North Carolina Crime Rate By City 2024 – Latest Statistics

Doug Edwards

Understanding the amount of crime in a particular region or neighborhood can be important, especially for people who are moving to a new area or raising children. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find accurate and easy-to-digest information about the North Carolina crime rate by city or county.

Understanding North Carolina Crime Data

Some people assume that with today’s advanced police technology, up-to-the-minute crime reporting should only be a click away. In reality, gathering, validating, and publishing accurate data is serious work. This is why the most recent complete data for complex issues like crime rates is often a year or more old by the time it’s made publicly available. Therefore, the most up-to-date statistics in 2024 are largely based on data from 2022 and other previous years.

It’s also important to understand that crime rates are inherently skewed by certain factors. For one, many crimes go unreported–especially crimes that are particularly sensitive or potentially embarrassing to the victim. Other crimes are reported but never resolved.

Crime rates broken down on an area-by-area basis are not only influenced by the amount of crime in that area but also by how that area is policed, how the data is collected, and the relationship people in that area have with the law enforcement infrastructure. Keep this in mind when doing your own research on the topic.

North Carolina Crime Statistics – Offenses by County and City

When looking for recent data on crime rates in North Carolina, some of the most reliable available statistics come from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. Their most recent crime data (2022) is conveniently organized by county and agency.

This reporting largely focuses on serious, violent crimes and includes instances of murder, aggravated assault, robbery, larceny, burglary, motor vehicle theft, and rape within North Carolina. According to the NCSBI’s 2022 numbers, the North Carolina counties most impacted by these types of crimes are:

  1. Mecklenburg County, NC – 43,094 total offenses – Mecklenburg County has some of the highest crime rates in North Carolina, mainly thanks to the populous Charlotte metro area. Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s city police alone racked up over 39,000 qualifying incidents in 2022–more than dozens of other counties combined–with around 1,000 more each for the busy local forces in Pineville, Huntersville, and Matthews.
  2. Wake County, NC – 23,069 total offenses – There are around 20 separate law enforcement agencies working within Wake County, ranging from city police departments to the capitol police force to the special enforcement units for various college campuses and public parks. The most active among them are the Raleigh police, who logged over 13,500 incidents in 2022.
  3. Guilford County, NC – 19,170 total offenses – Guilford County is one of the more crime-affected places in the entire state of North Carolina. Guilford County had three separate agencies report over 1,000 qualifying events each in 2022, including Greensboro PD (13,810), the High Point police (3,721), and the Guilford County Sheriff (1,328).
  4. Forsyth County, NC – 15,700 total offenses – The Winston-Salem city police account for the majority of reported crimes (over 12,500 of them). Similar to trends in other North Carolina counties, over half of the 2022 numbers in Forsyth County stem from larceny incidents.
  5. Cumberland County, NC – 12,545 total offenses – The Fayetteville Police are the busiest law enforcement agency in Cumberland County, handling over 9,300 (or almost 75%) of these offenses.
  6. Durham County, NC – 12,455 total offenses – In 2022, Durham County trailed nearby Cumberland County by fewer than 100 qualifying offenses, or a difference of less than a percent. Almost all of these 12,000+ incidents were logged by Durham, NC’s city police. The Durham County Sheriff came in a distant second place with only about 500 incidents.
  7. Buncombe County, NC 7,736 total offenses – The Asheville Police handled the vast majority (over 5,700) of incidents in Buncombe County, including 12 of 14 murders in 2022. (The other two come from the Buncombe County Sheriff.) On the other end of the spectrum, the NC Arboretum Campus PD handled only three total qualifying offenses, all of them property crimes.
  8. Robeson County, NC – 6,729 total offenses – Robeson County is unique among the counties on this list because the largest single logger of offenses was the Robeson County Sheriff, with 3,358, rather than a municipal police department organized on a city level. The busiest Robeson County force of that sort would be Lumberton PD, with 2,536 incidents.

Safest Cities in North Carolina

According to the data aggregator Safewise, which takes into account various types of crime reports and community attributes, the safest cities in North Carolina for 2024 include Pinehurst, Whispering Pines, Davidson, Waxhaw, and Elon.

FAQs

Q: What City has the Highest Crime Rate in NC?

A: The city with the highest crime rate in NC, according to the most recent complete data, is Lumberton. While there are several different ways to calculate crime rates, Lumberton’s rate of 16.54 violent crimes and 148.22 property crimes for every 1,000 residents puts it on the high end of crime in North Carolina.

Q: What City Has the Lowest Crime Rate in NC?

A: The city with the lowest crime rate in NC can be calculated in a few different ways, depending on what data set you use and what types of crimes are being included in the calculation. Some analysts consider Pinehurst to be the safest city in North Carolina.

Q: Is Charlotte or Asheville Safer?

A: Asheville is “safer” than Charlotte based on the total number of serious crimes handled by each city’s police force, but it’s important to understand that crime rates and safety can be analyzed in many different ways, and safety conditions can sometimes change drastically on a neighborhood-to-neighborhood basis even within the same city.

Q: What Is the Most Violent County in North Carolina?

A: Mecklenburg is the most violent county in North Carolina, as defined by the total number of violent offenses. In 2022 (the most recent year with complete data available), Mecklenburg County saw over 100 murders and 5,000 aggravated assaults. This county is home to the largest city in North Carolina, Charlotte, which contributes to the high number of crimes.

Edwards Law, PLLC – Criminal Defense Solutions for North Carolina

If you’re in need of high-quality criminal defense representation in North Carolina, Edwards Law, PLLC, of Asheville can help. Please contact us at your earliest convenience to get started with a consultation.