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North Carolina Crime Rate By City 2024 – Latest Statistics

On Behalf of The Law Firm of Brent D. Ratchford |

Whether you want to move to or educate yourself about North Carolina, the state can offer beautiful landscapes, vibrant cultures, and a booming economy. Although there can be strong positives, many people question safety when researching different states. Knowing statistics like the North Carolina crime rate by city can help you compare cities.

Understanding the Significance of Crime Rates in North Carolina

North Carolina’s crime rate falls in the middle compared to other states. For some people, crime rates can affect their opinion of states. However, it is essential to acknowledge that crime rates vary significantly across the state and cities.

A significant factor influencing crime perception in a city is whether the area is urban or rural. While crime rates in metropolitan cities can be higher than those of their rural counterparts, the perception of crime in urban cities can be imbalanced.

Population density tends to play a role in crime perception and rate. People may believe larger cities have higher or increasing crime rates when compared to rural areas. Many urban cities can have high crime rates due to specific neighborhoods or parts of the city versus the city as a whole. Overall, urban city downtowns can be safer than surrounding areas but tend to have the opposite perception.

If you seek information about a city’s crime rate, it is important to look at the crime rates of neighborhoods, when possible, to get a fuller picture.

Detailing NC Crime Rates by City

Some North Carolina cities and communities have higher crime rates than others. While it is important to note that crime rates can fluctuate yearly, many cities with the highest rates may stay around the same crime rate over time. Some of the cities with the highest crime rates compared to the North Carolina average include:


With one of the highest crime rates in North Carolina, the Richmond County town of Rockingham’s crime rate is more than double the statewide average. Rockingham is a town located outside Charlotte. Residents believe the northeast part of the city is the safest.


Cullowhee is the location of Western Carolina University. With a similar crime rate to Rockingham, Cullowhee has one of the highest crime rates in North Carolina. Nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains, this Jackson County town offers a scenic landscape and a variety of restaurants, shops, and bars. If visiting the town, be aware of the crime rates and practice safety precautions, especially near off-campus housing areas.


Another city with a high crime rate in North Carolina is Cornelius. Outside of Charlotte, homes without security systems are likely to be robbed more often than similar homes in other areas of North Carolina. Many people recently moved to this suburb, possibly contributing to changing crime rates. While the area has a charming lake environment and amenities, researching specific neighborhoods can help you understand crime in the area.

Although these cities can have higher crime presences than others in the state, various factors can influence crime data. Using a variety of resources, in addition to crime data, can give you a better view of the state’s safety level.

Safety Beyond the Statistics

If you worry about crime in your area of North Carolina, there are proactive steps you can take to help you and others feel safe, including:

  • Establishing Relationships With Neighbors: A strong sense of community can help deter crime. Introducing yourself to your neighbors, exchanging contact information, and looking out for the well-being of people around you can lessen crime rates and the perception of crime in your area.
  • Increasing Familiarity With Your Neighborhood: Exploring your neighborhood, especially during daylight hours, can help you understand safe havens versus less secure areas. Identifying well-lit streets, frequently patrolled areas, and community landmarks can provide peace of mind and a sense of direction in any city.
  • Home Security Measures: If you are concerned about home safety, investing in a layered security system may be ideal. These measures can include a visible security system, strong door and window locks, and lights. Additionally, it is wise to keep valuables away from windows and doors to help prevent theft.
  • Trusting Yourself: When a situation feels unsafe, regardless of the time or day, please use caution. Removing yourself from the situation and finding a well-lit, populated area can be crucial to your safety. If necessary, you can call emergency services for help.

Following these tips can bolster your safety and help create a sense of security for others.


Q: What City Has the Highest Crime Rate in NC?

A: Many sources differ on which city has the highest crime rate in North Carolina. Some believe that Rockingham, a town outside of Charlotte, has the highest crime rate, but crime data can have flaws.

Comparing cities with vastly different population sizes can make garnering an accurate assessment difficult. When seeking whether a city is safe, it can help to research specific neighborhoods to get a picture of how they compare to each other.

Q: What City Has the Lowest Crime Rate in NC?

A: Crime data is complex, so it can be challenging to assess which city has the lowest crime rate in North Carolina. Cities have variations in population, socioeconomic levels, and common crime types. Some people believe that smaller towns may have lower reported crime. However, calculations rarely accurately encompass total crime, including unreported crimes.

Q: What Is the Most Violent County in North Carolina?

A: Similar to finding the lowest crime rate, determining the most violent county in North Carolina can be tricky. Counties with larger populations may have a higher number of reported violent crimes. However, many factors can contribute to those crime statistics.

When seeking county crime information, remember that rates can fluctuate within counties and even from neighborhood to neighborhood. It is important to check if data from a small, specific area is available.

Q: Is North Carolina a High Crime State?

A: North Carolina is not a high-crime state, depending on what measures you examine. Overall, North Carolina tends to be average nationally. Property crimes are more common in the state than violent crimes. Despite what statistics show, it is wise to be aware of your surroundings and take safety precautions, whether in a high-crime designated state or somewhere seen as safe.

Get Insight Into the Safety of North Carolina

Understanding crime rates and taking proactive safety measures can help you and others feel safe. However, navigating criminal legal issues can be complex. If you have questions regarding a criminal case, the skilled attorneys at The Law Firm of Brent D. Ratchford can help. Contact us today for a consultation and peace of mind.