|Level of crime||49.66||Moderate|
|Crime increasing in the past 3 years||51.85||Moderate|
|Worries home broken and things stolen||39.44||Low|
|Worries being mugged or robbed||34.72||Low|
|Worries car stolen||39.47||Low|
|Worries things from car stolen||43.04||Moderate|
|Worries being insulted||49.80||Moderate|
|Worries being subject to a physical attack because of your skin color, ethnic origin, gender or religion||47.24||Moderate|
|Problem people using or dealing drugs||61.05||High|
|Problem property crimes such as vandalism and theft||54.43||Moderate|
|Problem violent crimes such as assault and armed robbery||42.30||Moderate|
|Problem corruption and bribery||35.16||Low|
|Safety walking alone during daylight||73.93||High|
|Safety walking alone during night||43.82||Moderate|
Last update: March 2023
These data are based on perceptions of visitors of this website in the past 3 years.
If the value is 0, it means it is perceived as very low, and if the value is 100, it means it is perceived as very high.
|Crime in Armagh||40.45 miles|
|Crime in Londonderry||71.05 miles|
|DeutschKriminalität in Belfast|
|PortuguêsCrime em Belfast|
|ItalianoCriminalità a Belfast|
|FrançaisCriminalité à Belfast|
|EspañolCriminalidad en Belfast|
Belfast can feel safe one minute, then rapidly deteriorate. If you are in the city centre, avoid fast food outlets facing City Hall - these attract a bad crowd to the point where one very famous fast food place has to employ bouncers at night, which still blows my mind. Fights are common, as are drug users and generally anti-social types who will verbally abuse you for looking in their direction.
During the day, it is OK, but the above rule applies (can feel safe, but quickly go bad).
The area between the city centre and Queens University is not as safe as it used to be (not that it ever was particularly). Inner city areas in the east, west and north can be sketchy even during the day - especially if you look foreign.
Try to avoid isolated areas, which is most places after dark in the centre. Most workers live outside the centre and the only people left are drinkers, drug users or anti-social elements, or all of the above.
Public transport is ok, but again not so good after dark, particularly on weekend nights. Many people like getting drunk and this can lead to harassment, abuse and fights. The Glider is ok during the day, but again can see a lot of anti-social behaviour, particularly in the west. Just google 'Glider Belfast Anti-Social Behaviour' and you will see that police have had to step up their patrols on the Glider due to these problems.
If you arrive at Great Victoria Street Station, be aware that outside is not a great area generally, but especially not after dark. Same with Lanyon Place, which is on a bridge between the inner city and the centre, meaning a lot of footfall of difficult types.
Basically, a lot of Belfast folk are good people but as with everything else it can be spoiled by the (growing) minority who have no purpose in life other than to make others lives hell.
If you are a visitor you will probably be OK if you avoid addicts, gangs and roving youths (often there is some overlap).
One other thing, it definitely isn't as friendly as it used to be. I remember thinking this was one of the friendliest cities in the world. Now 9/10 encounters are blunt and rude.
* Many people here are addicted to alcohol and drugs. The behaviour of these people can really negatively impact the daily lives of people, especially business owners. I once saw someone injecting themselves in the alleyway behind my property. Even decent people who are otherwise harmless during the day can become nocturnal burdens after excessive drinking
* Home & vehicle robbery is common and widely heard about. I've witnessed my current property being scoped out by someone looking to gain unauthorised entry, and a previous property was entered while I was on holiday (though strangely they didn't take anything).
* Many are involved in criminal gangs (you may see them referred to as "paramilitary organisations"). They exhibit control over businesses, builders & contractors, housing developments and, yes, politicians.
* Rates of vandalism such as graffiti and damage to public & private property are shockingly high. You'll hardly go a day in Belfast without seeing a smashed bus stop, a damaged window, a shop or apartment block with spray-painted scrawls on it, and so on. Public amenities are the main targets, such as toilets, public hire bikes, public transport etc. The culprits are mostly older children (yes, children), teens and drunken 20-somethings. Youths can get involved in such behaviour from an early age, like 9 or 10.
* Litter is everywhere. Especially chewing gum, cigarette butts and food packaging. After a busy day with good weather, parks, green spaces and beaches will be strewn with fresh litter. Also you really have to watch where you stop because of dog poo being common on the less busy footpaths in certain areas.
* Mugging does happen but not to the extent of many other European cities. Rates of pickpocketing seem to be relatively low.
* If your looks are different to the typical person here, you are more likely to be the target of random insults and attacks.
* I don't think I would venture out alone at night if I were a girl.
* Anti-social behaviour also occurs on public transport. Staff are mostly indifferent.
* If you enjoy cycling, stay off the roads in Belfast and Northern Ireland in general. Our standards of driving are very high, but for some drivers here, a cyclist on the road is a menace and nuisance and they have been victims of reckless driving and, sadly, fatal accidents do happen. Stick to the cycle paths for your own safety when you can.
* Rioting is much less common than in previous times thankfully, but from time to time it does happen. Fortunately, looting is unheard of here.
- Harassed and verbally abused by a group of young men for wearing a mask.
- Yelled at threateningly from afar.
- Verbally abused for keeping my distance (the mind boggles).
- Verbally abused and threatened by groups of teenagers on bikes.
- Seen countless examples of drug use.
There's nothing strange about the way I look or carry myself. This is just Belfast.
In the UK and Ireland it is very common for groups of guys to walk around together and abuse random passers by (alcohol and drugs are usually involved, but not always).
Oftentimes it's verbal and you can ignore it, but it can turn nasty, and get physical. All about being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but it happens way too often to ignore the risk.
Belfast (and Northern Ireland) isn't the very tolerant. It's still very insular. If you belong in a minority group, harassment is a strong possibility. Too many people get a perverted kind of happiness from bothering strangers. Usually it is because they might look or act differently.
As another commenter said, daytime is generally "OK", but don't venture far from populated areas at night. I've travelled extensively and while Belfast is nothing like Rio or Johannesburg levels, at least in those places you know why people might attack you and you can take precautions against it (i.e. to steal things). Here, people just attack you for no reason and that makes it more unpredictable.
The sad fact is that there is a certain mentality among many people in Belfast - it is very backward and almost tribal. The people who were involved in the troubles 20-30 years ago haven't gone away. They're just into different things now. Oh, and they've had kids, who are unsurprisingly of the same ilk.
In conclusion, Belfast is no Tokyo or Singapore, nor will it ever be. There are even cities in Eastern Europe that are way safer. It's got a lot of bigots and a violent underclass who think nothing of shouting at, harassing, attacking or beating locals and visitors alike.
And don't even get me started on the unwillingness of so many people in Belfast to abide by COVID-19 guidelines.