Earlier this year a number of articles were published indicating that Highland is the safest city in Utah. Lone Peak Police serves both Highland and Alpine so in truth Highland and Alpine are the two safest cities in Utah. The source data for these articles was the 2016 FBI National Crime Report. I wanted to see how Highland fared on a national level and so I downloaded the FBI data and looked at it from several points of view: Violent Crime, Property Crime, Combined Crime, and Cost of Crime.
In order to compare cities based a combined crime rate (violent + property) I needed to find a way to equalize the two types of crime; how many property crimes equals one violent crime. I ended up using the national ratio between violent and property crimes (about 1 to 6) for one rating method (Combined Crime). Another way to compare cities in terms of all crimes is to use the cost to society (both tangible and intangible) of crime. I found a number of sources for evaluating the cost of crime. I used a report published in 2010 entitled “The Cost of Crime to Society: New Crime-Specific Estimates for Policy and Program Evaluation” for this evaluation.
Below are the charts and table I produced based on four criteria mentioned above. In all but one Highland and Alpine end up being the safest cities in Utah. In the other we are the 2nd safest. For all comparisons (both state and national) I looked only at cities with a population of 10,000 or more.
One of the questions that this data raised for me was why is our crime rate so low compared to our neighbors and other comparable cities in the state. Another was looking the cost comparisons why would we want to be more like other cities whose cost of crime are several hundred dollars more per person. The Utah average annual cost of crime is $767 per person whereas ours is $54. A $100 per person increase for us would equal about $2,000,000 per year in cost of crime.
- Highland Ranked as Safest City in Utah, 8 Utah County Cities in the top 20 – Herald Extra
- 8 Utah County Cities Named As Safest Cities In Utah, Highland Takes Top Spot – Utah Valley 360
- SafeWise: Highland/Lone Peak is safest city in the Beehive State – KUTV
- List of safest cities in Utah released; check if your hometown made it – Fox13
- The Safest Cities in Utah – 2018 – National Council For Home Safety & Security
- 100 Safest Cities in America – 2018, Safewise (Lone Peak – aka Highland/Alpine -- UT is listed as #85)
- The Safest Cities in Utah 2018, The National Council for Home Safety and Security
Cost of crime
- The Cost of Crime to Society: New Crime-Specific Estimates for Policy and Program Evaluation (see tables 1 & 5), Kathryn E. McCollister, Michael T. French, and Hai Fang, Jan 2010
- Costs of Crime: Experts Report Challenges Estimating Costs and Suggest Improvements to Better Inform Policy Decisions, US Government Accountability Office Report, Sept 2017