There is no place that is truly crime free, but the reality is that some places are safer than others. Kentucky is no exception. Based on FBI statistics, several lists have been created that show where crime is most prevalent.
Overall, Kentucky is a pretty safe place, compared to the national average. Neighborhood Scout shows that Kentucky’s overall crime rate is an average of 23.96 crimes per 1,000 residents; violent crime affects 2.19 of every thousand residents, compared to a national rate of 3.8; property crimes average in at 21.78 per thousand residents, while the national average is 26; property crimes average 1.76 per thousand, while the national average is 2.20; and, finally, Kentuckians suffer roughly 29 crimes per square mile, compared to a national average of 32.85. Visit https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ky/crime/ for the full statistics.
This, of course, doesn’t mean Kentucky doesn’t have its share of crime. Both the websites RoadSnacks.org and Onlyinyourstate.com have compiled lists based on FBI statistics to show the most dangerous cities in Kentucky. Their rankings differ a bit based on criteria and conclusions, weighing some crimes more than others. RoadSnacks uses three years of compiled data and is more straightforward in the rankings, using FBI statistics to differentiate between property and violent crime; defining violent crime as rapes, murders, robberies and aggravated assaults; and weighing statistics for later years more heavily than earlier ones. OnlyinYourState uses robbery, rape, arson, murder, property crime, larceny, all violent crime and auto theft and appears to weigh total crime more heavily than percentages.
Nonetheless, several of the rankings overlap, and a few that stand out in the rankings include:
Newport: Located in the northern part of the state, across the river from Cincinnati, and with roughly 15,000 people, Newport has the highest crime rate in the state with 87.59 crimes per 1,000 residents. RoadSnacks points out that property crime has decreased by 12 percent in the last few years, but violent crime has increased 17 percent.
Versailles: Located a scant 16 miles west of Lexington, the small town of Versailles hosts only 8,881 residents, but hosts 83 crimes per 1,000 citizens. While not known for violent crime, RoadSnacks ranks them second worst in the state for property crimes.
Somerset: Like Versailles, Somerset, located in the south-central part of the state, is not especially violent but has its own share of crime, with 58 crimes per 1,000 residents. Bowling Green and Frankfort aren’t far behind, with 54 crimes per 1,000 residents for the former and 55.5 crimes per 1,000 residents for the latter.
Lexington: For its size as the second largest city in Kentucky with around 310,000 residents, Lexington, at least according to statistics, is relatively safe, with 47.8 crimes per 1,000 residents, and a total of 946 violent crimes.
Louisville: As for the largest city in Kentucky, OnlyinYourState ranks them No. 1 for crime, which is a bit misleading. Louisville does have more crime total, but with 671,000 people it more than doubles the population of Lexington, the second largest city. RoadSnacks rates Louisville as well, but lists them at No. 8, and notes a 12 percent drop in violent crime and an 11 percent drop in property crime between 2011 and 2013. Still, with 49 crimes per 1,000 residents and a total of 3,644 violent crimes, in terms of total numbers of overall crime (not based on percentage of crimes to residents), Louisville does lead the state.
- Bowling Green