The US is full of lively cities that attract tourists from all around the world. While Los Angeles and New York City might be the popular hot spots for visitors, that doesn’t mean they’re the safest places to live.
People want to live in a city where they feel secure knowing their home won’t be broken into while they sleep and that they can forget their phone on the table at a restaurant and come back to grab it without it being stolen. But what makes a city safe?
A lot of what determines a location’s safety depends on human behavior. How well-organized is the city’s law enforcement? Is there adequate surveillance to deter criminals? However, the crime rate isn’t the only factor to consider when assessing the safest cities in the US.
What Defines a Safe City?
When considering what makes a city safe, there are multiple contributing variables. Most people consider the crime rate, closely followed by incidences of terrorism, as a reliable gauge of a city’s safety. However, road safety is another big part of how safe a city is, based on the number of accidents that occur annually. On top of these statistics, environmental factors like extreme weather risks and pollution levels must also be factored in.
From a technological standpoint, telecommunications and CCTV camera infrastructure play a critical role in making a city safe. The presence of risk prevention measures and managing incidents quickly through effective communications is essential to making cities safer.
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7 Safest Cities in the US
All these factors in combination are examined to determine the safest cities in the US. These are places with low instances of crime, minimal traffic incidents, and other violent attacks. Most importantly, a safe city must possess CCTV coverage to identify potential problems and manage them quickly.
Countless surveys rank the top US cities to live in or claim they are the safest, but each of these lists is the culmination of a different set of standards for measuring each city’s quality of life. Places that continually appear at the top of these lists for multiple data surveys can be considered the safest cities in the US and include:
In 2021, Business Insider reported that Frisco’s population is quickly growing, presumably because of the appeal of its houses, schools, and positive police presence. A recent AdvisorSmith study looked at the safest cities in Texas and put Frisco in the top 10 for cities with over 100,000 residents.
Gilbert is considered a safe city thanks to its low crime rate, happy residents, and highly rated public school system. Gilbert, Arizona, is ranked as having the highest median income of any city, with over 100,000 people in Arizona.
This California destination has seen dramatic population growth in the last ten years, likely due to its exceptionally low crime rate. In 2018, Irvine had a murder rate of 0 per 100,000 people.
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Lewisboro, New York
This small town in Westchester County earned a top spot among the safest cities in America 2017, 2018, and 2019. With a population under 15, 000 this is a close-knit town with a lot of heart, and its high safety ratings make it attractive to new residents.
Raleigh, North Carolina
According to WalletHub, Raleigh is the ninth safest city in America when you consider crime rates, natural disaster risk, and financial security.
San Diego, California
While San Diego ranked 105th in the list of the safest cities in California for 2021, with a violent crime rate of 3.7/1000, it should still be mentioned among the top safe cities. When considering surveillance coverage as a factor in city safety, San Diego holds its own because of an extensive CCTV presence.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach is a relatively large city with low crime and unemployment rates. The biggest security concern for Virginia Beach residents is package theft.
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The Most Surveilled Cities in the US
There is a difference between the top-ranked safest cities in the US and those with the most surveillance. Most listings for safe cities factor in violent crime rates, property crime rates, unemployment rates, natural disaster risks, and financial security. But safe cities should also be examined in terms of their level of security surveillance.
A study reviewed in 2017 determined that CCTV cameras were most effective when combined with other deterrents like improved lighting and increased security presence. When people believe they are being watched, they behave differently, so logically it follows that CCTV camera coverage enhances a city’s safety.
A study released by UK company, Comparitech, included six US cities in its list of the world’s most surveilled cities. The study looked at 120 cities for the number of CCTV cameras in a city per person. The US cities that cracked the list are:
- Atlanta, GA
- Boston, MA
- Chicago, IL
- San Diego, CA
- San Francisco, CA
- Washington, DC
Rankings for the study are laid out in a spreadsheet that factors the number of CCTV cameras in each city, the population, and the resulting CCTV cameras per 1,000 people. Also mentioned are the crime index and safety index for each major city.
The safest cities in the US can be defined in a number of ways, depending on how you view safety and security. When it comes to securing your home and living in a safe neighborhood, it’s essential to look at the crime rate and natural disaster risks, but it’s also worth considering the level of surveillance and security presence in the area.
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Securing Your Home
No matter which city you live in, everyone deserves to feel safe in their own home. That’s why if your city doesn’t rank on any list of “the safest places to live” or “cities with the most surveillance,” it’s no cause for alarm.
You can evaluate the risk factors surrounding your home and neighborhood and develop a security plan that meets your family’s needs. Installing a home security system is a fantastic way to monitor your home even when you’re away and sleep soundly, knowing you’ll receive alerts if unwanted visitors are on your property.
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