Narrowing down your options on where to move? If you’re considering Arizona, Tucson is probably on your list. Known for its beautiful Sonoran Desert and mountain views, Tucson is also an affordable place to live with a lower cost of living than the national average. It’s also one of the most affordable cities for single buyers!
Before settling on Tucson, you probably have an important question: Is Tucson a safe place to live? Here’s everything you want to know about crime in Tucson before making your decision.
Understanding the Tucson Crime Rate
A good place to begin understanding Tucson crime is to look at the city’s crime rate. City crime rates are based on FBI Uniform Crime Statistics (2019). When you see a crime rate, it refers to the amount of crime per capita, or per 100,000 residents. Eight index crimes are used to calculate crime rates. These crimes are chosen because they best reflect your risk of being the victim of crime, are well reported across jurisdictions, and they are considered serious.
What is the crime rate in Tucson, AZ?
- 3,960 total crimes per 100,000 residents
- 688 violent crimes per 100,000 residents
- 3,272 property crimes per 100,000 residents
This gives you a 1 in 25 chance of being the victim of crime in Tucson.
By comparison, the national average crime rate is 2,580 crimes per 100,000 residents with 382 violent crimes and 2,362 property crimes per capita.
How does crime in Tucson compare to other cities? Here’s a look.
- 26% less crime than Cincinnati
- 7% less crime in Tucson vs Miami
- 22% higher crime in Tucson vs Phoenix
- 6% less crime in Dallas than in Tucson
- 24% less crime in Los Angeles
- 55% less crime in San Diego vs Tucson
- 18% less crime in Las Vegas
- 51% less crime in Santa Fe vs Tucson
Tucson Crime Map
Tucson crime maps are a useful tool for better understanding the risk of crime in Tucson by neighborhood. As with most cities, you’ll find crime – particularly violent crime – is concentrated in a handful of areas.
The Tucson Police Department updates nightly the most recent six months of data for crime mapping through CrimeReports.com. You can see Tucson reported crimes here and filter results by division such as East, Midtown, and West.
The University of Arizona Police Department uses CityProtect.com to share crime data for the University area. You can see the UAPD crime map here.
Finally, SpotCrime.com offers a map of crime in Tucson that makes it easy to view crime by neighborhood.
Violent Crime in Tucson, AZ
There were 3,775 violent crimes reported in Tucson in 2019. They were broken down as follows:
- 2,103 aggravated assaults
- 1,105 robberies
- 527 rapes
- 40 murders or non-negligent homicides
You have a 1 in 145 chance of being the victim of violent crime in Tucson with a violent crime rate of 688 crimes per capita.
The Tucson homicide rate is 7 murders per 100,000 people. That’s above the national average of 5 homicides per capita.
Almost 36% of homicides in Tucson occurred in the South district followed by West (21.5%), Midtown (24.9%), and East (17.6%).
Property Crime in Tucson, AZ
There were 17,943 property crimes reported in Tucson in 2019. This included:
- 13,196 larceny or thefts
- 2,497 burglaries
- 2,250 car thefts
- 142 arsons
You have a 1 in 31 chance of being the victim of property crime in Tucson.
Theft is by far the most commonly reported crime in Tucson. Theft from vehicles and shoplifting are most common.
High Crime Areas of Tucson
A relatively small number of neighborhoods contribute to most violent crime in Tucson. The following are the most dangerous areas of Tucson based on how high their violent crime rate is above the city average.
- Blenman-Elm (pop. 3,500): 361% more crime than Tucson
- Dodge Flower (pop. 3,000): 227% more crime
- Doolen-Fruitvale (pop. 1500): 223% more crime
- Mountain View (pop. 1500): 213% more crime
- Palo Verde (pop. 4,500): 195% more crime
- Avondale (pop. 1500): 194% more crime
- Barrio Hollywood (pop. 3,000): 188% more crime
- Miracle Manor (pop. 3,000): 187% more crime
Unlike many cities, Tucson is unique in that it has small pockets of “bad” neighborhoods surrounded by “good” neighborhoods with low crime.
Safest Neighborhoods in Tucson
Looking for the safest places to live in Tucson? You’ll find plenty of safe Tucson neighborhoods for families, singles, and seniors.
Here are some low-crime Tucson neighborhoods to explore, all of which have 60% or less crime than the Tucson average.
- Tucson Park West (pop. 4,000) with several apartment buildings like the Place at Canyon Ridge
- Houghton (pop. 3,000) in the southeast is home to the popular Houghton Town Center mall
- Prince Tucson (pop. 2,000) along the Rillito River is home to the Tucson Racquet & Fitness Club and the Valley of the Moon art center
- Rita Ranch (pop 15,500) in the most southeastern part of Tucson is home to many military families from adjacent Davis-Monthan
- Armory Park (pop. 1,000) in central Tucson is a small but unique neighborhood near downtown with Craftsman bungalows and Barrio style homes. It’s walking distance to downtown and the U of A.
As a general rule, the safest neighborhoods of Tucson are close to the U of A and to the north and east edges of the city. The high crime areas of Tucson are usually to the southwest and south of downtown.
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Tucson Safety Tips – How to Avoid Crime in Tucson
- Be aware of your surroundings, especially at night. The high-crime areas of Tucson are often small neighborhoods surrounded by safe communities.
- Tucson has a high rate of burglaries. Invest in window locks, especially if you have swamp coolers, secure sliding doors, and use deadbolts. Security lighting and alarms are also a wise investment.
- Theft from vehicles is common. Make sure your vehicle is always locked, particularly when parking at an apartment complex, and do not leave valuables in plain sight.
- Students at the U of A can use ASUA Safe Ride and Parking & Transportation Services Night Cat for safe travel options between U of A buildings and parking lots at night.
Tucson Police Department
- Police chief: Chris Magnus
- Officers: 807 sworn officers (208 civilian staff)
- Non-emergency phone number: (520) 791-4444
- Address: 270 S Stone Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701
The Tucson Police Department uses community policing and it’s one of two of the 100 largest U.S. police departments that has implemented all eight of the “Can’t Wait” policies from the Use of Force Project by Campaign Zero. The department has five operational divisions:
- Operations Division South (ODS) has 167 officers and operates from the Santa Cruz Substation.
- Operations Division West (ODW) serves northwest Tucson including some of Tucson’s oldest neighborhoods.
- Operations Division Midtown (ODM) serves 44 square miles between Aviation Highway, First Avenue/Euclid, Craycroft Road, and River Road. This division includes the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.
- Operations Division East is Tucson’s largest division with 101 officers, down from 1,200 in 2006. This division covers 120 square miles, or half of the area within the city limits.
- Operations Division Downtown serves the downtown Tucson area with 50 patrol officers.
Tucson Crime Rate FAQ
Is Tucson dangerous?
Tucson is the third most dangerous city in Arizona after Phoenix and Glendale. The crime rate is 42% higher than the national average, but still far below many major cities. Crime is concentrated in a handful of neighborhoods with many safe places to live.
Is Tucson safer than Phoenix?
Tucson and Phoenix have very comparable crime rates but crime is a bit higher in Phoenix vs Tucson. Phoenix has 61% more crime than the national average and 84% more violent crime. Tucson has 59% more crime and 81% more violent crime than the national average.
What is the crime rate in Tucson, Arizona?
The Tucson crime rate is 3,960 crimes per capita compared to the national average of 2,580 crimes per capita. There are 688 violent crimes and 3,272 property crimes per 100,000 residents in Tucson.
Don’t be intimidated by the seemingly high crime rate in Tucson. Much of the violent crime is confined to small areas that are easily avoided. You’ll find tons of safe places to live in Tucson surrounded by amenities and close to the city center.
If you have settled on relocating to Tucson, Mentors Moving & Storage is here to help. Call our Tucson movers for a free moving quote; we’ll surpass your expectations with the hassle-free moving day you deserve.