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 peoplePortsmouth/100k peopleVirginia/100k peopleNational/100k people
Total crime5,642n/a (estimate)5,7571,9302,324
Violent crime858n/a (estimate)875234370
Vehicle theft423n/a431.6160.7282.7
Property crime4,784n/a (estimate)4,8811,6961,954

An Overview of Crime Rates in Portsmouth, VA

When we analyze the latest crime report, the Portsmouth crime rate is 147.7% higher than the national average. These incidents are classified into two primary categories: violent and property crimes. Violent crimes include assault, robbery, rape and murder. Whereas property crimes encompass theft, vehicle theft and burglary. In the case of Portsmouth, there were 858 reported violent crimes, equivalent to 875 per 100,000 individuals, 136.7% higher than the national average. Additionally, Portsmouth recorded 4784 property crimes, amounting to 4881 per 100,000 residents, 149.8% higher than the U.S. average.

Portsmouth has a crime rate of 5757 per 100,000 people, which surpasses the national average by 147.7%, 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 Portsmouth. 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.

Portsmouth has gained notoriety as one of the most dangerous cities in the United States, given its alarming violent crime rate of 875 crimes per 100,000 people. In fact, Portsmouth falls within the lowest 10% among cities reporting violent crimes last year, resulting in a concerning 1 in 115 likelihood of experiencing a violent crime. It's important to note that safety levels may vary across different areas within the city, and this statistic doesn't necessarily reflect the entire city's situation regarding violent crime.

Despite a steady decline in murder rates in the United States since 1990, recent years have witnessed an unfortunate uptick. Portsmouth stands out with one of the nation's highest murder rates, surpassing other cities that reported crime. In Portsmouth, there were a total of 47 murders, translating to 48 murders per 100,000 people, underscoring the pressing need for continued efforts to address and reduce severe violent crime in the area.

Portsmouth reports one of the nation's highest property crime rates, with 4881 incidents per 100,000 people, positioning it among the worst 10% of American cities reporting crime. This unfortunate statistic translates to a 1 in 21 chance of falling victim to property crime in Portsmouth, significantly surpassing the national average. These figures underscore the city's challenges in combating property-related offenses, necessitating a concerted effort to enhance security and community safety.

The surge in vehicle thefts is a concerning trend across the United States, and Portsmouth is no exception, experiencing one of the nation's highest vehicle theft rates. Last year, Portsmouth reported a total of 423 vehicle thefts, resulting in 432 stolen vehicles per 100,000 people. This places the city in the lowest 10% tier among all cities, indicating that 90% of cities have less stolen vehicles. The probability of a vehicle being stolen stands at 1 in 232, underscoring the need for heightened vigilance and security measures.

What Do the Locals Say About Crime in Portsmouth?

What is the prevailing sentiment among Portsmouth residents regarding the state of crime? A comprehensive survey conducted by AreaVibes, involving 131 respondents, sheds light on this matter. The results were as follows: 17% of Portsmouth 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, 83% of those surveyed held a contrasting viewpoint, perceiving a higher incidence of crime, leading them to feel apprehensive about walking alone at night.

Is Portsmouth a Safe Place to Live?

Is Portsmouth 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, Portsmouth has a crime rate that is higher than the national average by 148%. Breaking this down on a daily basis, it translates to 15.46 daily incidents, encompassing 2.35 violent crimes and 13.11 property crimes. Evaluating these statistics can aid in forming a more informed perspective on the safety of Portsmouth as a potential place to call home.

Has Crime in Portsmouth Increased Since Last Year?

Year-over-year crime rates in Portsmouth has increased by 27.6% in the last reported crime report. Comparing crime rates from one year to another offers some insight into whether or not Portsmouth is becoming a safer or more dangerous place to live. Crime rates are categorized by violent and property crime. Year-over-year violent crime has increased by 17.4%, while property crime has increased by 29.6%. This analysis equips individuals with crucial information for making informed decisions about living in Portsmouth.

Potential Causes for Crime in Portsmouth

The economic well-being of a city's residents plays a significant role in crime rates. High poverty rates and income inequality can lead to increased crime stats as individuals may resort to illegal activities to meet their basic needs. While lower rates could lead to a lower Portsmouth crime rate. The poverty level in Portsmouth is 15.7%, while the national average is 15.1%.

Portsmouth has a population density of 2851.6 people per square mile, while with the national average is 90.6 people per square mile. Cities characterized by high population density are frequently larger urban centers offering diverse economic prospects. Within these areas, income inequality may be accentuated, resulting in the coexistence of poverty and affluence. Such economic disparities can contribute to elevated property crimes and on occasion, violent crimes. Conversely, areas with low population density generally record lower Portsmouth crime rates.

Elevated rental costs can generate economic strain for both individuals and families, particularly those with restricted financial means. When a substantial proportion of one's income is allocated to housing costs, it often leaves limited resources for fulfilling other crucial necessities such as groceries, healthcare and education. This financial pressure can fuel desperation, potentially prompting individuals to resort to criminal actions, including theft or fraud, as a means of coping with their financial hardships. In Portsmouth, the average monthly rent stands at $1,083, while the national average is $949 per month.

Portsmouth crime map

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

      • Portsmouth crime rates are 148% higher than the national average
      • Violent crimes in Portsmouth are 137% higher than the national average
      • In Portsmouth you have a 1 in 18 chance of becoming a victim of crime
      • Portsmouth is safer than 3% of the cities in the United States
      • Year over year crime in Portsmouth has increased by 24%

      Portsmouth, VA Crime Quiz


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        Daily Crime In Portsmouth (per 100,000 people)

        The graph above illustrates the number of daily crimes in Portsmouth, VA per 100,000 people. In Portsmouth, the total number of daily crimes is 2.98 times more than the Virginia average and 2.48 times more than the national average. The number of daily violent crimes in Portsmouth is 3.74 times more than the Virginia average and 2.37 times more than the national average. With regards to property crimes, Portsmouth has a daily crime rate that is 2.88 times more than the Virginia average and 2.50 times more than the national average.

        How Safe is Portsmouth (higher is better)

        Are people any safer living in Portsmouth in comparison to other Virginia communities and all other areas throughout the United States? When we look at all cities across America, is Portsmouth safe? The evidence provided by these graphs show Portsmouth being safer than 0% of cities in Virginia and 3% of cities across the United States. This is evident by tracking Virginia cities as well as all US cities over a one year period to contrast crime statistics as they relate to Portsmouth. In conclusion, Portsmouth ranks below average compared to the rest of the United States.

        Chance of Being A Victim of Crime in Portsmouth

        The chance of being a victim of violent crime in Portsmouth is 1 in 115
        The chance of being a victim of property crime in Portsmouth is 1 in 21
        The chance of being a victim of crime in Portsmouth is 1 in 18
        Interested in knowing the odds that you will be a crime victim in Portsmouth? In Portsmouth, you have a 1 in 115 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 Portsmouth, VA is 1 in 18.

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

        An analysis of year to year crime rates in Portsmouth, Virginia (per 100,000 people) is a useful indicator of whether the area is becoming a safer or a more dangerous place to live. The amount of violent crime in Portsmouth has increased by 14%, the amount of property crime in Portsmouth has increased by 26%, and the total amount of crime in Portsmouth has increased by 24% year over year.

        Portsmouth police department

        Item Portsmouth Virginia National
        Law enforcement employees (officers & civilians)3418,827558,732
        Police officers & civilians /1000 residents3.53.23.3
        There are a total of 341 Portsmouth police officers. This results in 3.5 police officers per 1,000 residents which is 9.5% greater than the Virginia average and 8.4% 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
        Carrollton, VA6,3401791,2971,476
        Chesapeake, VA242,6474172,0112,428
        Hampton, VA135,1692702,9063,176
        Norfolk, VA244,3007034,8725,575
        Portsmouth, VA94,9618754,8815,757

        Cities with similar population

        City Population Violent crime/100k people Property crime/100k people Total crime/100k people
        South Gate, CA94,9055503,2813,831
        Roswell, GA94,8841871,2081,395
        Hesperia, CA95,1635991,4082,007
        Sunrise, FL94,6573291,9922,321
        New Bedford, MA95,3556261,5602,186
        Portsmouth, VA94,9618754,8815,757
        Source: The Portsmouth, 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.