranked as the 16th best uni in the world last year) had the highest rates of crime in the country, averaging 47.65 incidents per 1,000 residents. The Courtauld Institute of Art in London and University College London (UCL) came in at second and third on the list.
Outside of London, universities in Manchester and Salford also landed in the top 20 for bad crime rates.
Meanwhile, the figures suggest that if you want to avoid getting mugged, you should go to Buckingham (which averaged just 8.58 incidents per 1,000 residents), Falmouth or Durham.
A King’s College London spokesman was quick to point out that the figures included crime reports by all residents, not just students, and serious incidents involving students were “an exception”.
When put in those terms, it’s probably not a huge surprise that big cities like London and Manchester would see high crime figures near educational institutions.
It should be noted, however, that although researchers measured recorded crimes against anyone, student or non-student, they did take professional advice on which offences were most relevant to students.
The Complete University Guide said it carried out the study because universities were “unable or unwilling” to reveal the rates of crime directly involving student victims, leaving many young people unaware of the risks in their chosen towns or cities.
Principal author Dr Bernard Kingston said:
Most universities, especially those in high crime areas, actively advise students on precautions they should take to avoid becoming the victims of crime. But they only monitor crime on their own campuses and many students, especially international students attracted by the strong academic reputations of the UK’s universities, are often unaware of the level of crime in the areas around their chosen institutions.
All prospective students should be able to compare the risks in and near individual institutions with much greater precision. Regrettably, universities are either unable or unwilling to disclose the rates of crime directly affecting their students on campus let alone off campus. We urge vice-chancellors and the universities to tell prospective students what their chances of falling victim to crime are, on and off campus.
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