Charlottesville Absent from List of Safe Va. Cities

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March 19, 2014

Charlottesville is a city that prides itself on being a great place to live for all of its citizens, but a new list out Wednesday claims it's not among the safest localities in Virginia.

"There's over 600 cities, towns, counties within the state," Albemarle County police chief Steve Sellers said. "Doesn't surprise me at all."

Home security company SafeWise released a report of the 30 safest cities in Virginia. Absent from that list is any locality within Charlottesville or Albemarle County.

The study uses FBI crime data from 2012 to make its list. Then, they look at the likelihood of crmie happening to a pool of 1,000 people in each locality.

"Really, your probability as a citizen of being involved in a type of crime or being a victim of a crime," Sellers said.

Some larger localities, like Fairfax and Alexandria, are in the top 30. Sellers said the list doesn't mean Central Virginia isn't safe, it just means people in other areas -- even larger ones -- aren't likely to be victims of crime.

"I say, 'Is the most populous jurisdiction in the state with over a million people safer to live in or is this area safer?'" Sellers said. "And invariably, people assume that this area is safer and you're going to be less of a victim."

In order to get on the list, there are steps police and the community can take.

"More citizen participation in preventing crime is critical," Sellers said. "Police-citizen partnerships are critical. Community policing, implementing community policing is critical."

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