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 peopleNorfolk/100k peopleVirginia/100k peopleNational/100k people
Total crime13,012n/a (estimate)5,5751,9302,324
Violent crime1,640n/a (estimate)703234370
Vehicle theft1,864n/a798.6160.7282.7
Property crime11,372n/a (estimate)4,8721,6961,954

An Overview of Crime Rates in Norfolk, VA

Crime can be categorized into two primary types: violent and property crimes. Violent crimes encompass offenses such as murder, rape, robbery, and assault, whereas property crimes involve acts like burglary, theft, and vehicle theft. The overall crime rate in Norfolk is 139.9% higher than the national average. Specifically, there were 1640 violent crimes reported in Norfolk, equivalent to 703 per 100,000 residents, which is higher than the national average by 90%. Additionally, Norfolk recorded 11372 property crimes, amounting to 4872 per 100,000 people, higher than the national average by 149.3%.

Norfolk has a crime rate of 5575 per 100,000 people, which surpasses the national average by 139.85%, leading to one of the highest total crime rates in the United States. Addressing this issue is vital for improving overall safety and desirability of Norfolk. Efforts to reduce crime through community engagement, effective law enforcement, and collaborative initiatives are essential to create a more secure and appealing environment for residents and prospective newcomers alike.

Norfolk ranks among the bottom 10% of all U.S. cities reporting violent crime, earning its reputation as one of the nation's most dangerous areas. With a violent crime rate of 703 per 100,000 people, Norfolk is considered one of the most unsafe cities in America. This statistic translates to a 1 in 143 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime in Norfolk, underscoring the need for increased safety measures and community engagement to improve the city's security.

While murder rates in the United States have generally declined since 1990, recent years have seen an unfortunate uptick. Norfolk stands out with one of the nation's highest murder rates among cities reporting crime data. In Norfolk, a total of 63 murders were reported, equating to 27 murders per 100,000 residents. This statistic underscores the challenges facing the area in terms of severe violent crime and the importance of ongoing efforts to enhance safety and security within the community.

Norfolk has some of the highest property crime rates in the country with 4872 crimes per 100,000 people - this ranks in the bottom 10% of all American cities that reported crime. Your chance of being a victim of property crime in Norfolk is 1 in 21, which is far higher than the national average.

With a total of 1864 vehicle thefts last year, Norfolk has one of the most stolen cars in the country at 799 per 100,000 people. This lands Norfolk in the bottom 10% of all cities that reported crime and the chance of any vehicle being stolen is one in 126.

What Do the Locals Say About Crime in Norfolk?

What is the prevailing sentiment among Norfolk residents regarding the state of crime? A comprehensive survey conducted by AreaVibes, involving 160 respondents, sheds light on this matter. The results were as follows: 21% of Norfolk residents expressed a notable sense of security, asserting that crime was virtually non-existent in their community, and they felt at ease strolling the streets after dark. While, 79% of those surveyed held a contrasting viewpoint, perceiving a higher incidence of crime, leading them to feel apprehensive about walking alone at night.

Is Norfolk a Safe Place to Live?

Is Norfolk a safe place to live? While the answer may not be straightforward due to variations in safety levels across the city, gaining an understanding of the overall crime rate can prove to be advantageous. In general, Norfolk has a crime rate that is higher than the national average by 140%. Breaking this down on a daily basis, it translates to 35.65 daily incidents, encompassing 4.49 violent crimes and 31.16 property crimes. Evaluating these statistics can aid in forming a more informed perspective on the safety of Norfolk as a potential place to call home.

Has Crime in Norfolk 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 Norfolk 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 Norfolk has increased by 36.3% year over year. Violent crime has decreased by 8.5% and property crime has increased by 46.6%.

Potential Causes for Crime in Norfolk

High population density areas are often large urban centers with diverse economic opportunities. These areas can exacerbate income inequality, with pockets of poverty existing alongside affluence. Areas with economic disparities may experience higher property crimes and, in some cases, violent crimes. On the other hand, areas with low population density tend to see lower Norfolk crime rates. The population density in Norfolk is 4585.7 people per square mile, while the national average is 90.6 people per square mile.

In Norfolk, 82.6% of residents have graduated from high school, whereas the national average stands at 83%. The educational makeup of a community can exert a significant influence on crime rates. Typically, higher levels of educational attainment are associated with reduced crime rates, as they furnish individuals with improved employment prospects and viable alternatives to engaging in criminal activities. Conversely, communities characterized by lower educational achievement often grapple with higher crime rates, as limited opportunities may drive individuals towards criminal behavior.

In Norfolk, the average rental rates are $1,077 per month, compared to the national average of $949. Rapid increases in rental costs can lead to neighborhood instability as residents are forced to move frequently in search of more affordable housing. This transience can weaken community bonds and hinder the establishment of social support networks, which can indirectly contribute to crime. While affordable rent and areas with higher income per capita, allow for long term renters and community bonds to the formed, therefore reducing crime rates on the long term.

Norfolk crime map

The Norfolk crime map provides a detailed overview of all crimes in Norfolk 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 Norfolk crime heat map offers insight into the total crimes on a block group level. Please note that the red areas on the Norfolk 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

  • Norfolk crime rates are 140% higher than the national average
  • Violent crimes in Norfolk are 90% higher than the national average
  • In Norfolk you have a 1 in 18 chance of becoming a victim of crime
  • Norfolk is safer than 5% of the cities in the United States
  • Year over year crime in Norfolk has increased by 42%

Norfolk, VA Crime Quiz


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        Daily Crime In Norfolk (per 100,000 people)

        The graph above looks at the comparison of crimes committed in Norfolk on a daily basis (per 100,000 people) to crimes committed throughout the state of Virginia and the USA. According to the latest crime statistics, daily crimes in Norfolk (which include property crimes as well as violent crimes), when compared to Virginia, are 2.89 times more than the state average and 2.40 times more than than national average. Violent crimes committed in Norfolk on a daily basis are 3.00 times more than than Virginia average and 1.90 times more than the average nationwide. Daily property crime rates in Norfolk are 2.87 times more than the daily state average and 2.49 times more than the daily national numbers.

        How Safe is Norfolk (higher is better)

        How safe is Norfolk, Virginia compared to other cities in Virginia and the rest of the cities across the United States? The graphs above show that Norfolk is safer than 1% of the cities in Virginia and 5% of the cities in the United States. These results are calculated by analyzing all cities in Virginia and across the US as a whole and determining how many areas have a lower crime rate than Norfolk. Overall, Norfolk is ranked below average compared to all other cities across the United States.

        Chance of Being A Victim of Crime in Norfolk

        The chance of being a victim of violent crime in Norfolk is 1 in 143
        The chance of being a victim of property crime in Norfolk is 1 in 21
        The chance of being a victim of crime in Norfolk is 1 in 18
        Interested in knowing the odds that you will be a crime victim in Norfolk? In Norfolk, you have a 1 in 143 chance of falling victim to a violent crime, such as rape, robbery, assault, or even murder. In terms of property crime, your chances of being a victim are 1 in 21. These crimes include theft, vehicle theft, and burglary. Your overall chance of being a victim of crime in Norfolk, VA is 1 in 18.

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

        The year over year change in crime per 100,000 people helps to understand whether crime in Norfolk, VA is on the rise or declining. The violent crime rate in Norfolk has decreased by 5%, while the property crime rate in Norfolk has increased by 52% year over year. Summing up the numbers, Norfolk has increased by 42% with regards to total crimes year over year.

        Norfolk police department

        Item Norfolk Virginia National
        Law enforcement employees (officers & civilians)8258,827558,732
        Police officers & civilians /1000 residents3.43.23.3
        There are a total of 825 Norfolk police officers. This results in 3.4 police officers per 1,000 residents which is 4.5% greater than the Virginia average and 3.4% greater than the National average.

        Sex offenders in Virginia

        State Total offenders Virginia /100K National /100K
        There are a total of 25,766 sex offenders in Virginia. This yields a total of 352 sex offenders in Virginia per 100,000 residents which is 32% 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
        Chesapeake, VA242,6474172,0112,428
        Hampton, VA135,1692702,9063,176
        Portsmouth, VA94,9618754,8815,757
        Norfolk, VA244,3007034,8725,575

        Cities with similar population

        City Population Violent crime/100k people Property crime/100k people Total crime/100k people
        Winston-Salem, NC245,7871,1763,8945,069
        Chesapeake, VA242,6474172,0112,428
        North Las Vegas, NV247,2484221,7742,196
        Irving, TX240,4753362,5312,867
        Gilbert, AZ248,3491171,0171,133
        Norfolk, VA244,3007034,8725,575
        Source: The Norfolk, VA 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.