This Town in Virginia State Takes the Crown for Most Violent

Virginia is famous for its long past, beautiful scenery, and wide range of cultures. But the Old Dominion isn’t always safe and quiet. Virginia has some towns and cities with higher crime rates than the rest of the country. This makes them unsafe to live or visit. Based on the most recent FBI crime statistics, this article will talk about the most dangerous town in Virginia and some of the reasons and solutions that might help make it less dangerous.

Portsmouth is Virginia’s Most Dangerous City

Based on FBI crime figures from 2022, Portsmouth is the most dangerous town in Virginia. About 98,000 people live in Portsmouth, which is a port city in the Hampton Roads urban area. It has a proud naval past because it is home to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, which is the U.S. Navy’s oldest and largest shipyard.

But Portsmouth also has a bad side. The general crime rate was three times higher than the statewide average, making it the most dangerous place in Virginia in 2022. It’s a good idea to be careful on the streets of Portsmouth because there was a 1 in 114 chance that someone would be attacked, killed, or raped in 2022. Portsmouth had the third highest rate of burglaries in Virginia last year, with 421 cases. You should also keep your doors locked if you live there.

There has always been crime in Portsmouth. Over the past ten years, different sources have regularly ranked the city as one of the most dangerous places in Virginia. In fact, a local newspaper called Portsmouth “the murder capital of Virginia” in 2011 because it had 25 murders that year.

Why is Portsmouth So Dangerous?

There isn’t an easy reason why Portsmouth is so dangerous. Poverty, unemployment, schooling, drugs, gangs, police, and social norms are just some of the many things that can affect crime. But here are some possible reasons for Portsmouth’s high crime rate:

The poverty rate in Portsmouth is 18.4%, which is higher than the 9.9% rate for the whole state. Because it makes people stressed, desperate, and unequal, poverty is often linked to crime. Crime can be a way for poor people to stay alive or to get their feelings out when they are angry or frustrated.

jobless: The jobless rate in Portsmouth is 8.6%, which is higher than the 4.5% rate for the whole state. Unemployment is another thing that can make people more likely to commit crimes because it takes away their chances and motivation to do legal work. When people don’t have jobs, they may turn to crime to make money or deal with their feelings of loss and depression.

When it comes to schooling, only 21.4% of adults in Portsmouth have a bachelor’s degree or higher, which is lower than the state average of 38.1%. Getting an education is one of the best ways to stop crime because it gives people the skills, information, and values they need to do well in life. With more education, people can get better jobs, make more money, and make more friends, all of which can make them less likely to commit crimes.

Drugs: Portsmouth has a big problem with drugs, mostly opioids like heroin and fentanyl. The Virginia Department of Health says that in 2019, 71 out of every 100,000 people in Portsmouth died from drug accidents. This was the highest rate in the state. Because drugs make it harder for people to control their impulses and think clearly, they can lead to more crime. Drugs can also make people want to buy things in underground markets, which can make dealers and users violent and corrupt.

Gangs: There are a lot of gangs in Portsmouth. Both local and national gangs operate in the city. The Portsmouth Police Department says there are 30 gangs in the city with around 600 members each. Gangs can make crime worse because they fight over territory, sell drugs, rob people, demand money, and do other illegal things. Young people may see gangs as a way to find their identity, feel safe, and like they belong, which can lead them to join and be influenced by them.

What Can Be Done to Make Portsmouth Safer?

There isn’t an easy way to fix the crime problem in Portsmouth. To lower crime, many groups need to work together and do their part. These groups include the police, the government, the community, schools, hospitals, and social services. That being said, here are some things that might help Portsmouth lower its crime rate:

Getting the police force stronger: Portsmouth needs to put more money, time, and people into its police force, which is currently underpaid, underfunded, and undertrained. The Portsmouth Police Department says that the city has just 237 sworn officers, which is less than the national average of 2.4 cops per 1,000 people.

There are also not many crimes that are solved or punished in Portsmouth. Only 38.9% of serious crimes are solved and only 12.8% of property crimes are. Portsmouth needs to hire more police officers, give them better tools, training, and rewards, and work on building trust with the community.

Boosting the economy: Portsmouth needs to give its people, especially the poor and the unemployed, more job possibilities. Portsmouth needs to offer tax breaks, good infrastructure, and safety to companies, industries, and investments that want to move there. Portsmouth also needs to do a better job of developing its workforce and offering more education, training, and job placement programs for its residents, especially young people and people who have been in prison.

Improving the school system: Portsmouth’s school system needs to be improved because it isn’t working well, isn’t getting enough money, and isn’t fair. If you compare Portsmouth’s 82.9% completion rate to the state average of 92.3%, you can see that it is lower than the state average.

Portsmouth also has a high number of dropouts—10.9% compared to 5.1% for the state as a whole. Portsmouth needs to give its schools more money, resources, and high standards. It also needs to give its students more help, support, and opportunities to learn, especially those who are likely to drop out or fail.

Stopping and treating drug abuse: Portsmouth needs to do something about its drug problem, which is a big threat to public health and safety. More prevention and teaching programs need to be put in place in Portsmouth, especially for young people, and more people need to know about the risks and effects of drug abuse.

People who are addicted to drugs also need more treatment and recovery services in Portsmouth. These should include therapy, medication, and rehabilitation. It should also be easier for people to get these services and lessen the stigma that surrounds them.

Stopping gang violence: Portsmouth needs to do something about its gang problem, which is a big reason for crime and violence in the city. The gangs need to be broken up and their leaders and members need to be charged and punished. Portsmouth also needs to stop young people from joining gangs and stop them from joining them. Instead, they should offer them good activities like mentoring, sports, arts, and community service.

In Conclusion

The FBI’s most recent crime statistics show that Portsmouth is the most dangerous town in Virginia. Portsmouth has a lot of property and violent crime. Poverty, unemployment, schooling, drugs, and gangs are some of the things that make this happen.

To lower its crime rate, Portsmouth needs to take a comprehensive and well-coordinated approach that includes making the police force stronger, the economy better, the school system better, drug abuse prevention and treatment, and fighting gang violence. If Portsmouth can solve its crime problem, it could become a better and wealthier place to live.

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