The 20 Safest Cities in Virginia—2017

May 15, 2018 |

The Old Dominion State comes in with the third-lowest violent crime rate and the tenth-lowest property crime rate in the country. This puts Virginia in the top ten for both violent crime and property crime rates. Virginia has a number of public safety task forces and initiatives that speak to the state’s impressive commitment to protecting and serving its citizens.

Responding to the national opioid crisis, Virginia’s governor launched the Task Force on Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse, which works with community representatives from across the state.1 This task force has recommended new legislation and a number of community actions to help reduce addiction and curb drug-related deaths.

Representing the best that Virginia has to offer, our top twenty safest cities include four that are new to our rankings this year and sixteen that made the cut for the second year in a row. In fact, our top three cities, Bridgewater, Broadway, and Purcellville, all maintained their 2016 positions on the list.

Among the twenty cities we’ve recognized, only one murder was reported, according to the FBI’s most recent crime report. In addition, 85% reported twenty or fewer total violent crimes, and two cities had no violent crimes at all. Over 50% of these safe cities experienced fewer than 100 total property crimes, with twelve reporting zero counts of arson, and seventeen reporting fewer than twenty incidents of burglary.

Calling Virginia home already puts you in one of the safest states in the nation, and living in one of Virginia’s top twenty cities is something to be proud of. Help your state—and your local community—stay safe by learning about home security and crime prevention resources available in your area. Our Virginia Safety Directory can point you in the right direction to help keep your neighborhood a safe, peaceful place to live.

How We Chose the Safest Cities in Virginia

To identify the safest cities in Virginia, we reviewed the most recent FBI Crime Report statistics from 2015, along with 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 further level the playing field, we calculated the likelihood of these crimes occurring out of 1,000 people in each city.

Learn more about how we rank our Safest Cities reports.

1. Bridgewater

Previous Rank: 1

Violent Crime per 1,000: 0.33
Property Crime per 1,000: 2.65

2. Broadway

Previous Rank: 2

Violent Crime per 1,000: 0.00
Property Crime per 1,000: 3.42

3. Purcellville

Previous Rank: 3

Violent Crime per 1,000: 0.54
Property Crime per 1,000: 5.52

4. Buena Vista

Previous Rank: Not ranked

Violent Crime per 1,000: 0.76
Property Crime per 1,000: 6.39

5. Lexington 

Previous Rank: 4

Violent Crime per 1,000: 0.82
Property Crime per 1,000: 8.43

6. Vienna 

Previous Rank: 8

Violent Crime per 1,000: 0.54
Property Crime per 1,000: 9.01

7. Manassas Park 

Previous Rank: 9

Violent Crime per 1,000: 0.78
Property Crime per 1,000: 9.13

8. Berryville 

Previous Rank: 11

Violent Crime per 1,000: 0.00
Property Crime per 1,000: 10.87

9. Poquoson 

Previous Rank: 5

Violent Crime per 1,000: 0.92
Property Crime per 1,000: 11.76

10. Tazewell 

Previous Rank: 19

Violent Crime per 1,000: 1.13
Property Crime per 1,000: 12.62

11. Williamsburg 

Previous Rank: 10

Violent Crime per 1,000: 0.67
Property Crime per 1,000: 13.07

12. Strasburg

Previous Rank: 12

Violent Crime per 1,000: 1.36
Property Crime per 1,000: 13.94

13. West Point 

Previous Rank: 7

Violent Crime per 1,000: 2.10
Property Crime per 1,000: 13.49

14. Smithfield 

Previous Rank: 18

Violent Crime per 1,000: 2.28
Property Crime per 1,000: 13.44

15. Wise ↑

Previous Rank: 33

Violent Crime per 1,000: 0.96
Property Crime per 1,000: 14.75

16. Leesburg 

Previous Rank: 14

Violent Crime per 1,000: 1.64
Property Crime per 1,000: 14.09

17. Dumfries 

Previous Rank: 30

Violent Crime per 1,000: 0.38
Property Crime per 1,000: 15.45

18. Radford 

Previous Rank: 36

Violent Crime per 1,000: 3.24
Property Crime per 1,000: 15.52

19. Fairfax City 

Previous Rank: 17

Violent Crime per 1,000: 1.65
Property Crime per 1,000: 17.14

20. Falls Church 

Previous Rank: 16

Violent Crime per 1,000: 1.44
Property Crime per 1,000: 17.52

Didn’t see your city rank in the top 20?

Check the remaining cities below, and take a look at the most recent FBI crime data here.

21. Manassas 22. Alexandria 23. Salem
24. Staunton 25. Orange 26. Clifton Forge
27. Abingdon 28. Culpeper 29. Virginia Beach
30. Colonial Beach 31. Covington 32. Richlands
33. Lynchburg 34. Luray 35. Christiansburg
36. Harrisonburg 37. Front Royal 38. Bristol
39. Woodstock 40. Chesapeake 41. Wytheville
42. Waynesboro 43. Vinton 44. Charlottesville
45. Suffolk 46. Warrenton 47. Pulaski
48. Hopewell 49. Lebanon 50. Martinsville
51. Farmville 52. Newport News 53. Blackstone
54. Hampton 55. Big Stone Gap 56. Altavista
57. Petersburg 58. Marion 59. Winchester
60. Roanoke 61. Norfolk 62. Rocky Mount
63. South Boston 64. Ashland 65. Fredericksburg
66. Richmond 67. Galax 68. South Hill
69. Bluefield 70. Danville 71. Colonial Heights
72. Emporia 73. Bedford 74. Portsmouth
75. Franklin 76. Norton

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.

If you would like to contact a SafeWise Safest Cities Analyst, please email

1., “Executive Order Number Twenty-Nine (2014)

Written by Rebecca Edwards

Rebecca has honed her safety and security skills as both a single mom and a college director. Being responsible for the well-being of others helped her learn how to minimize risk and create safe environments. Learn more

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