Ben Slade, principal of The Manor Community College in Arbury Road, Cambridge, has been in the news recently for criticising prejudice against the Arbury area of Cambridge, and has been backed up by local councillors. I live in Arbury myself, less than half a mile from the Manor, so I thought I’d have a look at the data to see if Arbury really is the hotbed of crime and anti-social behaviour that some people seem to believe.
Cambridgeshire Police regularly produce Neighbourhood Profiles for different areas of Cambridge. Amongst other things, these give figures for the amount of crime and anti-social behaviour reported in each of Cambridge’s 14 wards. The wards aren’t all the same size, so I’ve allowed for population differences using the number of people on the electoral roll. And it turns out that there is a hotbed of crime and anti-social behaviour in Cambridge, but it’s not Arbury:
The graph shows the number of crimes reported in each ward, per month, per thousand electors, in the last six to eight months for which figures are available – the reports don’t all cover exactly the same period, but it gives you an idea of the situation.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most crime-ridden part of Cambridge is Market ward, which contains the city centre, and has nearly four times as much reported crime as the second-placed ward. And where is Arbury? Sixth of fourteen. Not the most crime-free part of the city, but not much worse than average.
The picture isn’t very different for reports of anti-social behaviour (ASB), either:
Note the different numbers on the horizontal axis here – there are about twice as many crimes reported as ASB incidents. Market ward is still well out in front, though not quite as overwhelmingly. Arbury is fifth; by no means the worst part of the city. Again the safest wards are Castle and Newnham, though this is probably partly due to much of their population being away outside the University term.