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London universities worst for crime - with KCL the riskiest

Students at universities in London are most at risk of crime, according to new research

King's College in London is the most dangerous university to study at, in terms of crimes committed in the area, according to new research.

The Complete University Guide has published a list of the safest and riskiest places to study in England and Wales, based on official police data.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, universities in Greater London face the highest crime rates, with the area surrounding KCL suffering 3.59 burglaries, robberies and violent crimes per thousand residents between May 2012 and April this year. Kingston has emerged as the safest university in London, with 1.81 crimes.

As data for crimes specifically affecting university students does not exist, the statistics relate to any victims within three miles of the main university campus. However, the Complete University Guide has selected the three crimes most commonly committed against students - burglary, robbery and violent crime (defined by police as common assault, grievous bodily harm and sexual offences) - for the purpose of their list.

Aberystwyth and Durham were found to be the safest places to study out of nearly 120 universities, with 0.47 and 0.75 crimes respectively, while outside of London, Hull is the worst with 2.58 reported crimes per thousand residents.

The city of Manchester follows hot behind Hull, with 2.55 crimes per thousand taking place around Manchester Metropolitan University and 2.51 around the University of Manchester, while Birmingham and Nottingham suffer from similarly high rates. The latter, dubbed 'Shottingham' by some students as a result of high gun crime rates, is known as a risky place to live in parts, with regular reports of burglaries in student-populated streets and 0.98 per thousand residents last year.

Bernard Kingston, founder of the Complete University Guide, believes that crime and safety information should be readily available from universities. He commented: “While universities, especially those in high crime areas, do much to advise students on precautions, many students, particularly those from overseas attracted by formidable academic reputations, are often not aware of the risks in the areas around their chosen institutions. Our universities do not exist in isolation from the communities within which they are located, and, regrettably, crime is a constant presence.”