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Do I Need a Home Security System for my Georgia Home?

What are Crime Rates in Georgia?

Violent crime in Georgia declined in 2011 for the third year in a row, but the state saw an increase in property crimes, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

There were 35,961 violent crimes in 2011, a decrease of almost 5 percent from 2010. Violent crimes include murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault. Property crimes, which include burglary, larceny, auto theft and arson, totaled 350,981, an increase of 2 percent over the prior year.

The chart below shows the number of incidents of each type of violent crime, as well as the change from 2010 to 2011. Based on statewide crime data going back to 1980, the chart also shows the peak and low years for each type of crime.

Murder 543 522 21 1981 836 2004 476
Forcible rape 2,050 2,051 -1 1990 3,621 2000 1,683
Robbery 12,006 12,130 -124 1991 17,385 1983 8,489
Agg. assault 21,362 23,071 -1,709 1990 28,092 1983 15,305
TOTAL 35,961 37,774 -1,834 N/A N/A N/A N/A

The overall rate of violent crime in Georgia for 2011 was 366.4 incidents per 100,000 in population. (The rate per 100,000, known as the crime index rate, is a standard measurement that all states use to report crime data to the FBI.) The property crime rate was 3,575.9 per 100,000.

Burglary Rates in Georgia

Burglaries accounted for more than one-quarter of all property crimes in 2011. There were 94,044 burglaries, a slight decline (264) from 2010.

However, burglary rates rose considerably with the onset of the recession and have remained at 15-year highs for the last four years. Today’s burglary rates are in line with those of the high-crime era of the early 1990s.

Crime in Georgia’s Major Metro Areas

Statewide numbers tell only part of the story. Typically, the crime rates in major metropolitan areas are very different than the statewide rate. The chart below shows the number of both violent and property crimes in Georgia’s four metro areas with populations of more than 100,000.

Note the drastic difference between Atlanta and the rest of the metropolitan areas. The odds of being a crime victim are significantly higher in the state’s largest city.

Athens-Clarke County 117,114 418 1 in 280 4,933 1 in 24
Atlanta 425,533 6,097 1 in 70 30,144 1 in 14
Columbus 192,385 932 1 in 206 12,450 1 in 15
Savannah-Chatham 226,422 889 1 in 255 9,202 1 in 25

Do I Need a Home Security System in Georgia?

Safety is never guaranteed. Still, purchasing a home security system is one of the best things you can do to protect your family, home and belongings.

A Rutgers University study published in 2009 found that a steady decrease in burglaries in Newark, N.J., from 2001 to 2005 was directly linked to an increase in the number of registered home burglar alarms during the same time period.

Also, a respected 1998 study published in the Journal of Economic and Social Measurement concluded that the probability of a burglary is virtually nil in homes with burglar alarms. The study, The Use of Household Survey Data: The Probability of Property Crime Victimization, was based on questionnaires sent to more than 20,000 households, both with and without alarms.

Home security systems are pretty affordable, particularly for the peace of mind they provide. Expect to spend anywhere from $100 to $130 per entry point (doors and windows) for a hardwired alarm system with motion detectors. For many homes, this works out to a total cost between $1,000 and $2,000. Monitoring costs usually range from $20 to $50 per month.

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