Arizona's 20 Safest Cities of 2018 | SafeWise

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Arizona’s 20 Safest Cities of 2018

As you might expect, crime rates vary from state to state, and even region to region. For example, based on the most recent FBI crime report, the Western region of the US had a higher violent crime rate than many other areas of the country, including the Northeast, Midwest, and Middle Atlantic.

With that in mind, we were impressed to find the violent crime rate in Arizona (considered a Western state for FBI reporting purposes) was less than the national rate. Not only that, but on average, the twenty safest cities in Arizona cited just 1.7 violent crimes per 1,000 people—that’s approximately 63% less than the national rate of 4.64. Citizens and law enforcement officers of Arizona’s top six safest cities deserve special recognition; all of these cities reported fewer than one violent crime per 1,000 people.

Similar to violent crime rates, the cities on our list reported exceptionally low rates of property crime. Most notably, Florence cited a nominal 4.85 property crimes per 1,000 people, and Gilbert—with over 255,000 residents—had the third-lowest property crime rate among the state’s twenty safest cities.

SafeWise took a look at what the Chief of Gilbert’s police department, Michael Soelberg, is doing to help keep crime under control. According to Chief Soelberg, effective police operations are “highly dependent on community involvement and communication.” With opportunities for residents and police officers to work alongside one another through volunteer initiatives like the Police Cadet Program, Neighborhood Watch, and the Citizen Police Academy, we’re not surprised Gilbert’s property crime rate was less than half the national average. Using social media platforms to help spread awareness about particularly disturbing crimes, such as domestic abuse, is one more way the Gilbert Police Department takes a pro-active approach to crime fighting.

From big cities such as Chandler and Scottsdale to smaller ones like Nogales and Sahuarita, the Grand Canyon State offers many safe places. Whether you live in Arizona or you’re thinking of moving there, SafeWise recommends getting familiar with the resources in our Arizona Safety Directory. You’ll find everything from crime prevention tips and helpful safety information to a color-coded map of Arizona’s most and least burglarized counties.

1. Buckeye

Population: 64,563

Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.54

Property crimes per 1,000: 15.88

Total crime: 3.40% violent, 96.60% property


2. Oro Valley

Population: 44,089

Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.66

Property crimes per 1,000: 14.81

Total crime: 4.46% violent, 95.54% property


3. Florence

Population: 31,130

Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.71

Property crimes per 1,000: 4.85

Total crime: 14.64% violent, 85.36% property


4. Gilbert

Population: 255,899

Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.78

Property crimes per 1,000: 13.16

Total crime: 5.93% violent, 94.07% property


5. Sahuarita

Population: 25,792

Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.89

Property crimes per 1,000: 14.54

Total crime: 6.12% violent, 93.88% property


6. Marana

Population: 42,808

Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.93

Property crimes per 1,000: 24.41

Total crime: 3.81% violent, 96.19% property


7. Surprise

Population: 130,679

Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.03

Property crimes per 1,000: 19.05

Total crime: 5.41 % violent, 94.59% property


8. San Luis

Population: 32,227

Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.21

Property crimes per 1,000: 13.25

Total crime: 9.13% violent, 90.87% property


9. Scottsdale

Population: 240,885

Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.53

Property crimes per 1,000: 23.65

Total crime: 6.47% violent, 93.53% property


10. Prescott Valley

Population: 42,900

Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.82

Property crimes per 1,000: 23.17

Total crime: 7.85% violent, 92.15% property


11. Maricopa

Population: 49,627

Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.95

Property crimes per 1,000: 13.06

Total crime: 14.93% violent, 85.07% property


12. Sierra Vista

Population: 42,988

Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.98

Property crimes per 1,000: 29.73

Total crime: 6.66% violent, 93.34% property


13. Peoria

Population: 174,797

Violent crimes per 1,000: 2.00

Property crimes per 1,000: 21.22

Total crime: 9.43% violent, 90.57% property


14. Chandler

Population: 265,922

Violent crimes per 1,000: 2.10

Property crimes per 1,000: 23.13

Total crime: 9.08% violent, 90.92% property


15. El Mirage

Population: 34,376

Violent crimes per 1,000: 2.15

Property crimes per 1,000: 30.60

Total crime: 7.03% violent, 92.97% property


16. Bullhead City

Population: 39,426

Violent crimes per 1,000: 2.51

Property crimes per 1,000: 35.64

Total crime: 7.04% violent, 92.96% property


17. Lake Havasu City

Population: 53,746

Violent crimes per 1,000: 2.62

Property crimes per 1,000: 22.66

Total crime: 11.56% violent, 88.44% property


18. Apache Junction

Population: 38,506

Violent crimes per 1,000: 2.78

Property crimes per 1,000: 23.92

Total crime: 11.62% violent, 88.38% property


19. Avondale

Population: 81,605

Violent crimes per 1,000: 2.86

Property crimes per 1,000: 39.97

Total crime: 7.16% violent, 92.84% property


20. Nogales

Population: 20,143

Violent crimes per 1,000: 3.08

Property crimes per 1,000: 24.92

Total crime: 12.36% violent, 87.64% property

How We Chose the Safest Cities in Arizona

To identify the twenty safest cities in Arizona, we reviewed the 2016 FBI crime report statistics and population data. Cities that fell below identified population thresholds or that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI were excluded from the ranking system.

Our evaluation is based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) in each city. If there was a tie, we also factored in the number of property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft). To level the playing field, we calculated the rate of crimes per 1,000 people in each city. This makes it easier to directly compare the likelihood of these crimes occurring in cities with vastly different populations.

Learn more about how we rank our Safest Cities reports.


Alexia Chianis

Find out more about Alexia, here.

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