Public Safety
Violent Crime Rate


Violent Crime Rate

What does this measure?

The number of reported violent crimes per 1,000 residents. Murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault are included in violent crimes.

Why is this important?

Crime affects quality of life for those who directly experience and witness it, sometimes resulting in long-lasting trauma. Indirectly, it also affects the lives of others in the community, as well housing stability and a community's perceived attractiveness as a place to live, work and do business.

How is our county performing?

In 2017, there were 2.6 violent crimes reported per 1,000 residents in Berks County, lower than Pennsylvania's rate. The county rate fluctuated year to year, ending 25% below the 2005 rate. By comparison, the state's violent crime rate dropped steadily during 2005 to 2017 - a 23% decline, while the US fell 19% in the same period. In contrast, Reading City had 7.1 violent crimes reported per 1,000 residents, a 36% decline from 2005.

Violent crime rates in 2017 were higher in Berks than in neighboring counties. Chester's rate was less than half that of Berks, at 1.2, followed by Montgomery, 1.4, Lebanon at 1.8, Lancaster at 2.1 and Lehigh and Schuylkill both at 2.0. Similar to Berks, Lancaster and Schuylkill had year-to-year fluctuations in their rates though both had higher rates in 2017 than in 2005. The largest declines occurred in Lehigh (44%), Montgomery (39%), and Lebanon (41%).

Notes about the data

Crime reports are never complete because not all crimes are reported, and some crimes in particular, such as rape and assault, are believed to be underreported. Data are from the FBI's Uniform Crime Report. It should be noted that this indicator represents crime penetration. Because areas vary in population, counts of criminal incidents do not accurately measure impact. By presenting crimes per 1,000 residents, it is possible to compare rural and urban areas of the state.

There may be additional research available on this topic. Click on Reports and Resources to learn more.

Violent Crime Rate
2005200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017
Pennsylvania4.04.24.04.03.83.63.63.63.33.13.13.23.1
Berks County3.53.63.13.33.23.43.13.32.93.33.12.72.6
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city11.011.68.69.98.78.78.69.48.48.67.96.87.1
Berks County Peers
Chester County1.71.81.91.81.71.61.61.61.31.31.31.41.2
Lancaster County1.62.01.91.81.61.81.81.71.71.61.81.82.1
Lebanon County3.12.72.42.31.61.81.72.21.81.51.81.51.8
Lehigh County3.54.13.12.92.82.62.42.42.32.11.81.92.0
Montgomery County2.22.22.01.92.12.01.81.71.71.51.41.21.4
Schuylkill County1.91.62.22.02.01.82.22.01.81.62.24.72.0

Source: Pennsylvania Uniform Crime Reporting System




Number of Violent Crimes
2005200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017
Pennsylvania50,31952,43250,73550,44448,02346,31045,96745,39342,75440,25040,18640,35240,019
Berks County1,3701,4631,2531,3511,3261,3821,2701,3811,2211,3561,2821,1291,078
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city9361,001752868765766758828744760700597624
Berks County Peers
Chester County780850937897837793809827678682670709642
Lancaster County7899789789308429469388789068759679461,126
Lebanon County385352308306218243224292241203241203250
Lehigh County1,1661,3741,0551,011969922854851803757656698719
Montgomery County1,7511,7451,5721,5261,6621,5651,4331,3991,3721,2111,1471,0121,139
Schuylkill County277240320295295274330300262229321680280

Source: Pennsylvania Uniform Crime Reporting System




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