Harlow is the second most dangerous major town in Essex, and is among the top 20 most dangerous overall out of Essex’s 319 towns, villages, and cities. The overall crime rate in Harlow in 2020 was 110 crimes per 1,000 people. This compares poorly to Essex’s overall crime rate, coming in 29% higher than the Essex rate of 78 per 1,000 residents. For England, Wales, and Northern Ireland as a whole, Harlow is among the top 20 most dangerous major towns, and the 363rd most dangerous location out of all towns, cities, and villages.
In December 2020, Harlow had the worst crime rate in Essex for theft from the person, with 12 crimes reported and a crime rate of 0.14 per 1,000 inhabitants. August 2016 was also a bad month for Harlow residents, when it was Essex’s most dangerous area for drugs, recording 27 crimes at a rate of 0.31 per 1,000 residents. Harlow recorded 114 reports of shoplifting during September 2015, making its crime rate of 1.3 the worst for shoplifting in Essex that month.
The most common crimes in Harlow are violence and sexual offences, with 4,391 offences during 2020, giving a crime rate of 50. This is 5% higher than 2019’s figure of 4,154 offences and a difference of 2.72 from 2019’s crime rate of 48. Harlow’s least common crimes are possession of weapons, with 68 offences recorded in 2020, a decrease of 16% from 2019’s figure of 79 crimes.