Arizona is a stunning state, boasting rose-tinted sunsets and breathtaking national parks.
This haven for those who love the outdoors is renowned for its scorching desert temperatures, infinite golf courses, the Sonoran Desert, and the remarkable Grand Canyon.
Being the 14th largest state by population, with approximately 7.4 million inhabitants, it unavoidably encounters crime.
In terms of state statistics, the rate of violent crime surpasses the nationwide average.
Despite its natural beauty, Arizona ranks as the tenth most perilous state based on the latest data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), with a rate of 484.8 violent crimes per 100,000 individuals.
In terms of property crimes, it holds the 15th rank nationwide.
This means that both visitors and residents of Arizona face a 1 in 204 probability of being a victim of a violent crime and a 1 in 41 chance for property crimes.
The most frequently reported crimes are aggravated assaults and vehicle thefts.
It’s crucial to remember that, with its diverse landscape of bustling cities, quaint towns, and expansive rural territories, the crime rate in this desert state is not homogenous.
10 Riskiest Cities 2024
|Violent Crime Rate per 100,000
|Property Crime Rate per 100,000
Located on the iconic Route 66 near the Nevada-Arizona border, Kingman residents have been proactively trying to bring down the city’s crime rate.
Despite their efforts, Kingman’s crime rate of 3,923 per 100,000 still looms 67% higher than the national average, and residents have a 1 in 22 chance of being victims.
9. Show Low
Show Low, an eastern Arizona city with a notorious past as a frontier gambling town, still exhibits elements of its lawless past.
The city registers 2,715 property crimes and 650 violent crimes per 100,000 people, significantly above the national average.
Even though it’s famous for being the hometown of actor George Takei, it’s also recognized as the third most violent city in Arizona.
Tucson, the home to the University of Arizona, is a vibrant city with a rich art scene and a buzzing downtown. However, its 527,586 residents grapple with a crime rate that’s 69% above the national average.
Car theft and burglary are common incidents, but there’s a silver lining – crime rates are showing a decreasing trend.
In Tucson, a notorious criminal case that came to an end in a Pima County courtroom in 2022 involved Christopher Clements.
He was found guilty of kidnapping and killing two girls, marking one of the most horrific crimes in Tucson’s history.
The case was particularly shocking due to the vulnerability of the victims and the cold-hearted nature of the crimes.
Tempe, a vibrant city in Maricopa County, is a hub for coffee enthusiasts and night owls with its array of cafes and nightlife venues.
Yet, gang activities have driven its crime rate to an unsettling level, standing 73% higher than the U.S. average.
Despite its relatively smaller population of around 180,587, Tempe witnessed 1,152 violent crimes and 7,672 property crimes in 2022.
Phoenix, the state capital, with its nearly two million inhabitants, may seem risky due to its sheer size and number of reported crimes.
However, considering its population, the city is relatively safe. Phoenix’s crime rate of approximately 3,800 per 100,000 is 61% higher than the national average.
The city offers a rich cultural experience with an array of museums, parks, and a thriving food scene. However, gang violence remains a persistent issue in some areas.
In Phoenix, one of the most horrific crimes was committed by Mark Goudeau, an American serial killer, kidnapper, thief, and rapist. Goudeau terrorized victims in the Phoenix metro area, leaving a trail of fear and devastation in his wake.
His crimes were characterized by their brutality and the sheer number of victims, making him one of the most notorious criminals in Phoenix’s history.
Situated near the Petrified National Forest along Route 66, Holbrook is a charming tourist destination but also struggles with high crime rates.
Despite being a small town with a population of around 4,800, it reports the second-highest burglary rate in the state.
Its overall crime rate stands at 7,120 per 100,000 people – a shocking 204% higher than the national average. The probability of encountering crime for Holbrook’s residents is 1 in 15.
Winslow, a notable stop on Route 66 located southeast of Flagstaff, is a popular tourist destination. However, it’s also the fourth most dangerous city in Arizona.
In 2022 alone, there were around 486 incidents of crime reported per 1,000 people. With an overall crime rate that’s 107% higher than the U.S. average, the 9,655 residents of this old frontier town face a 1 in 21 chance of being victimized.
The city of Page, located near the Utah border, is a gateway to stunning national parks and offers plenty of outdoor recreational activities. However, the city’s beauty is marred by its high crime rate, which exceeds the national average by over 106% at 4,824 per 100,000.
Most crime incidents occur in residential neighborhoods, emphasizing the need for increased vigilance and safety precautions. Furthermore, Page records the highest incidences of rape in Arizona, an unsettling statistic that requires immediate attention.
Globe, a city steeped in history located in Gila county, is now grappling with a high crime rate. Once a vibrant frontier town, its economy, centered on mining, has witnessed a downturn leading to a surge in the crime rate to 9200 per 100,000 — 254% above the national average.
The 7,249 inhabitants now stand a 1 in 9 chance of becoming victims. Despite these challenges, Globe retains its charm as a classic example of a western U.S. mining town and features important Native American sites and museums like Besh-Ba-Gowah and Pinal Peak.
Tolleson, a small city positioned to the west of Phoenix in Maricopa County, holds the unenviable distinction of being Arizona’s most dangerous city. A bustling business hub, it houses numerous Fortune 500 companies and is famous for hosting events like TinyFest and the Arizona Jazz Festival.
But the city’s thriving economy contrasts with its alarmingly high crime rate of 13,374 per 100,000, a whopping 470% above the national average. The most volatile areas are located south of downtown and in the southwest of the city, while the northeast is comparatively safer.
Shockingly, a crime incident occurs in Tolleson every eight hours, leading to a 1 in 8 chance of residents becoming victims.
In Tolleson, one of the most horrific crimes that shook the community was a tragic incident that occurred in 2016. A man and his two young daughters were found shot dead inside their home west of Phoenix.
The incident was believed to be a murder-suicide, leaving the community in shock and grief. This incident highlighted the need for increased mental health support and resources in the area.
Most Horrific Crimes In Arizona
One of the most horrific crimes in Arizona’s history is the case of Johnathan Doody, who was accused of the worst mass murder in the state’s history. In 1991, nine people were found dead at a Buddhist temple in Waddell, Arizona. The victims, including six monks, were found face down in a circle, each shot in the head. Doody, who was 17 at the time, and his accomplice, Allessandro Garcia, were charged with the crime. The case shocked the community due to its brutality and the peaceful nature of the victims.
Another chilling crime that occurred in Arizona was committed by a person who called himself “The Phantom.” In 1967, this unidentified killer murdered two young girls in the town of Sierra Vista. A handwritten letter was sent to the police, in which the killer referred to himself as “The Phantom.” Despite extensive investigations, the identity of “The Phantom” remains unknown, making this one of the most haunting unsolved crimes in Arizona’s history.
In 1986, a shocking crime occurred during a summer camp trip to the Grand Canyon. Two 16-year-olds, Jacob Wideman and Eric Kane, were rooming together when Jacob murdered Eric. The motive behind this brutal act remains unclear, adding to the chilling nature of this crime. This incident shocked the community and raised serious questions about youth violence and the need for better mental health resources for adolescents.
These horrific crimes have left a lasting impact on Arizona’s communities, highlighting the need for effective crime prevention strategies and support for victims and their families.
5 Safety Tips
- Ensure your car, doors, and accommodation are securely locked. When in unfamiliar surroundings, it’s easy to overlook this, but criminals often exploit such opportunities like unlocked vehicles or hotel doors left open
- Stay conscious of your surroundings. This will help you maintain alertness and safety.
- Organize your travel and destination in advance. Familiarize yourself with the area and potential risks.
- Steer clear of public transport or unfamiliar taxi services, particularly when alone and during nighttime.
- Stick to the crowd. Even if you’re traveling alone, being in groups or well-lit areas is a smart way to ensure safety.
What is the crime rate in Arizona?
The crime rate in Arizona varies by city and type of crime. As of 2024, the state has a rate of 484.8 violent crimes per 100,000 individuals, making it the tenth most dangerous state in the U.S. The most frequently reported crimes are aggravated assaults and vehicle thefts.
Which cities in Arizona have the highest crime rates?
As of 2024, the cities with the highest crime rates in Arizona are Tolleson, Globe, Page, Winslow, and Holbrook. These cities have crime rates significantly above the national average.
What are some of the most horrific crimes that have occurred?
Some of the most horrific crimes in Arizona’s history include the 1991 Buddhist Temple Massacre in Waddell, the unsolved murders by “The Phantom” in Sierra Vista in 1967, and the murder of a teenager during a summer camp trip to the Grand Canyon in 1986.
What safety precautions should I take when visiting?
When visiting Arizona, it’s important to lock your vehicle, doors, and hotel rooms, be aware of your surroundings, plan your transportation and destination in advance, avoid public transportation or unknown cars-for-hire especially alone and at night, and stay with groups or in lighted areas whenever possible.
What are some safety tips for driving in Arizona?
When driving in Arizona, it’s important to be aware of the state’s unique weather conditions, such as monsoons and dust storms, which can create hazardous driving conditions. Always check the weather forecast before setting out on a long drive, and avoid driving through flooded areas during monsoon.
What are some safety tips for hiking?
When hiking in Arizona, always carry plenty of water, wear sun protection, and let someone know your hiking plans before you set out. Be aware of the risks of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which are common during the hot summer months.
What is being done to reduce crime in Arizona?
Various measures are being taken to reduce crime in Arizona, including increased police presence in high-crime areas, community outreach programs, and initiatives to address underlying issues such as poverty and lack of education that contribute to crime.
What should I do if I become a victim of crime?
If you become a victim of crime in Arizona, you should immediately report the incident to the local police. You can also reach out to victim assistance programs for support and resources.
How can I stay updated about crime rates in different cities?
You can stay updated about crime rates in different cities in Arizona by checking the annual crime reports published by the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program.
Are there any areas in Arizona that I should avoid due to high crime rates?
Certain areas in Arizona cities have higher crime rates than others. For example, in Tolleson, the most volatile areas are located south of downtown and in the southwest of the city. It’s always a good idea to research the safety of an area before visiting.
In conclusion, while Arizona is renowned for its stunning natural beauty and outdoor attractions, it also faces significant challenges in terms of crime rates. The state ranks as the tenth most dangerous in the United States based on the latest data from the FBI, with above-average rates of violent and property crimes. However, it’s important to note that the crime rates vary across different cities and neighborhoods within Arizona.