Our 2020 State of Safety report found that daily concern about safety decreased by 12 percentage points year over year in the Old Dominion State. Reports of experience with violent crime also went down, dropping from 8% to 4%.
Levels of concern in Virginia dropped by 23% this year and reported violent crime experience was cut in half.
Of the Virginians we talked to, 40% indicated they feel high concern about their safety on a daily basis, compared to 46% nationwide. Virginia is also the only state to report half as much experience with violent crime over the past 12 months. Nationwide, 12% reported a recent run-in with violent crime.
When it comes to experience with property crime, Virginia saw an increase of six percentage points, but it remained below the national average of 26%. The property crime rate in Virginia is 16.7 incidents per 1,000, compared to 22.0 across the country. Violent crime is also lower than national rates. Virginia comes in at 2.0 and the national rate is 3.7.
Violent Crime in Virginia: Fear vs. Reality
Falling victim to a mass shooting is the violent crime concern that worries Virginians the most. But survey respondents felt that being robbed on the street was most likely to occur.
45% of Virginia respondents to the State of Safety indicated that they have high concern about mass shootings, versus 38% nationwide.
8% reported that they, or someone they know, has been personally affected by a mass shooting at some time in their life. Nationwide, that number is 7%.
As of May 6, there has been one mass shooting in Virginia this year. Four were injured in the March incident in Norfolk.
Between 2014 and 2019, there have been 50 mass shootings in Virginia, resulting in 57 deaths and 199 people injured. Nationwide for the same time period, there were 2,087 mass shooting incidents.
Mass Shooting Definition: SafeWise uses the GVA definition of a mass shooting: “If four or more people are shot or killed in a single incident, not involving the shooter, that incident is categorized as a mass shooting based purely on that numerical threshold.”
Written by Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past six. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month testing and evaluating security products and strategies. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her work and contributions in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, HGTV, MSN, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips. Learn more