Virginia has emerged as one of the safest states in the country following the data released by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program. In terms of lowest violent crime rates, Virginia ranks after Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire.
The 2018 edition of the FBI’s annual report Crime in the United States claims that the violent crime rate and property crime rate was reduced by three and seven percent respectively as compared to 2017.
The FBI reports can be considered significant because it is the second time that the counts of violent crimes were found lesser than the counts in the previous year. The report published is a compiled list of offense, arrest, and police employee data registered by law enforcement readily partaking in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program.
According to the crime statistics released by the UCR Program, Virginia was the fourth and 13th safest state in terms of violent and property crimes respectively in 2018. The report revealed that Virginia witnessed 200 violent crimes and about 1,666 property crimes per 100,000 residents, last year.
Cities like Winchester and Harrisonburg have emerged safest in the state. On the other hand, major metro areas like Roanoke, Richmond, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria and Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News witnessed the highest number of violent as well as property crimes as compared to the national average.
Additionally, many of the megalopolis in Virginia registered violent crimes lower than the national average of five murders for every 100,000 people last year. As per the Uniform Crime Reporting by the FBI, the Winchester area did not register any violent crimes last year, the towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg registered only one and the Charlottesville had three.
The Roanoke Police Department have created neighborhood watch groups, a summer youth basketball league, and programs to help students read and do their homework as part of the community outreach program to reduce crime rate.
In response to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program report published, Caitlyn Cline, who manages the community outreach program for the Roanoke Police Department, said, “There is no way to determine causation factors for a potential decrease in crime. It could be a number of different reasons, and we cannot determine that any of our community outreach or crime prevention has impacted the crime rates.”
The data listing Virginia in top five safest states of the country is released at a crucial time when the state is looking to make its name by working towards achieving carbon neutrality and implementing stricter gun policies.