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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

What are the safest cities in Tennessee?

Three cities in west Tennessee are ranked in the top 10; Memphis ranked last out of 123 cities listed.
Credit: fergregory - stock.adobe.com

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — What are the safest cities in Tennessee?

SafeWise released its seventh annual Safest Cities report. According to their list, three cities in west Tennessee are in the top 10. Oakland (Fayette County) came in at number 4, Whiteville (Hardeman County) is ranked number 5, and Atoka (Tipton County) is number 10.

According to SafeWise, here are the top 10 safest cities in Tennessee for 2021:

1. Church Hill
2. Signal Mountain
3. Mount Carmel
4. Oakland
5. Whiteville
6. Camden
7. Pleasant View
8. Brentwood
9. Loudon
10. Atoka

Other rankings for select cities in west Tennessee include:

15) Germantown
34) Collierville
40) Bartlett
112) Millington
121) Covington
123) Memphis

Here’s what SafeWise said about crime rates.

"Tennessee’s violent crime rate of 6.0 incidents per 1,000 is 62% higher than the national rate of 3.7, but the safest cities only reported 1.0 incident per 1,000 people.

Regionally, Tennessee has the highest violent crime rate in the East South Central region, and the second-highest property crime rate behind Alabama. Tennessee is also the most populous state in the region.

Despite higher-than-average crime rates, both property and violent crime rates fell for the third consecutive year. Property crime fell by 6% from 28.3 incidents per 1,000 to 26.5, and violent crime fell by 3%.

Along with lower crime rates, Tennessee survey participants also reported fewer personal experiences with both violent and property crime year over year. Experience with gun violence increased year over year, from 10% in 2019 to 15% 2020—a 50% rise.

Overall concern about safety dropped 15% this year but still remains higher than average. Tennessee is one of the only states that worries more about violent crime than any other crime issue. Despite higher overall concern and higher-than-average crime rates, more than half of Tennesseeans say The Volunteer State is a safe place to live.

Violent crime in Tennessee: Fear vs. reality

Both the violent crime rate and reported experience with violent crime fell year over year, but Tennesseans worry more about violent crime than any other crime or safety issue. Tennessee survey respondents are 15% more concerned than the average American when it comes to worries about a violent crime actually happening to them.

  •     Tennessee’s violent crime rate is falling faster than the East South Central region—dropping 9% since 2019 versus a regional drop of 4%.
  •     Violent crime in Tennessee happens 62% more often than the national average with a crime rate of 6.0 incidents per 1,000, versus 3.7 nationwide.
  •     Aggravated assault is the most common violent crime in Tennessee, accounting for 77% of all reported violent crimes—that’s nearly 10 points higher than the national ratio of assaults.
  •     Tennessee reported fewer rapes than the rest of the country, with sexual assaults accounting for 7% of all violent crime, compared to 8% nationwide.
  •     45% of Tennesseans use some form of personal protection like a stun gun or pepper spray (US 34%).
  •     37% say their personal safety has been affected by the pandemic (US 44%).

Attitudes about police and gun violence in Tennessee

  •     55% of Tennessee survey respondents named gun violence their top safety concern (US 53%).
  •     39% are most worried about a gun violence incident happening to them (US 38%).
  •     Mass shooting incidents climbed to 19 this year versus 7 in all of 2019—that’s a 171% jump year over year.
  •     Fewer Tennessee residents worry about police violence daily (38% versus 40% nationally).
  •     67% have confidence in how law enforcement approaches crime prevention—20% higher than the national average of 56%.

"We use FBI crime statistics data to rank cities in each state and across the country. To add extra insight and depth to that assessment, we include demographic information and the results of our proprietary State of Safety research study.

The 'safest' cities rankings are intended to highlight cities with low crime rates and ignite conversation and action around how to make all cities and communities safer.

For the purposes of city ranking reports, the terms “dangerous” and “safest” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.'