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Roanoke Falls Severely Short in Safest Cities in Virginia Rankings

There were 142 Virginia cities in the report, including 103 small cities, 26 midsize cities, and 13 large cities. Cities were divided into sizes based upon population, with small cities having under 10,000 residents, midsize cities having between 10,000 and 50,000 residents, and large cities having over 50,000 residents. Within each size group, cities were ranked by their crime score to find the safest cities of each size.

Safest Cities in Virginia by City Size

Safest Large Cities in Virginia

Among large cities with over 50,000 residents in Virginia, the average crime score was 68. The crime scores calculated for large cities ranged from a low of 31 to a high of 139.

Roanoke City failed to make it into the top 10 – coming in 12th in the ranking.

  • Roanoke had a total crime score of 103.6, which was above the average of 68.2 in large Virginia cities with over 100,000 residents.

  • Roanoke’s violent crime rate was 38 per 1000 residents, compared with an average of 19.4 per 1000 in large Virginia cities.

  • The city’s property crime rate was 44.1 per 1000 residents. Statewide, the average property crime rate in large cities was 27.4 per 1000.

The safest large city in Virginia was Leesburg, the county seat of Loudoun County. The city is notable for being the temporary seat of government for the United States during the War of 1812. The city is growing quickly and contains many historical sites. Leesburg has also been gradually integrated into the greater Washington, D.C. area as that metropolis has grown.

Portsmouth ranked as the large city in the state with the highest levels of reported crime. Portsmouth is a city in the southeast part of the state just across the Elizabeth River from Norfolk. Shipbuilding has been an important part of the history of the city of Portsmouth, from its founding in the 1700s. Today, the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and Naval Medical Center Portsmouth are historic and active U.S. Navy facilities in the city.

Safest Midsize Cities in Virginia

The average crime score for midsize cities in Virginia was 49, for cities with between 10,000 and 50,000 residents. Crime scores for midsize cities ranged from as low as 13 to as high as 97.

The safest midsize city in Virginia was Purcellville. This rapidly growing midsize city is located in the Loudoun Valley and is host to the liberal arts college Patrick Henry College. The city is located only 50 miles to the west of the nation’s capital. Purcellville is also known for its Victorian-era architecture built at the turn of the century.

The safest small city in Virginia was Broadway, a city located in Rockingham County in the northern portion of the state near West Virginia. The city is located in the Shenandoah Valley and is served by Interstate 81.

In the following table, we list small cities in Virginia ranked by their crime scores. Additionally, each city’s rate of violent and property crimes per capita are also listed. The average crime score among small cities in the state was 41, with a range of 7 at the lowest and 110 at the highest for small cities with under 10,000 population.

Advisor-Smith calculated a proprietary crime score for cities in the state of Virginia to determine the safest cities in the state. To create this study, we relied upon data published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics dataset. This data includes statistics on violent and property crimes reported by law enforcement agencies and cities around the country. Crimes reported in this dataset include murder, rape, robbery, assault, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and burglary.

We based our analysis on data from the calendar year 2019, which was the report’s most recent update. Cities reported data on a monthly basis, but not all cities reported a full 12 months of data. We excluded from our analysis any city which reported less than 2 months of data. For cities reporting fewer than 12 months of data, we adjusted their crime levels to reflect a proportionate amount of crime for a calendar year for comparability purposes.

To create our crime score for each Virginia city, we applied a weighted multiplier to each type of crime to reflect the severity of the crime. For example, murder received a higher multiplier than larceny. We added the weighted multiple of crimes for each city and then compared this weighted multiple to the city’s population in order to create a crime score for each city.

We divided Virginia cities into three sizes depending upon the population size of each city. Small cities were those with under 10,000 residents. Cities with between 10,000 and 50,000 residents were labeled midsize cities, and cities with over 50,000 residents were labeled large cities. We ranked each city by its crime score within its population grouping to determine the safest small, midsize, and large cities in Virginia.

For a fill copy of the report CLICK HERE 

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