45. Kokomo, IN
> Violent crime rate: 604 per 100,000 people (498 total crimes)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +8.8%
> Homicide rate: 9.7 per 100,000 people (8 total homicides)
> Poverty rate: 11.9%
The overall violent crime rate in Kokomo, Indiana, climbed 8.8% last year and now stands at 604 incidents per 100,000 people, higher than in the vast majority of other U.S. metro areas. To address the high and rising rates of violence, the Kokomo mayor recently announced the reinstatement of a crime analyst within the city police department. The position was created to take a proactive approach to crime reduction by providing recommendations related to resource allocation through data analysis.
While violence is on the rise in Kokomo, property crimes are becoming less common. Over the last year, cases of motor vehicle theft have fallen by 7.9% in the metro area, while both burglaries and cases of larceny theft were each down by over 20%.
44. Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX
> Violent crime rate: 606 per 100,000 people (2,372 total crimes)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +11.9%
> Homicide rate: 8.9 per 100,000 people (35 total homicides)
> Poverty rate: 15.0%
Of the 50 most dangerous metro areas in the United States, six are in Texas — more than in any other state. The Beaumont-Port Arthur metro area is one of them, with a violent crime rate of 606 incidents per 100,000 people.
Overall rates of violence in the Beaumont metro area are up by nearly 12% year over year. The district attorney for Jefferson County, Texas, which covers both the cities of Beaumont and Port Arthur, has pointed to pandemic-related delays in criminal trials leading to a backlog of cases and resulting in violent offenders remaining on the street longer than they otherwise would.
43. Chattanooga, TN-GA
> Violent crime rate: 613 per 100,000 people (3,487 total crimes)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +16.6%
> Homicide rate: 7.9 per 100,000 people (45 total homicides)
> Poverty rate: 12.7%
Nearly 3,500 violent crimes were reported in the Chattanooga, Tennessee, metro area in 2020 — or 613 for every 100,000 people, a 16.6% increase from the previous year. Rising crime rates in the area were led by a 25.0% rise in murder cases and a 34.5% surge in robberies.
Much of the violence in and around the city involves firearms. Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly called the scourge of gun violence an epidemic, as shootings the city have continued to rise into 2021. As of early July, there were 114 shootings reported in the city proper, up from 79 at the same time in 2020 and 69 in 2019. Kelly pointed to poverty and a lack of opportunity as some of the underlying conditions that lead to gun violence. Chattanooga’s poverty rate of 12.7% is only slightly higher than the 12.3% national rate.
42. Fort Smith, AR-OK
> Violent crime rate: 615 per 100,000 people (1,541 total crimes)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +5.0%
> Homicide rate: 4.4 per 100,000 people (11 total homicides)
> Poverty rate: 19.4%
The violent crime rate in Fort Smith, Arkansas, of 615 incidents for every 100,000 people is among the highest in the country. Driven by a rise in homicide, robbery, and aggravated assault, Fort Smith’s violent crime rate climbed by 5% last year, in line with the national increase.
While violence is on the rise in Fort Smith, property crimes are becoming less common. Over the last year, the burglary has fallen by 13.8% in the metro area, and the larceny theft rate declined by 11.1%.
41. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN
> Violent crime rate: 616 per 100,000 people (12,137 total crimes)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +8.0%
> Homicide rate: 7.7 per 100,000 people (152 total homicides)
> Poverty rate: N/A
Up 8% from 2019, the violent crime rate in the Nashville, Tennessee, metro area stands at 616 incidents per 100,000 people — well above the national rate. The increase in violent crime in the Nashville area was led by homicides, which surged by nearly 29% year over year.
Rising rates of deadly violence have continued well into 2021 in Nashville. As of early July, 68 homicides were committed in the city proper, up from 43 at the same point in 2020 and 30 the previous year.
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