Planning on moving to Columbus or just visiting? You may be concerned about crime in Columbus. While the Columbus crime rate is higher than the national average, Columbus is a safe city overall with most crime concentrated in just a few areas. The majority of neighborhoods are safe and you can generally feel comfortable exploring downtown by night. Here’s everything you need to know about the Columbus crime rate from violent crime and dangerous neighborhoods in Columbus to the safest places to live.
Understanding the Columbus Crime Rate
Without context, crime rates don’t mean much. When you look at the Columbus crime rate, it’s expressed as a number of crimes (total, property, and violent) per capita, or per 100,000 residents. These crime rates are based on the FBI Uniform Crime Statistics (2019). Only eight index crimes are used to calculate crime rates. That means most criminal offenses like drug charges and disorderly conduct are excluded. Index crimes are used because they are the most researched, tracked nationally, and serious to indicate your risk of actually being the victim of crime.
What Is the Crime Rate in Columbus, OH?
To understand crime in Columbus, it helps to compare the city’s crime rate to where you currently live and the national average. The average U.S. crime rate is 2,580 total crimes per 100k people with 382 violent crimes and 2,362 property crimes per 100,000 people.
The crime rate in Columbus
- 3,811 total crimes per 100,000 people
- 3,308 property crimes per 100,000
- 503 violent crimes per 100,000 people
You have a 1 in 26 chance of being a victim of crime in Columbus, Ohio.
If you’re relocating to Columbus, a good way to assess your risk of crime is with a Columbus crime map. A lot of crime in the city is concentrated in a handful of communities while most neighborhoods are safe. You can use this Columbus crime map from the Columbus Police Department or this map of crime in Columbus from SpotCrime.
Violent Crime in Columbus
There were 4,561 violent crimes in Columbus in 2019. That makes the Columbus violent crime rate 503 violent crimes per 100k people. These crimes included:
- 1,810 robberies
- 1,799 aggravated assaults
- 882 rapes
- 81 murders and non-negligent manslaughter
The Columbus murder rate is 9 murders per 100,000 people. That’s higher than the national homicide rate of 5 homicides per 100k people. You have a 1 in 199 chance of being a victim of violent crime in Columbus.
Like most cities across the country, Columbus experienced a spike in crime during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Between June and August 2020, Columbus had 51 homicides, more than the number during the last two summers put together, with a 39% increase in murders during the first nine months of the year over 2019.
Columbus also experienced a 72% increase in felonious assault, including non-fatal shootings, during the same time period. There was an 85% increase in the number of shots fired into homes: 486 between January and September 2020.
Property Crime in Columbus
There were 29,974 property crimes in Columbus in 2019. That makes the Columbus property crime rate 3,308 property crimes per 100k people. These crimes included:
- 20,606 larceny and theft
- 5,809 burglaries
- 3,559 car thefts
- 0 arsons
You have a 1 in 30 chance of being the victim of property crime in Columbus.
Dangerous Areas of Columbus
Certain Columbus neighborhoods experience a disproportionate amount of crime. The following are some of the bad areas of Columbus with high crime rates.
Colonial Village apartments in the Eastmoor neighborhood has one of the highest rates of crime in the city. Police responded to the apartment complex 360 times during the three-month summer in 2020. There were 18 reported shots fired, 25 reports of someone with a gun, 61 domestic incidents, and 100 disturbance calls.
In general, shootings and violent crime were concentrated in the following neighborhoods with at least 35% more crime than average for Columbus.
- Franklinton with 60% more crime than the Columbus average and 805 violent crimes per 100k people
- Olentangy River Road with 58% more crime
- South Linden with 56% more crime than Columbus and 786 violent crimes per 100,000 people
- Weinland Park with 49% more crime
- Near Southside with 47% more crime
- North Central with 45% more crime
- Southwest with 40% more crime
- University with 40% more crime and 36,000 residents
- Greater Hilltop, one of the largest Columbus neighborhoods with 65,000 residents
- Far South
- South Side
Safest Neighborhoods in Columbus
Looking for the safest places to live in Columbus, OH? Don’t be fooled by the Columbus crime rate which seems high at first glance. Most neighborhoods in Columbus have low crime. Here are some of the safest Columbus neighborhoods to consider, all of which have a crime rate about 60% below average for Columbus. That means about 1,525 total crimes per 100k compared to the city average of 3,811 crimes/100k.
- Upper Arlington (pop: 43,500)
- Clintonville (pop: 30,500)
- Worthington (pop: 14,000)
- Bexley (pop: 13,500)
- Downtown (pop: 9,000)
- Southside (pop: 5,500)
- Victorian Village (pop: 4,000)
- Italian Village (pop: 3,000)
- Brewery (pop: 2,000)
- Rocky-Fork Blacklick Accord (pop: 9,000)
Columbus Safety Tips – How to Avoid Crime in Columbus, OH
- The off-campus neighborhoods of Ohio State have a high rate of property crime with 218,000 911 calls over 5 years. Do not keep valuables in your vehicle and lock your car. Invest in window and door alarms and use safety tools like the Buckeye Alert system and free university-supported Rave Guardian app.
- Always be aware of your surroundings, especially when in downtown or nightlife areas at night.
- Invest in exterior lighting and a security system for your home to reduce the risk of burglary, one of the most common types of crime in Columbus when the victim does not know the perpetrator.
Columbus Police Department
- Chief of Police: Michael Woods (interim)
- Sworn officers: 1,885 officers (325 civilian employees)
- Non-emergency number: (614) 645-4545
- Address: Columbus Police, 120 Marconi Blvd, Columbus, OH 43215, United States
The Columbus Police Department was established in 1816 and today serves over 800,000 residents across 20 precincts. The CPD has a number of special units including a Mounted Unit, Canine Unit, Helicopter Unit, Community Response Team, and SWAT team.
There are six subdivisions within the CPD:
- Patrol Operations
- Criminal Investigations
- Support Services
- Community Services
- Special Operations
- Public Accountability
Columbus Crime Rate FAQ
What are the bad areas of Columbus, OH?
High-crime areas of Columbus include Ohio State (for property crime), Linden, South Side, Near South Side, Far South Side, Hilltop, and Southwest.
What is the crime rate in Columbus, OH?
The Columbus crime rate is 3,811 crimes per 100,000 people. This compares to the national average of 2,580 crimes per 100k people. The violent crime rate is 503 violent crimes per 100k people.
Is Columbus, OH safe?
Crime in Columbus isn’t far above the national average and it has a far lower rate of violent crime than other major Ohio cities like Cincinnati and Cleveland. Despite some high-crime areas, Columbus is a safe place to live.
The Columbus crime rate isn’t much higher than the national average despite being a major city. Most neighborhoods in Columbus are safe with family-friendly amenities, safe parks, and walkable streets. Ready to see everything that Columbus has to offer? Whether you’re moving to Columbus for job opportunities, an affordable cost of living, or to be near family, call Krupp Moving & Storage for a free Columbus moving quote to get started.