UK: Nottingham tops crime list for students

The Complete University Guide has published a list of the best and worst cities in the UK for the types of crime that most affect students.

Compiled from official police data, the ranking gives the clearest picture possible of the crime rates in the 25 towns and cities outside London with two or more universities.

Canterbury, followed by Bath and Lancaster, is the city with the lowest cumulative crime rate. Nottingham, followed by Manchester and Bristol, is the worst in England and Wales.

Of the four cities in Scotland with two or more universities, Aberdeen had the best rate and Glasgow the worst.

Official data for crimes affecting students are not available, so The Complete University Guide has selected three crimes as most relevant to students: burglary, robbery and assault. The ranking is based on the cumulative rate of all three crimes.

Bernard Kingston, founder of The Complete University Guide, said: "While the quality of tuition and the prospects for employment after graduation are key elements in choosing a university course, it is important not to overlook other aspects of the environment in which the student will be living for three or more years."

Dominic Scott, Chief Executive of the UK Council for International Student Affairs, said the findings, while predictably showing that crime is more prevalent in larger cities, would be as relevant to foreign students as to their UK peers.

He said: "Universities and colleges need - as can be seen from the Australian experience, which has been painful - to invest in careful orientation, briefing and links with local police and community groups. "

However, he also said that the UK remains, as shown by British Council surveys, one of the safest of the main overseas destination countries.