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

What are Crime Rates in Virginia?

Crime rates in Virginia are low compared to the national average, FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports.

The rate of violent crime - murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault - was about half that of the national average in 2011. There were 196.7 incidents of violent crime for every 100,000 people, compared to 386.3 nationwide.

Virginia’s rate of property crime in 2011 was 2,249.6 incidents per 100,000 people, compared to 2,908.7 nationwide. Property crime includes burglary, larceny/theft and motor vehicle theft.

Violent crimes and property crimes in Virginia fell from 2010 to 2011. Specifically:

  • There were 303 murders, down from 376.
  • Rape declined 2.8 percent.
  • Robbery fell 4.4 percent.
  • Incidents of aggravated assault dropped 9.4 percent.
  • Burglary was relatively flat, falling just 0.7 percent.

Crime in Virginia Cities and Towns

Curious about crime rates in your city or town? The chart below reveals the number of incidents of major crimes in the 10 most populous Virginia towns.

Note that the largest city isn’t always the most crime-ridden. Norfolk has 200,000 fewer people than Virginia Beach, but significantly higher incidents of murder, rape, robbery and burglary. The murder rate is nearly double.

City Population Murder Forcible Rape Robbery Burglary
Virginia Beach 443,226 15 60 412 2,038
Norfolk 245,704 29 81 625 2,256
Chesapeake 224,864 12 46 246 1,237
Richmond 206,654 36 44 676 1,886
Newport News 182,878 15 52 388 1,094
Alexandria 141,638 1 14 129 303
Hampton 139,078 9 19 155 820
Roanoke 98,191 8 33 175 928
Portsmouth 96,676 12 46 235 1,348
Suffolk 85,595 3 19 76 518

By contrast, check out the incidents of crime in the five towns with the smallest populations.

City Population Murder Forcible Rape Robbery Burglary
White Stone 356 0 0 0 0
Quantico 486 0 0 0 0
Boykins 571 0 0 0 3
Remington 605 0 0 0 0
Middleburg 681 0 0 0 0

For data on other cities and town in Virginia, use this UCR link.

Benefits of a Home Security System

Bad things can happen no matter where you live, even in safe communities. Home security systems provide peace of mind that your family is safe and your home and valuables are protected.

Studies have shown that homes with alarm systems are far less likely to be burglarized. Need evidence? Check out this 2009 Rutgers University study or this 1998 study published in a respected journal.

Other benefits of home security systems include:

  • Advanced features - Modern security systems offer far more than just burglar protection. They can be used to keep an eye on your children or turn lights on and off remotely. They alert emergency officials in the event of a fire.
  • Insurance discounts - Homeowners with security systems receive a discount on their homeowner’s insurance polices - usually 15 percent to 20 percent.
  • Reduced losses - Even if your home is burglarized, the losses will be less with a home security system. Burglars will know they need to get out of the home fast to avoid police. According to the Electronic Security Association, the average loss for a home with an security system is $3,266, compared to $5,343 for homes without one.

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