Are you thinking about moving to Richmond, VA? The city has a bit of a reputation for crime and gang violence, but it’s overall a safe place to live. Crime rates can be misleading, so you shouldn’t rely on crime per capita alone to decide if a city is safe. You’ll find that crime in Richmond, Virginia is largely concentrated in a handful of areas and violent crime usually isn’t random. Here’s what you should know about the Richmond, VA crime rate, including how to assess your actual risk of being the victim of crime.
Understanding the Richmond Crime Rate
Crime rates are a good place to start when assessing your risk of crime in Richmond. City crime rates show you the number of specific crimes per capita (100,000 people) which can be compared to the national average or another city.
How are city crime rates calculated? They are based on FBI crime reporting systems.
- The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program was retired in 2021, but most crime rates you see still use UCR data. This program collects data from law enforcement agencies on eight Part I or index crimes: four violent and four property crimes.
- The National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) collects data from law enforcement on 52 crimes in 24 categories. These are Group A offenses. Arrest data is also collected on ten Group B offense categories. These crimes are divided into three categories.
NIBRS crimes are divided into the following categories:
- Crimes Against Persons. This includes aggravated assault, simple assault, kidnapping, human trafficking, intimidation, forcible sexual offenses, non-forcible sexual offenses, murder/non-negligent manslaughter, and negligent manslaughter.
- Crimes Against Property. This includes arson, burglary, forgery, bribery, embezzlement, vandalism, extortion, fraud, larceny/theft, motor vehicle theft, robbery, and stolen property offenses.
- Crimes Against Society. These are usually victimless crimes that do not involve property such as gambling, drug offenses, and prostitution.
The offenses that are bolded are the eight index crimes used by the UCR program to calculate crime rates. However, robbery is a violent crime under the UCR system while the NIBRS system classifies it as a crime against property.
What Is the Crime Rate in Richmond?
The Richmond, VA crime rate is 3,962 total crimes per 100,000 people (per capita). Richmond has 463 violent crimes and 3,499 property crimes per capita. You have a 1 in 25 chance of being the victim of crime.
By comparison, the national average crime rate is 2,580 crimes per capita with 382 violent crimes and 2,362 property crimes per 100,000 people.
Crime in Richmond, Virginia is 114% higher than the Virginia average and 59% higher than the national average.
Here’s how crime in Richmond compares to similarly sized cities.
- Fresno, CA has 2% less crime
- Pittsburgh, PA has 9% less crime
- Lexington, KY has 17% less crime
- Charleston, SC has 34% less crime
- Des Moines, IA has 21% more crime
- Knoxville, TN has 27% more crime
- Cincinnati, OH has 30% more crime
- Orlando, FL has 41% more crime
- Birmingham, AL has 108% more crime
Richmond, VA Crime Maps
Another way to understand crime in the city is by checking a Richmond crime map. Looking at crime data on a map can show you crime hotspots to avoid, generally safe or dangerous areas, and what types of crimes tend to occur in different neighborhoods.
Here are some crime maps and resources to help you research high-crime and safe neighborhoods in Richmond, VA.
- Richmond, VA crime map using police crime data with the ability to sort crime by neighborhood and type of offense and see sex offenders.
- This crime map from Spot Crime is simpler but still allows you to see crime by neighborhood in the city.
- The RPD Crime Incident Information system shows you weekly and historic crime reports which can be sorted by neighborhood.
Property Crime in Richmond, VA
There are 3,499 property crimes per capita in Richmond. There were 8,074 property crimes in 2019 which included:
- 6,234 larcenies and thefts
- 986 burglaries
- 854 motor vehicle thefts
- 44 arsons
You have a 1 in 29 chance of being the victim of property crime.
Violent Crime in Richmond, VA
There are 473 violent crimes per capita in Richmond. There were 1,068 violent crimes in 2019 which included:
- 583 aggravated assaults
- 385 robberies
- 45 rapes
- 55 murders or non-negligent manslaughters
You have a 1 in 216 chance of being the victim of violent crime in Richmond. The Richmond, VA homicide rate is 24 murders per capita, far higher than the national average of 5 homicides per capita.
In 2020, Richmond’s homicide rate spiked to the highest level since the 1990s, like many U.S. cities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Virginia had 455 homicides in 2019 which increased to 537 in 2020.
However, Richmond’s violent crime rate overall dropped below the national average in 2020.
Dangerous Areas of Richmond
While Richmond is generally a safe place to live, there are a handful of dangerous neighborhoods in Richmond where violent crime is concentrated. You’ll notice most of these neighborhoods are very small which means the violent crime rate is also a bit skewed.
- Gilpin Court (pop. 2,500) has one of Richmond’s highest violent crime rates.
- Hillside Court (pop. 750) has 448% more crime than Richmond. The violent crime rate is 2,535 crimes per capita.
- Creighton (pop. 1,000) has a violent crime rate of 1,720 per capita and over 270% more crime than Richmond.
- Jeff Davis (pop. 2,200) has 1,642 violent crimes per capita.
- Oakwood (pop. 300) has 1,508 violent crimes per capita.
- Fairfield (pop. 1,200) has 186% more crime than Richmond.
- Woodville (pop. 800) has 1,250 violent crimes per capita.
- Oak Grove (pop. 1,500) has 160% more crime than the city average.
- Whitcomb (pop. 2,800) has 1,205 violent crimes per capita.
- Forest View (pop. 800) has 160% more crime than the city.
The good news is most violent crime is easy to avoid. Gang violence is a problem in certain areas of Richmond, particularly the six large housing projects which are mostly in the East End. Richmond has more public housing projects than most cities and they are known for extreme poverty as well as violent crime. The large housing projects in Richmond with high crime rates include:
- Gilpin Court with 780+ housing units
- Whitcomb Court with 440+ units
- Creighton Court with 500+ units
- Hillside Court with 400+ units
- Fairfield Court with 440+ units
- Mosby Court with 450+ units
According to the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority, there are almost 8,300 people in the six large courts with an average income of $8,800. There are several gangs operating in the Richmond area including the Hells Angels, Aryan Brotherhood, Bloods, Crips, and more.
Safest Neighborhoods in Richmond, VA
Looking for the safest places to live in Richmond? There are dozens of safe Richmond neighborhoods, large and small. The city is divided into five districts: Downtown, East End, West End, North Side, and Southside. Most violent crime happens in the East End but there are some high-crime areas in the North Side and Southside.
Most neighborhoods have low crime, but here are a handful to consider.
- Bellevue/Ginter Park are historic Northside neighborhoods along Bryan Park, a huge city park with disc golf and open green space
- Byrd Park is an affluent neighborhood next to the park of the same name with three lakes
- Museum District or Upper Fan District is one of Richmond’s most desirable neighborhoods with historic row houses and walking distance to Carytown and Scott’s Addition
- Three Chopt is a small residential neighborhood at the south of the West End next to the University of Richmond
- Huguenot is a larger neighborhood along the James River popular with families
- The Fan is a residential district that’s walkable with local businesses, boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops, and fitness studios
- Near West End is the farthest area from the city center in the West End but it’s just 10 minutes from downtown and home to the Country Club of Virginia and historic single-family homes
- Southampton is a wooded neighborhood off the James River with winding roads, large home lots, and the feel of the suburbs
- Woodland Heights/Westover Hills are family-friendly neighborhoods with river access, parks, and a farmer’s market
- Westhampton in the Near West End is close to downtown and just five minutes from Carytown
Richmond, VA Safety Tips – How to Avoid Crime in Richmond
- The housing projects of Richmond are hotspots for crime and gang activity.
- Theft, burglary, and sexual offenses are the most common types of crime on the University of Richmond campus according to campus crime stats. Students can use the UR LiveSafe app to send reports to UR police about threats, crimes, and suspicious behavior including videos and screenshots. Tips are monitored 24/7. Users can also receive messages about safety tips and ongoing incidents on campus.
- Take steps to reduce your risk of being targeted for burglary. Keeps lights on when you are not home and make sure all exterior doors and windows are securely locked. Consider investing in exterior cameras to deter crime.
- Vehicle theft and theft from cars are both somewhat common in Richmond, as with any metro area. Do not leave valuables in your vehicle, especially in sight. Always lock your car and park somewhere well-lit and as secure as possible. If you are concerned about theft, deterrents like steering wheel locks can provide additional security.
Richmond Police Department
- Chief of Police: Gerald M. Smith
- Officers: 750 sworn officers, 170 civilian employees
- Non-emergency number: (804) 646-5100
- Address: Richmond Police Department, 200 W Grace St, Richmond, VA 23220
The Richmond Police Department (RPD) provides law enforcement for more than 230,000 people in Richmond, VA. The department patrols the city in two areas, with four precincts and 12 sectors. There are several support divisions including Forensics, a Special Events Division that handles everything from crowd management and traffic accident investigation to SWAT organizations, and a Special Investigations Division with Computer-Aided Crimes, Vice, Narcotics, and Gang units.
The Community Policing Act has changed the way Richmond police collect data on traffic stops or other investigatory stops. Beginning in 2021, departments must track whether law enforcement used physical force against anyone and whether physical force was used against an officer.
Richmond Crime Rate FAQ
Is Richmond, VA safe?
Crime in Richmond is somewhat higher than the national average. However, Richmond is a safe city to live with most crime concentrated in a handful of dangerous areas that are mostly residential developments.
What is the crime rate in Richmond, Virginia?
The Richmond crime rate is 3,962 total crimes per capita with 463 violent crimes and 3,499 property crimes per 100,000 people. The national average is 2,580 total crimes per capita with 382 violent crimes and 2,362 property crimes per 100,000 people.
Is Richmond safer than Raleigh?
The Richmond crime rate is higher than the crime rate in Raleigh. Richmond has almost twice as much crime. There are 256 violent crimes per capita in Raleigh and 463 per capita in Richmond.
As you can see, Richmond may have a bit more crime than the national average, but it’s actually safe for a city of its size. The vast majority of violent crime occurs in the city’s housing projects and it is often gang-related and easy to avoid.
If you have settled on relocating to Richmond, Virginia, On the Fly Moving Guys is ready to help. After choosing the right neighborhood to call home, give us a call to request a free quote and count on a stress-free moving day.