Total crime NAT. AVG.
Violent crime NAT. AVG.
Property crime NAT. AVG.
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Date & Last Updated: This data reflects the 2022 calendar year and was released from the FBI in September, 2023; this is the most current data available.
StatisticReportedincidents/100k peopleHelena/100k peopleMontana/100k peopleNational/100k people
Total crime1,344n/a (estimate)3,9652,3372,324
Violent crime256n/a (estimate)755418370
Vehicle theft96n/a283.2222.6282.7
Property crime1,088n/a (estimate)3,2101,9191,954

An Overview of Crime Rates in Helena, MT

Crime is typically categorized into two main types: violent and property crimes. Violent crimes encompass offenses such as murder, rape, robbery, and assault, while property crimes include burglary, theft, and vehicle theft. Based on the most recent report, the Helena crime rate is higher than the national average by 70.6%. Specifically, there were 256 violent crimes in Helena, equivalent to 755 per 100,000 individuals, higher than the national average by 104.2%. Furthermore, Helena recorded 1088 property crimes, amounting to 3210 per 100,000 residents, which was higher than the average by 64.2%.

With a violent crime rate of 755 crimes per 100,000 residents, Helena is known as one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. In fact, Helena ranks in the bottom 10% of all cities that reported violent crime last year. This translates into a 1 in 133 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime. Keep in mind that some areas will be safer than others and this doesn't necessarily mean that the entire city suffers from a high violent crime rate.

What Do the Locals Say About Crime in Helena?

AreaVibes conducted surveys inquiring about the safety perception of Helena residents. Out of the respondents (64 in total), 39% expressed a strong sense of security, believing that crime rates in Helena were low, and they felt comfortable walking alone at night. Conversely, 61% held a contrasting viewpoint, expressing concerns about safety in the area and feeling uncomfortable walking alone during the nighttime hours.

Is Helena a Safe Place to Live?

To determine if Helena is a safe place to live, let's take a look at the overall crime rate of the area, as well as the number of daily crimes. Helena has a total crime rate that is 71% higher than the national average per 100,000 residents. This results in a total of 3.68 daily crimes (0.7 violent daily crimes and 2.98 daily property crimes) in Helena.

Has Crime in Helena Increased Since Last Year?

Year-over-year crime data allows us to analyze short-term trends in crime activity. By comparing crime rates from one year to the next, we can identify patterns and shifts in Helena crime rates. This information can be invaluable for residents looking to make informed decisions on where to live. When comparing the most recent year to the previous year, total crime in Helena has increased by 0.8% year over year. Violent crime has increased by 8.9% and property crime has increased by 0.9%.

Helena Neighborhood Crime Rates

The Helena region comprises an array of over 6 distinct neighborhoods, each characterized by its unique crime rate influenced by factors including location and socioeconomic conditions. Typically, neighborhoods situated near the city center or downtown core exhibit higher crime rates owing to their higher population density. Conversely, neighborhoods on the city's outskirts tend to boast lower population density, along with reduced unemployment and poverty rates, contributing to a safer environment. Among the secure neighborhoods in Helena are exemplars such as Euclid Ave South, Southeast and Central, whereas Euclid Ave North, North and West grapple with an above-average reported crime rate. This underscores the necessity for thorough evaluation across multiple neighborhoods, given their notable variations in crime rates.

Potential Causes for Crime in Helena

In Helena, the cost of living is 3.78% lower than the national average. A high cost of living can induce economic stress for locals, especially those with limited financial resources. When people grapple with soaring housing expenses, utility bills, healthcare costs, and other essential necessities, they may be driven towards criminal activities, including theft or fraud, as a means of financial survival. Conversely, cities boasting a lower cost of living may mitigate economic pressures and potentially result in reduced crime rates.

Helena has a ratio of police officers and civilians per 1,000 residents that differs from the national norm, with 0 officers and civilians per 1,000 residents, compared to 3.25 nationwide. Crime rates are profoundly influenced by the effectiveness of law enforcement and community policing endeavors. A resilient and cooperative partnership between law enforcement agencies and the community can serve as a deterrent to criminal activities, ultimately enhancing safety. The efficacy of law enforcement extends beyond mere numbers and extends into the realm of community policing strategies, emphasizing the cultivation of trust and collaboration between officers and the community. It is not merely a matter of quantity but the quality of engagement with the community that matters most.

High rent costs can create economic stress for individuals and families, particularly those with limited financial resources. When a significant portion of one's income is spent on housing, there may be less money available for other essential needs such as food, healthcare and education. Economic stress can contribute to desperation and potentially lead individuals to engage in criminal activities, such as theft or fraud, as a means of financial survival. Average rent rates in Helena are $845, compared to a national average of $949 per month.

Helena crime map

The Helena crime map provides a detailed overview of all crimes in Helena as reported by the local law enforcement agencies. Based on the color coded legend above, the crime map outlines the areas with lower crime compared to the areas with higher crime. The Helena crime heat map offers insight into the total crimes on a block group level. Please note that the red areas on the Helena crime map does not always indicate that it is a dangerous area for its residents. Areas on the heat map could be inflated if they are located in high traffic areas like airports, sports centers or large parks. Other areas on the heat map could see increased crime rates if they are located in major tourist areas like the downtown core.
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Crime Quick Facts

  • Helena crime rates are 71% higher than the national average
  • Violent crimes in Helena are 104% higher than the national average
  • In Helena you have a 1 in 26 chance of becoming a victim of crime
  • Helena is safer than 8% of the cities in the United States
  • Year over year crime in Helena has increased by 2%

Helena, MT Crime Quiz


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        Daily Crime In Helena (per 100,000 people)

        The number of daily crimes per 100,000 residents in Helena, Montana is displayed in the graph above. As you can see, the daily crimes for Helena are 1.70 times more than the Montana average and 1.71 times more than the national level. Daily violent crimes in Helena are 1.81 times more than than Montana and 2.04 times more than the national mean. While daily property crimes in Helena are 1.67 times more than than Montana and 1.64 times more than the national average.

        How Safe is Helena (higher is better)

        When comparing the safety of Helena to every other city in Montana, as well as the entirety of the United States, is Helena safe? The gauges above illustrate that Helena is safer than 10% of every city located within Montana along with 8% of the all the cities located in the United States. The results of these graphs are created after analyzing each of the cities in Montana and in the United States as a whole. As a result, Helena, MT is ranked above average when compared to the rest of the US cities.

        Chance of Being A Victim of Crime in Helena

        The chance of being a victim of violent crime in Helena is 1 in 133
        The chance of being a victim of property crime in Helena is 1 in 32
        The chance of being a victim of crime in Helena is 1 in 26
        Are you worried about becoming a crime victim? In Helena, your chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime is 1 in 133. Types of violent crimes may include assault, robbery, rape, or murder. You also have a 1 in 32 chance of being the victim of a property crime such as vehicle theft, personal property theft, and burglary. Your overall risk of becoming a crime victim in Helena is 1 in 26.

        Year Over Year Crime In Helena (per 100,000 people)

        An ideal indicator of whether Helena is becoming a safer or more dangerous place to live can be done by analyzing the year over year crime rates per 100,000 people. Year over year violent crime in Helena has increased by 10% and the rate of property crime in Helena has not changed. The total crime rate in Helena has increased by 2% year to year.

        Helena police department

        Item Helena Montana National
        Law enforcement employees (officers & civilians)75872558,732
        Police officers & civilians /1000 residentsn/an/a3.3

        Sex offenders in Montana

        State Total offenders Montana /100K National /100K
        There are a total of 2,923 sex offenders in Montana. This yields a total of 291 sex offenders in Montana per 100,000 residents which is 9% greater than the national average.

        Nearby Cities With Low Crime Rates

        City Population Violent crime/100k people Property crime/100k people Total crime/100k people
        Clancy, MT1,96475343418
        Montana City, MT2,82181372453
        Helena West Side, MT1,656123566689
        Helena Valley Northeast, MT3,519140644784
        Spokane Creek, MT438169775944
        Marysville, MT71169775944
        South Hills, MT586169775944
        Helena, MT32,6557553,2103,965

        Cities with similar population

        City Population Violent crime/100k people Property crime/100k people Total crime/100k people
        Matthews, NC32,6821652,9793,144
        Uniondale, NY32,6214891,9642,453
        St. Charles, IL32,6121301,2041,334
        Florence, KY32,7211954,1844,378
        Manitowoc, WI32,5581961,5081,704
        Helena, MT32,6557553,2103,965
        Source: The Helena, MT crime data displayed above is derived from the FBI's uniform crime reports for the year of 2022. The crime report encompasses more than 18,000 city and state law enforcement agencies reporting data on property and violent crimes. The uniform crime reports program represents approximately 309 million American residents, which results in 98% coverage of metropolitan statistical areas.