Cardiff is a comparatively safe city. Over the last 10 years crime has fallen dramatically with fewer burglaries, incidents of criminal damage and anti-social behaviour.
However, there has not been an equivalent fall in fear of crime. Residents do not feel confident that they, their families and their communities are safe. Women are less likely to feel safe in their communities compared to men and the city’s most deprived communities are more likely to suffer the effects of crime.
While Cardiff is a safe city for the overwhelming majority, a small number of people – particularly children and women – are subject to abuse, violence and exploitation. Becoming Europe’s most liveable capital city must mean a great quality of life, safety and security for all citizens, particularly those who are most vulnerable.
Being safe and feeling safe consistently rank as top priorities for both residents and visitors. There has been a rapid and significant reduction in crime in Cardiff over the past 10 years, in line with that experienced in other major UK cities. However, fear of crime remains higher than levels of actual crime suggest it should be. Levels of crime also vary significantly across the city, following patterns of income and health inequality (see Outcome 7).
The shape of crime is also evolving and adapting. The internet has brought with it additional types of crime and has given a global reach to others such as consumer fraud. Online criminal networking is already showing its impact in areas such as child sexual exploitation and global terrorism. Tomorrow’s generations may have to deal with new crimes altogether.
Although trends to date have shown a decrease in overall levels of recorded crime, the significant disparities between crime levels in Cardiff’s neighbourhoods are likely to continue unless work is undertaken to reduce them. Similarly, a small minority of children and adults are vulnerable to abuse, violence and exploitation which can have an impact on the rest of their lives. Further developing joined up approaches to protecting the city’s most vulnerable residents will remain crucial.
Cardiff is a diverse city with over 100 languages spoken and this diversity is likely to increase in the future. Community cohesion – the sense of belonging felt by communities, and the strong and positive relationships within them – will become more and more important as Brexit, conflicts, climate change, global terrorism and economic pressures have an impact on the global movement of people. As the population grows and becomes more diverse it is important that we continue to build on Cardiff’s long history of being an open and inclusive city.