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Most Dangerous Cities in Virginia: Understanding Crime Trends for Informed Relocation

High Crime Areas in Virginia: Cities to Consider Before Relocating

Virginia’s Most Dangerous Cities: Crime Trends and Considerations for Potential Residents

According to PropertyClub, in Virginia while many are drawn by its attractions like D.C., beaches, and mountains some areas face high crime rates. Recent data identifies twelve cities struggling with violent and property crime. Places like Richmond, Norfolk and Newport News are among those noted for their challenges. Authorities stress the need for community support and effective policing to tackle these issues. As potential residents weigh their options understanding local crime trends remains crucial for making informed decisions about relocation.

READ ALSO: Clarksdale Crime Crisis: Can Community Engagement Stem The Tide Of Violence?

(PHOTO: State Department)

Most Dangerous Cities in Virginia


Recent data indicates that Portsmouth, Virginia is the most dangerous city in the state due to its high rate of violent crime. Located across the Elizabeth River from Norfolk Portsmouth is home to 97,915 Americans. In 2023 there were 4,429 crimes reported in Portsmouth including 36 killings, 138 robberies, 529 assaults, and 3,007 theft incidents. Residents of the city have a 1 in 19 chance of becoming victims of crime because the city’s crime rate is 228% greater than Virginia’s state average.


Tucked deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains in southwest Virginia the city of Roanoke is also well-known for having higher crime rates than the state and national averages. Despite having a vast park system and beautiful scenery Roanoke has a violent crime rate that is 64% higher than the national average. The crime rate in the city is 111% higher than the average for the country. The city was more dangerous than 92% of American cities in 2023 due to a variety of crimes that occurred there increasing the likelihood of victims to 1 in 21.


Emporia located in Greensville County, Virginia emerges as another concerning area due to its high crime rates. With a population of 5,766 Emporia reported a total crime rate of 4,203 per 100,000 Americans in 2022 marking a 61% increase over the national average. The city recorded 166 crimes including 22 violent crimes and 144 property crimes, with assault, burglary and theft being the most prevalent offenses.


Galax a small town in southwestern Virginia near the Appalachian Foothills faces disproportionately high crime rates relative to its population of 6,720. With a total crime rate of 3,768 per 100,000 residents Galax residents have a 1 in 27 chance of falling victim to crime. Despite these challenges Galax remains one of the more affordable places to live in Virginia offering a contrasting appeal amidst its crime concerns.

South Boston

South Boston Virginia’s Halifax County is facing serious problems with economic downturn population loss and crime. With 7,588 residents the city has a crime rate of 3,587 per 100,000 meaning that there is a 1 in 28 risk of experiencing crime. These elements play a part in South Boston’s standing as one of the least safe and economically stable areas of the state.


Norfolk one of Virginia’s largest cities and home to Naval Station Norfolk the world’s largest naval base also faces considerable crime challenges. With a total crime rate of 3,354 per 100,000 residents Norfolk exceeds the U.S. average by 43%. In the past year alone the city recorded 9,850 crimes including 63 murders and 1,364 assaults reflecting its status as one of the most dangerous cities to reside in Virginia outside the confines of the naval base.

READ ALSO: New Orleans’ Most Dangerous Neighborhoods: High Crime Rates Highlight Safety Concerns

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