Do you feel safe where you live? And what does 'safe' mean, apart from the obvious freedom from crime? A new interactive tool developed by Compare the Market (opens in new tab) uses stats about multiple aspects of the safety of residents of 30 UK towns and cities, taking into account crime rates per 100,000 residents, ambulance response times (including the percentage of ambulances that get to a patient in under eight minutes), availability of doctors per resident, and even the likelihood of flooding and ground movement.
The results make for interesting, and at times surprising, reading. Birmingham emerges as the safest place in the UK, with low crime rates and fast ambulance response times. London comes off either better or worse than you'd expect, depending on your attitude towards the capital. At number 21, it has higher crime rates than many other cities – however, it does have a quick and efficient ambulance service, and a very low risk of flooding (just one per cent).
The least safe town according to the tool? Sorry, Peterborough; this medium-sized town in Eastern England has soaring crime rates (a worrying 1,391 per 100,000, in contrast with 189 in London), and a somewhat unreliable ambulance service, with only 50 per cent of ambulances getting to their destination in under eight minutes.
What these stats highlight is that there is huge disparity in living conditions between different places in the UK, but also that many of the usual suspects aren't as bad as they're sometimes represented. We'd love to know your thoughts. Do you live in any of these places and how safe do you feel? Get in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter.