Here Are The 10 Most Dangerous Places In Virginia To Live
Now I know this is going to start a fight. So before it begins, let me just say that we used two reports and compared them. One list, Movoto, used towns and cities with a population over 10,000. The next list, RoadSnacks (.net), used data from towns and cities with 1,000 or more residents. Both looked at the rate of violent crimes vs. property crimes to make their numbers work. We cross examined the numbers and ranked according to the places that appeared on both lists, where they appeared on those lists, and added in high-ranking towns/cities that appeared on only one list based on the strength of their ranking.
What we found…wait for it…is that crime does happen in Virginia. But we also found that even the “most dangerous” places are still pretty cool places to be. Like any city in the world, being cautious and aware is the key to safety. So don’t be discouraged if your town or city made this list.
None of the data is a reflection on the efforts or effectiveness of the fine men and women of the local police and sheriff departments – this simply show the number of times crime occurs.
So here it goes….
Despite the presence of a large naval base, and adding in the large sea port that gave the city its name, Portsmouth comes in at #1 on RoadSnacks’ list and #2 for Movoto. The high rate of property crime put them over the top, but unfortunately, violent crimes didn’t help. Some of this can be attributed to the number of people coming through the ports. However, with an historic downtown, charming Old Town, city parks and vibrant urban life, there’s still plenty to love about this waterfront city.
Located just on the other side of the Elizabeth River from Portsmouth – and sharing a common distinction as a port city, Norfolk showed up with slightly less violent crime, but much less property crime than Portsmouth. With a population just under 250,000, Norfolk shares the burden of many larger cities in that there are both really good sections of town – and really bad. But with ongoing revitalization efforts, this city offers a rich history and culture to spare with charming old neighborhoods, year round festivals and countless urban conveniences.
This small town in Southern Virginia seems a bit out of place on the list – I mean, small towns are supposed to be safe, right? Well, South Boston doesn’t lack small town charm, but with an unusually high rate of property crime, it earned its place. We’ll play the blame game here, though, and point out that the town is home to the South Boston Speedway, so a large number of out-of-towners could play a part in the overall percentages.
Roanoke offers a bit of a mixed report – it ranks 1st on Movoto’s list of towns with population above 10,000, but only 5th on RoadSnacks’ list of 1,000+. So what’s the final word? That’s up to you. In Roanoke, residents have a 1 in 19 chance of being the victim of a crime, but violent crimes outrank property crimes. That being said, Roanoke is still a super cool place to be – with a funky downtown, arts and culture aplenty, great restaurants and amazing mountain views, Roanoke has a lot to offer.
Oh, Richmond…you just can’t seem to stay off of these lists, can you? Unfortunately, Richmond does tend to have crime – of both the violent and property variety. Aaannnddd…mostly of the violent variety. Richmond leads the state in violent crimes per resident and ranked #4 on Movoto’s list and #7 at RoadSnacks. But the good news is that these rates have been dropping steadily over the last decade. So don’t be disheartened, Richmonders. We all know that Richmond is still a great place to live – full of charm, history, music and an all-around good Southern vibe.
As the smallest place on the list at just under 1,800 residents and ranked #4 most dangerous by RoadSnacks, Appalachia showed higher than average percentages for violent crime. And apparently, political scandal isn’t new to the town, either. Back in 2006, 14 Appalachia residents, including the town’s mayor, were indicted on charges of electoral fraud. But, on the bright side, this former coal mining hub is home to Bee Rock Tunnel, which Ripley’s Believe It or Not lists as the shortest railroad tunnel in the world at 47 ft, 7 inches. So…there’s that.
Believe it or not, Petersburg actually had lower rates of property crime – but it was the violent crimes that put this city on Movoto’s list at #5 and Roadsnacks’ at #9. With efforts to revitalize Old Town Petersburg and many beautiful historic sites, Petersburg maintains charm and beauty. But as a major railroad hub, as well as the intersection of a number of major highways, Petersburg sees a great deal of traffic in and out of the city, which could likely be a contributing factor to crime rates.
This small town of just under 6,000 residents isn’t the worst when it comes to violent crimes, but unfortunately, a high rate of property crimes put it at #6 on RoadSnacks’ list. The writers at RoadSnacks’ make an interesting observation, though. The numbers are determined by aggregated FBI data – but only based on the crimes that are reported. Places like Emporia are clearly doing an excellent job of reporting crime, so they are naturally going to end up higher in the rankings.
Despite being one of the most charming cities in the state – and with a quaint Old Town, rich history and a beautiful university, it really is one of the best. But high rates of violent crime can’t be overlooked. Movoto ranks Fredericksburg as the 6th most dangerous city and estimates a 1 in 23 chance of becoming a victim of a crime.
Another surprise on the list is this little waterfront town. For a town of less than 3,000, it doesn’t take much to make the rate of crime per capita sky rocket. And unfortunately, it was the rate of property crime that put Tappahannock on the list. But RoadSnacks reports good news, as well. Crime rates are down 15% from last year, so hopefully things will continue to improve for this quaint little town near the Northern Neck.
Again, keep in mind that the FBI runs their numbers based on reported crimes. So really, we have to praise these police departments for their consistent reporting efforts. Now tell us what you think. Do you live in one of these places or have you lived in one of them in the past? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments below!