This paper examines the relationship between public houses or pubs, and crime rates in England and Wales. The impact of pubs on local communities is generally studied and investigated within the context of third places, thus physical places that facilitate the accumulation of social capital within communities. We estimate Poisson Fixed-Effects (PFE) and a frontier Spatial Autoregressive (SAR) model on a unique panel dataset for 375 local authorities in England and Wales between 2003 and 2018. Results from the analysis indicate that the presence of pubs progressively relates to a higher incidence of major crimes when transitioning from rural to urban areas, mainly due to weaker level of community cohesion and a lack of resources to support formal policing in more urbanized centres. These findings highlight the importance of place-based strategies in tackling rising incidences of crimes, indicating that recent pub closures may have contributed to severing community ties that act as a deterrent to crime in certain areas.