Although the news is always full of violent crime, it’s important to look at the overall picture. In the same way that business measures revenues, net profits, and stock price, crime rate statistics are important to those in jurisprudence (and society as a whole) to measure how much crime actually occurs and how effective we are at handling it.
When most people think of crimes, they think of crimes against people, but in actuality, crimes are most often perpetrated against property. Nationally, violent crime represents about 12% of all crimes. In Virginia, that number is 8%.
In fact Virginia is one of the safest states in the Union. Its crime rate has been steadily decreasing for more than the last decade. Virginia has the 6th-lowest violent crime rate, and the 12th-lowest in property crimes.
Lowering the crime rate doesn’t only make you and your loved ones safer. It also has a beneficial effect on the economy. Low crime rates make a city or municipality feel secure. That sense of security may lead to greater confidence in law enforcement, greater credit given to public safety organization, and even leads to citizens being more trusting towards others. Ultimately, this kind of secure environment attracts investment in the community, in the form of business and residential development.
The crime rate is always a concern when choosing a place to raise a family, start a business, or purchase property, but it’s the citizens already living there that have the most impact on crime rate. Changes in crime rate often galvanize communities to band together, allocate resources, and deal with the problem.
Our ever-lowering crime rate is a testament to the strength of our community and to the professionals who keep our streets safe.