Most Dangerous Cities in Virginia?

The FBI’s annual collection and publication of its Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics is the most excellent resource for studying crime in Virginia. Violent crime and property crime are the two primary divisions of crime statistics. Crimes like robbery, murder, rape, and assault are examples of violent crimes. Generally speaking, avoiding areas with high violent crime rates is preferable. Please note that there are neighborhoods you shouldn’t drive through and places you shouldn’t be after dark in the most hazardous cities listed below. It suffices to mention that not all of the neighborhoods and commercial malls in these risky cities in Virginia are undesirable or that there aren’t any tiny pockets of goodness there. But before choosing where to set down roots, it is advised that you take some time to research them.

Portsmouth, VA

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You can find Portsmouth across Norfolk on the Elizabeth River’s west bank. In Virginia, it was ranked first for violent and property crime in 2022, with a crime rate three times greater than the state average. In 2020, there was a 1 in 108 chance that a resident will experience an assault, a murder, or a rape. The rate of crime is rising, rising by 12% annually. With a population of 93,694, theft, burglaries, and arson are significant issues for locals in this large city. The reported data, with a total of 6,398 reported incidences, are as follows. There were 946 violent crimes per 100K people. A total crime rate of 5,861 property crimes gets committed per 100K people.

Roanoke, VA

Southwest Virginia’s business center and one of the most hazardous cities is Roanoke. Adding to the violent crime rate almost twice as high as the Virginia norm, Roanoke’s overall crime rate is 93% higher than the national average. According to FBI crime figures, Roanoke has the second-highest violent crime rate in the state and the third-highest rate of property crime. The most frequent violent crime is assault, while the most frequent property crime is stealing. Roanoke is substantially more diversified than the surrounding counties, which may cause its crime variability. In Roanoke, there is a 1 in 21 chance that you will experience crime. According to police department reports, crime will rise in the city starting in 2020.

South Boston, VA

The crime problem is worse. South Boston, Virginia, and Boston, Massachusetts, have significantly higher crime rates per resident. The residents’ liberal tendencies and the urban/suburban mix could be the cause. The eighth highest overall crime rate in Virginia, approximately 2.5 times higher than the state average, was recorded in a community of 7,528 people in south-central Virginia. South Boston ranks second in Virginia for having a high crime rate despite having a tiny population. Property crime is the biggest problem, particularly in residences without security systemsHomes with inadequate security are 300 percent more likely to have break-ins while the owners are abroad. The poor economy of South Boston contributes to the area’s high crime rate. 17.1% of people in the country are poor. The fact that crime is still increasing at 20%, according to 2021 estimates, adds to the problem of a police service that is overburdened.

Galax, VA

Galax, Virginia’s fourth most hazardous city, is known as the entrance to the Blue Ridge Mountains. The number of rape cases in this tiny city of just over 6,900 people is the highest in the entire state. Rape is not far behind the assault, the most frequent violent crime in Galax. Theft is the most frequently reported property crime in Galax, with Virginia’s fifth-highest overall property crime rate. According to City-crime’s index for 2019, Galax, Virginia, had a 384 crime rate, which is 1.4 times more than the national average. It was higher than in 90,6% of American cities. Compared to 2018, the crime rate in Galax increased by 17% in 2019. Galax has increased violent crime over the last five years while property crime has decreased. Additionally, as of June 27, 2022, 78 registered sex offenders were residing in Galax, Virginia. In Galax, there are 89 inhabitants for one sex offender. 

Colonial Heights, VA

Colonial Heights, a part of the Tri-City region and situated about a half-hour south of Richmond, is ranked fifth on our list of the riskiest communities in Virginia. Colonial Heights has violent crime rates over twice as high as the state norm and property crime, startlingly 92 percent higher than the national average. The overall population, according to the data, is 17,554. The violent crime rate per 100,000 people was 399, and the property crime rate per 100,000 people was 4,047. Colonial Heights is all too often the victim of property crime. In 2020, residents had a 1 in 27 probability of having their belongings stolen or destroyed. Colonial Heights also had the 17th highest percentage of rape cases in Virginia for 2020, so it’s not just about stolen bikes and a few damaged windows. It is a relatively quiet place to reside, and the cost of living is lower. The violent crimes may be the cause of the population being a little too high.

Marion, VA

Marion is the sixth most well-known dangerous city in Virginia, with an overall crime rate of 129 percent more than the state average and 66 percent higher than the national average. The location of this place plays a part in the high crime rates. The location of Marion near Interstate 81 makes it simple for anyone committing a crime to enter and exit the area quickly. The location of this place plays a part in the high crime rates; even though the population is now small, violent property crimes are nevertheless a concern. In terms of violent crimes, Marion is still experiencing rape, robbery, assault, and murder incidents. Retirees make up a sizable portion of the population and are thus convenient targets for criminals. With only 5,891 residents, the violent crime rate per 100K is 429. Four thousand five property crimes get committed per 100,000 people.

Petersburg, VA

On the Appomattox River’s fall line is where Petersburg is situated. In the twenty-first century, Petersburg is now considered a dangerous city. More than three times the state average, violent crime is prevalent in Petersburg. The murder rate in the city is high. For instance, there were 24 murders in the city overall in 2020 at a rate of 76.9 per 100,000 persons. With 197 violent crimes per 1000 individuals, violent crime rates are relatively high. The Petersburg Police Department is using better technology to fight crime. One of its top initiatives is working with BAIR analytics to improve crime reporting services. People can report crimes more easily thanks to the system. Additionally, it notifies locals about critical situations via notifications.

Norfolk, VA

Virginia’s third most populous city, Norfolk, is also the state’s sixth most hazardous. The likelihood that a resident may experience rape, assault, or murder is 1 in 183, contributing to the city’s high violent crime rate. The murder rate alone is roughly three times greater than the state average. In Norfolk, there are 6.63 violent crimes for every 1000 residents. On the other hand, property crimes occur at a rate of 28.53 percent per 1000 individuals. Despite having a solid economy, Norfolk has a 3.8 percent unemployment rate. The Norfolk Police Department has several initiatives to help lower the city’s rising crime rate.

Richmond, VA

Richmond has the highest rate of violent crimes per inhabitant in the state. For instance, out of all the cities in the state, Richmond recorded the most murders per resident in 2012. Additionally, it had the highest per-person rate of violent crimes overall, including murders, rapes, assaults, and robberies. The better news was that Richmond had fewer property crimes per person than some of the other cities in our top 10 (ranked seventh in this category). While this indicates that there were fewer crimes overall per person than there may have been, more violent crimes—and more worrisomely, a higher percentage of violent crimes—were committed.

Newport News, VA

In Virginia, Newport News had the fourth-highest murder rate per resident. Additionally, it came in tenth place overall for violent crime. Of course, assaults made up most of these crimes, but 149 robberies and 28 rapes get committed for every 100,000 persons. The average daily property crime and daily violent crime in Virginia are 1.69 and 1.54, respectively, greater in Newport News. In Newport News, Virginia, you have a 1 in 33 risks of becoming a crime victim. Because Newport is so populated, the probability of having a lot of crimes is very high. 


Virginia is a critical state that lures people who want to relocate to a safe location since its crime rates are lower than the national average. You should be aware that the cities mentioned above in this state have extremely high crime rates. While it might be challenging to discover the ideal area to live in, this article can help you identify which places in Virginia you should stay away from.

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