Like the nation, the South experienced an increase in violent crime from 2014 to 2015, according to the most recent FBI Crime Report. But the southern state of Mississippi bucked that trend with reports of violent crime—and property crime—decreasing slightly over this period.
Mississippians living in the state’s ten safest cities are even less likely to fall victim to crime. On average, these cities reported less than twenty crimes per 1,000 people, while the South as a region experienced approximately thirty-two crimes per 1,000 people.
Looking specifically at violent crime rates, these cities continued to impress us. Overall, there were only forty-one violent crimes reported among the top five cities on our list, which is remarkably few considering nearly 70,000 people live in these cities. Half of the state’s safest cities cited fewer than twenty violent crimes, and Florence, the number-one city on our list for the second year in a row, reported zero.
In an interview with SafeWise, Florence’s mayor, Pam Clark, praised the city’s police department and citizens for keeping crime at bay, “Police Chief Richard Thomas leads an exceptional police department, and Florence residents look out for—and care for—one another.” As we find in many safe cities, a collaborative relationship between law enforcement and citizens goes a long way toward fighting crime.
Property crime wasn’t much of a problem in these cities, either. Florence, Petal, Madison, and Long Beach reported no cases of arson, and Olive Branch—a city with nearly 36,000 residents—reported only three incidents. Additionally, motor vehicle theft affected fewer than fifteen residents in all but two of Mississippi’s safest communities.
Whether you live in one of these cities on our list or somewhere else in the Magnolia State, we want you to be vigilant about personal safety and home security. Start by taking a look at our Mississippi Safety Directory, where you’ll find a variety of crime prevention resources along with other helpful safety and security information.
How We Chose the Safest Cities in Mississippi
To identify the ten safest cities in Mississippi, we reviewed the 2015 FBI Crime Report statistics and population data. We eliminated all cities with fewer than 3,000 residents as well as any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI.
From there, we evaluated the remaining cities. We narrowed it down based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) in each city. To level the playing field, we also calculated the likelihood of these crimes occurring out of 1,000 people in each city.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.00 Property Crimes per 1,000: 2.76
2. Petal ↑
Previous Rank: 3
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.28 Property Crimes per 1,000: 4.45
3. Brandon ↑
Previous Rank: 4
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.51 Property Crimes per 1,000: 7.64
4. Madison ↑
Previous rank: 5
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.78 Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.47
Previous Rank: Not ranked
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.22 Property Crimes per 1,000: 15.22
6. Long Beach ↑
Previous Rank: 10
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.90 Property Crimes per 1,000: 21.01
Previous Rank: Not ranked
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.98 Property Crimes per 1,000: 21.45
8. Horn Lake ↑
Previous Rank: 9
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.00 Property Crimes per 1,000: 22.69
9. Olive Branch ↑
Previous Rank: 12
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.84 Property Crimes per 1,000: 27.69
10. West Point ↑
Previous Rank: 16
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 4.16 Property Crimes per 1,000: 27.70
Didn’t see your city rank in the top 10?
Check the remaining cities below, and take a look at the most recent FBI crime data here.
17. Pass Christian
18. Ocean Springs
23. Holly Springs
How safe is your home?
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.