Asheville Crime Rate and Statistics [2024 Updated]

Doug Edwards

The crime rate in Asheville, North Carolina, was twice the United States average in 2020 at 509. It was substantially higher than 97% of the country’s cities. Per 100,000 people, there were 11 murders, 54 rapes, 153 robberies, 543 assaults, 730 burglaries, and 523 auto thefts in 2020 alone. Those numbers are staggering and may make Asheville seem like a dangerous place to live. However, while the Asheville crime rate remains high, it is currently going down.

The Current State of Asheville

As of January 2024, the crime rate in Asheville has started to drop. According to an article from the Asheville Citizen-Times, efforts by law enforcement have lowered the violent crime rate by 18% and the property crime rate by 13% from 2022.

The highest number of violent crimes was recorded in 2022, with a record-high number of 727. In 2023, that number shrank down to 596 violent crimes within the Asheville city limits. That number is the lowest recorded in a six-year timeframe, starting in 2018.

Confronting Crime

The significant rise in violent crime in 2022 is largely considered to be the result of a serious police staffing crisis that the city experienced at the time. As public safety started to be considerably affected, the city leaders announced plans to roll out a new initiative designed to target the problem head-on. According to a 2023 article regarding the situation, the city leaders’ initiative planned to include the following:

  • A substantial increase in police presence downtown by using a combination of foot, bike, and vehicle patrols in the city’s parks and metropolitan areas.
  • Increased attention toward littering, particularly used needles and biological waste that was found often in downtown areas.
  • Increased attention toward rampant drug use and vagrancy in the downtown area, as well as enforcing graffiti laws on public property.
  • Working with Duke Energy to find and replace streetlights that have burned out, as well as making an effort with nonprofit organizations to identify other maintenance projects that the city badly needs.
  • Launching the Community Responder Pilot Program led by the Asheville Fire Department in an effort to provide a more visible public safety presence in the downtown area.

As a result of a more attentive approach toward public safety and a larger police presence downtown, crime rates dropped substantially and people are starting to feel safe again in Asheville for the first time since before the pandemic.

Violent crime, property crime, homicides, rapes, and robberies all went down from 2022. In 2023, there were nine murders and 65 armed robberies reported, both of which are drops from the 2020 numbers. All in all, 2023 saw the lowest reported crimes in five years.

Only a handful of crimes actually increased following the city initiative. Arson crimes rose from 28 to 32 reported incidents, and auto thefts increased from 400 to 445 reported incidents. Despite this increase, city leaders remain pleased with the shrunken crime rate of 2023 and are optimistic that 2024 will continue to see the number of reported violent crimes go down.


Q: Does Asheville, North Carolina, Have a Crime Problem?

A: Yes, Asheville, North Carolina, has a crime problem. However, the city leaders are making a significant effort to reduce violent crime in the city, and the numbers are gradually dropping. Despite this step in the right direction, Asheville currently sits in the top 10 percent in violent crime per capita among all major American cities. Its crime rate is above the national average.

Q: Is Asheville, North Carolina, a Safe City to Visit?

A: Generally speaking, Asheville is a safe city to visit if you remain vigilant. Its crime rate is comparable to that of other major cities in America, although it is high. It has a friendly, welcoming environment during the day, and it is recommended you stay in popular, well-lit areas at night for your own safety.

Q: Is Asheville Safe to Walk Through at Night?

A: Whether Asheville is safe to walk through at night is debatable. Generally speaking, it is not recommended to walk through any major city alone at night, including Asheville. If you do have to walk through the city at night, stay in well-lit and crowded areas to reduce the chance of something happening.

Crime has gone down and is still decreasing, but that does not mean one should not exercise common sense when walking at night. Stay vigilant and protect yourself, but do not expect the worst.

Q: Is Downtown Asheville Safe?

A: Many people consider downtown Asheville safe, although the city has a higher crime rate than many other areas in America. It has shops, local color, enjoyable restaurants, and a strong tourist scene. There is a strong perception that the city is dangerous, but violent crime has gone down in recent years, with the city in the midst of a social comeback thanks to initiatives by city leaders and law enforcement.

Q: What Do the Locals Have to Say?

A: A survey conducted in late 2023 interviewed 247 Asheville locals about their thoughts on local crime. 30% of residents expressed that they felt secure and safe in their daily lives and that they have not personally had any run-ins with crime. They even felt comfortable walking in the city after dark. However, 70% of residents believed crime was a real problem in Asheville and would not go walking in the city after dark.

If You Need Legal Representation in Asheville, Reach Out Today

The legal team at Edwards Law, PLLC, represents criminal defendants in Asheville. We believe in the importance of providing strong legal representation in a city known for its higher-than-average crime rate. We can help you make sense of any criminal charges you may be facing or are about to face, and we can help build you a solid defense.

We know how the local courts work, and we have extensive knowledge in trial law. You can trust us to deliver sound legal counsel, a strong defensive strategy, and complete transparency. If you are being charged with a crime in the Asheville area, contact us to schedule a consultation as soon as you can. We can pursue every avenue to protect you, your rights, and your interests.