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.
The 20 Safest Cities in Arizona
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Wherever you live, feeling safe in your home can bring greater peace of mind and happiness. Whether your city made our list or not, we recommend adding extra security to your home with monitored security services provided by the nation’s leading home security providers.
To learn more about the home security options available to you, check out SafeWise’s picks for Best Home Security Systems of 2018 or select the city nearest you in the drop down menu below.
If you would like to contact a SafeWise Safest Cities Analyst, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Alexia Chianis
Wanderlust junky and mom of two, Alexia is a former police officer and U.S. Army Captain who draws on her experiences to write about a myriad of safety topics. Learn more