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Safer Leicester: Leicester city centre awarded Purple Flag as crime at night falls by 28%

Across 11 crime categories, eight showed large reductions.

Counsellor Sarah Russell, Patrick Martin from St John Ambulance, Sarah Harrison from Leicester City Council, Simon Jenner from BID Leicester, Steph Burnham from Leicestershire Police and James Dunham from BID Leicester. Copyright BID Leicester/Alex Hannam.
Counsellor Sarah Russell, Patrick Martin from St John Ambulance, Sarah Harrison from Leicester City Council, Simon Jenner from BID Leicester, Steph Burnham from Leicestershire Police and James Dunham from BID Leicester. Copyright BID Leicester/Alex Hannam.

Leicester's city centre has seen a reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB) of 28% over the five years from 2018 to the end of 2022. 


Assessors described crime and disorder statistics as “great”, noting them as part of what earned Leicester its Purple Flag status for the fourth time. The Purple Flag recognises Leicester city centre as a safe and enjoyable destination during night-time hours.


The analysis of data across 11 crime categories revealed that eight experienced a large reduction in criminal activities, including robbery, theft, criminal damage, drugs, and weapons offences.


This achievement underscores the collaborative efforts of Leicestershire Police, Leicester City Council, Safer Leicestershire Partnership, City Watch, and BID Leicester in addressing criminal behaviour and enhancing safety measures within the city centre.


Inspector Nadia Rana from Leicestershire Police commended the findings, saying, "The drop in crime is a testament to the dedication of our community partners. However, while the statistics show great progress, it's crucial to address the persistent perception of crime and fear within our community, as also noted by Purple Flag assessors."


"We're committed to addressing these concerns, reassuring the public, continuing to improve crime rates and fostering an environment where everyone feels safe."


The accreditation process was led by Leicester’s Business Improvement District, BID Leicester, which is a not-for-profit company funded by local businesses. The BID works to raise the profile of the city and make it a cleaner, safer and more attractive place for all. 

Since it was set up in 2018, BID Leicester has introduced a range of additional initiatives aimed at making Leicester a safer place. These include the introduction of night-time first aid services, a uniformed Street Ambassador service, body cameras for night-time staff, and the Best Bar None accreditation scheme.


Simon Jenner, BID Leicester Director, said, "The significant reduction in the majority of Leicester city centre’s evening and night-time economy crime groups since 2018 demonstrates the effectiveness of collaborative efforts and targeted initiatives aimed at enhancing safety within Leicester's city centre."


"We are aware that there is still work to do to tackle anti-social behaviour in the city centre, however, these statistics highlight the importance of continued partnership working and strategic interventions to address issues effectively."


"We remain committed to working closely with our partners to build upon this achievement and ensure Leicester continues to be a safe and enjoyable place for all."


The re-awarding of Purple Flag status reflects Leicester's commitment to providing a safe and vibrant environment for residents, visitors, and businesses alike. Awarded by the Association of Town and City Management (ACTM), it showcases the city centre as a welcoming and safe destination for night-time activities, as well as a lively spot for dining, entertainment, and culture from 5pm to 5am.


Deputy city mayor Cllr Sarah Russell, who leads on community safety, said: "Earning a Purple Flag for a fourth time is a huge endorsement of the effectiveness of our local partnership, continued investment and shared determination to making sure our city centre is a safe and welcoming destination for everyone who wants to enjoy its bars, restaurants and night life."


Most crime groups show a reduction, with robbery, theft, criminal damage, drugs, and weapons offences down*:

  • Robbery of business: 100% decrease

  • Robbery of person: 79% decrease

  • All other offences: 72% decrease

  • Theft from the person: 52% decrease

  • Criminal damage: 51% decrease

  • Weapons: 38% decrease

  • Drugs: 29% decrease

  • Violence against the person without injury: 16% decrease

 

* Refers to those crimes that occurred between 8pm Friday nights and 5am Saturday mornings, and 8pm Saturday nights and 5am Sunday mornings.

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