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Rhode Island Crime Rates: Most Committed Crimes and Crime Rate Information for the State of Rhode Island

In the United States, crime has been recorded since the periods of British colonization. Crimes in the United States consist of violent crimes such as homicide, rape, robbery, as well as property crimes such as burglary, larceny, theft, arson, and motor vehicle theft.

Over a more extended period, incidents of violent crime have been declining throughout the nation, with the homicide rate dropping from 30 per 100,000 people in the 1700s to below 10 per 100,000 citizens in the 1900s. After World War II, crime rates increased substantially across the country; with violent crimes increasing over 4 times between 1960 and its peak in 1991. For the same period, property crime also doubled. Since 1991, crime has shown a sharp decline, influenced by a variety of factors including:

  • Increase in the number of law enforcement officers
  • Legislation such as the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act
  • Increased incarceration since the early 1980s
  • Increase in the number of prisons per state since the 1990s
  • The decrease in the availability and sale of drugs such as crack cocaine
  • Change in demographics, with growth in median incomes and more people moving out of poverty
  • Increase in security technology which reduced property crimes, especially burglary and motor vehicle theft.
Rhode Island City Crime Rate

The statistics on crime are published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. According to the FBI, a total of 1.2 million violent crimes occurred across the nation in 2017, which is a 0.2 percent drop compared to the previous year. On the other hand, over 7.6 million property crimes occurred in 2017 and have dropped 3.0 percent when compared to 2016. In an international context, the crime rate in the United States is much higher compared to other countries with similar income levels; especially those in Europe, and Canada.

Crime Rates in the State of Rhode Island

Over seventeen years, crime statistics indicate an overall downward trend, with both violent and property crimes decreasing across the entire period, with the crime rate in the state being lower than the national average by 39.83% for violent crimes and 22.53% for property crimes. According to the latest statistics from 2017, there were a total of 22,582 incidents of crime; with the majority of them being property crime, comprising primarily of larceny and theft, followed by burglary. Overall, there were 19.84 crimes per 1000 residents in the state in 2017.

  • Violent Crimes: In the state of Rhode Island, there were 1.513 reports of aggravated assault; 540 reports of robbery; 442 counts of rape; and 29 incidents of murder and manslaughter; with a total of 2,524 violent crimes that were reported in 2017.  For a resident in the state, the chances of becoming a victim in a violent crime are 1 in 431.
  • Property Crimes: Across the state, there were over 20,058 property crimes reported in 2017; with the 14,674 counts of larceny and theft; 1,596 reports of motor vehicle theft; and 3,788 counts of burglary. For a Rhode Island resident, the chances of being a victim of property crime is that of 1 in 57.
Rhode Island Crime Rate

Safest Cities and Towns in Rhode Island

According to the crime statistics released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, these are the safest towns with the least crime rates across Rhode Island:

  • Glocester, Providence County
  • Scituate, Providence County
  • Bristol, Bristol County County
  • Jamestown, Newport County
  • Portsmouth, Newport County
  • Burrillville, Providence County
  • Richmond, Washington County
  • South Kingstown, Washington County
  • Cumberland, Providence County
  • Narragansett, Washington County

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