Columbus is calling your name! Columbus grew by 177,600 residents between 2000 and 2020, making it Ohio’s fastest growing city. Many people are moving to Columbus for its low cost of living, prosperous job opportunities, and beautiful homes.
Yet some people are hesitant to buy a house in Columbus. They’ve heard about the Ohio crime rate or read the news about a Columbus Ohio shooting. Is Columbus Ohio safe? The crime rate in Columbus is more complicated than you think. Here’s what you must know about the Columbus Ohio crime rate.
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Understand the Columbus Ohio Crime Rate – How Crime Rates Are Calculated
The Columbus crime rate may seem straightforward, but there are a few things you have to consider when you’re looking at Columbus crime statistics. Columbus OH crime figures do not include all offenses; roughly 80% of sexual assaults go unreported in the United States. Even when crimes are reported to local police departments, the departments may not give all information to the FBI or other authorities.
Changes in the crime rate in Columbus can be very misleading. While the overall Columbus OH crime rate may be rising, one neighborhood may contain the majority of the offenses. The rates may also be low compared to the crime rates from 10 or 20 years ago.
You should also consider the nature of many crimes. 80% of sexual assaults are committed by perpetrators known to the victim. You are not likely to fall victim to random violence, especially if you take basic precautions to protect yourself and lower the Columbus Ohio crime rate.
Columbus Ohio crime statistics can be useful, but you should not use them as the only tool to answer the question, “How safe is Columbus Ohio?” You should talk to locals and see what parts of Columbus they recommend living in. You should also follow the news for the latest developments on Columbus crime.
What Is the Crime Rate in Columbus Ohio?
Here are the FBI crime rates for Columbus in 2020. All crimes in this article are per 100,000 people:
- Total crime rate: 3,686 offenses (70.7% higher than the overall crime rate in Ohio, 57.1% higher than America’s crime rate)
- Columbus violent crime rate: 556 crimes (80.1% higher than Ohio’s, 43.4% higher than America’s)
- Property crime rate: 3,130 offenses (69.2% higher than the state, 59.8% higher than the country)
You have a 1 in 27 chance of being a crime victim while living in Columbus. You have a 1 in 180 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime, and you have a 1 in 32 chance of becoming a victim of property crime.
Columbus Ohio Crime Map and Columbus Police Reports
Columbus Ohio police reports can offer better insight than FBI statistics. The Columbus OH police department does not have an official Columbus crime map, but the police department recommends using this community crime map from LexisNexis. You can use their website to retrieve police reports for Columbus Ohio.
The crime map in Columbus Ohio reveals where hotspots and safe areas of Columbus are. Many crimes occur near the city center, but areas like Amercrest, Fifth by Northwest, and Ohio State University report few crimes. Some blocks in these communities report no crimes at all. The majority of crimes are motor vehicle thefts or non-violent robberies.
Violent Crime in Columbus
Violent crime in Columbus is significantly higher than the national average. The Columbus Ohio murder rate in 2020 was 19; this is 171.4% higher than the crime rate in Ohio and 190.2% higher than America’s rate.
However, the violent crime rate in Columbus dropped by 28% in the first half of 2022 compared to the first half of 2021. Murders in Columbus Ohio dropped by 38%, while robberies dropped by 39%. Operation Unity is an initiative run by the Columbus police department in Ohio to remove violent offenders and weapons from Columbus streets. The most recent iteration of Operation Unity resulted in 39 arrests and 11 recovered illegal firearms.
Property Crime in Columbus
Property crime in Columbus is also higher than the state or national average. The most common property crime is motor vehicle thefts; roughly 8,000 successful and attempted vehicle thefts took place in Columbus in 2022. However, two-thirds of these cars were Kia and Hyundai models that lacked essential safety features. The City of Columbus is currently suing Kia and Hyundai to get new features installed. If you have another type of car, you are far less likely to experience a theft.
Worst Neighborhoods in Columbus Ohio
A few places have a reputation as being the worst neighborhoods in Columbus. Here are bad neighborhoods in Columbus Ohio residents say you should avoid.
- Total crime rate: 5,898 (54% higher than Columbus’ average, 151% higher than America’s average)
- Violent crime rate: 889 (51% higher than Columbus, 129% higher than America)
- Property crime rate: 5,009 (55% higher than Columbus, 156% higher than America)
Franklinton has an infamous reputation for Columbus crime. Several fatal Columbus shootings have occurred in the neighborhood since January 2023. In March 2023, the city boarded up a house and a nightclub after repeated reports of violent Franklinton Columbus crime in both locations. While some residents say that the Franklinton Ohio crime rate is getting better, most advise people not to walk through Franklinton at night.
Olentangy River Road
- Total crime rate: 5,839 (53% higher than Columbus’ average, 149% higher than America’s average)
- Violent crime rate: 880 (50% higher than Columbus, 127% higher than America)
- Property crime rate: 4,959 (54% higher than Columbus, 153% higher than America)
Olentangy River Road is not a neighborhood but a road that runs through the center of Columbus. The road is a site of random acts of violence; a fatal Columbus shooting took place in January 2023 in an apartment complex along Olentangy River Road. The road is also unsafe for drivers and motorcyclists, with a fatal motorcycle accident occurring in June 2023. Many residents complain about driving on the road and advise that you take alternative routes whenever you go through the city.
- Total crime rate (statistics for South Linden Columbus Ohio crime): 5,753 (51% higher than Columbus’ average, 145% higher than America’s average)
- Violent Lindon Ohio crime rate: 867 (47% higher than Columbus, 124% higher than America)
- Property crime rate: 4,886 (51% higher than Columbus, 150% higher than America)
Some people divide Linden into two sections, North Linden and South Linden. Neither section is safe. The Columbus Dispatch named Linden Columbus’ deadliest neighborhood in 2019. 24 Columbus Ohio homicides occurred in Linden in 2019 alone. Police have shut down multiple drug houses in Linden thus far in 2023, and several fatal and random shootings have also occurred this year. Most residents advise against moving to Linden, going to the neighborhood at night, and parking on the street.
- Total crime rate: 5,479 (44% higher than the Columbus OH crime rate, 134% higher than America’s average)
- Violent crime rate: 826 (40% higher than Columbus, 113% higher than America)
- Property crime rate: 4,653 (44% higher than Columbus, 138% higher than America)
Weinland Park has been a hub for gang violence in Columbus for decades. Several Columbus murders occurred in the neighborhood in 2022. Many residents report having their cars or homes broken into. The Columbus police are making efforts to reduce crime in Weinland Park, and crime rates have dropped in recent years. But rates are still high, and residents recommend living elsewhere.
- Total crime rate: 5,400 (41% higher than Columbus’ average, 130% higher than America’s average)
- Violent crime rate: 814 (38% higher than Columbus, 110% higher than America)
- Property crime rate: 4,586 (42% higher than Columbus, 134% higher than America)
Milo Grogan is known for being a site of drug activity and gang violence. The Milo Grogan Bloods are an active gang responsible for shootings and violence over the last 15 years. Fatal shootings and car accidents occurred in the neighborhood throughout 2022 and 2023, despite efforts by the police to reduce violent crime. Residents do not advise people to move to Milo-Grogan, especially families with young children or people who must walk dogs regularly.
Safest Neighborhoods in Columbus Ohio
You can find safe, comfortable, and nice places to live in Columbus Ohio. Here are just a few safe neighborhoods in Columbus Ohio.
Victorian Village regularly appears on lists of the best Columbus neighborhoods. It is just north of Downtown Columbus and Interstate 670, making it a great place for commuters to live. The focal point of the neighborhood is Goodale Park Columbus, the oldest park in the city. The park covers more than 32 acres and contains a tennis court, walking trail, and gardens.
Italian Village Columbus Ohio is a hub for Columbus’ Italian-American community. You can find numerous Italian restaurants and enjoy festivals, parades, and live music events throughout the year that celebrate Italian culture. You can move into luxurious and beautiful historic homes, though some people may find the real estate expensive.
Brewery District is a hub for the German-American community. The community is undergoing revitalization, with nightclubs and music venues opening up throughout the neighborhood. But you can find plenty of quiet places to live and hang out, including Scioto Audubon Metro Park.
Columbus Safety Tips – How to Avoid Crime in Columbus
- The most common crime in Columbus now is car break-ins. Do not park your car on the street, even if few people are around. Find a gated parking lot or garage, or use public transportation to get around. Do not leave valuables in your vehicle under any circumstances.
- High crime areas of Columbus Ohio tend to be east of Interstate 71. Avoid routes that take you east of the highway. If you must drive through Linden and Milo-Grogan, stick to popular streets like Cleveland Avenue. Never drive through these areas at night.
- According to the community crime map, crimes tend to occur in Columbus between 8:00 p.m. on Saturdays and 2:00 a.m. on Sundays. Avoid going out during these times. If you’re home alone, leave a light or television on in your house to make thieves believe other people are present.
Columbus Ohio Police Department
The Columbus Division of Police was founded in 1816. Police marshals patrolled the city streets without much oversight or organization until 1873, when the city organized a metropolitan police bureau. As the city expanded, the police expanded, opening up offices throughout the 1900s. The current Chief of Police is Elaine Bryant, a 23-year veteran of the police force.
The Columbus police department employs 1,897 police officers and 380 civilians, at a rate of roughly two officers per 1,000 people. The department includes an Alternative Crisis Response unit that helps people with substance abuse and mental health issues. You can submit an application to receive Columbus Ohio police reports.
- Official page
- Headquarters address: 120 Marconi Boulevard, Columbus, OH 43215
- Non-emergency number: 614-645-4545
Columbus Crime Rate FAQ
Is Columbus Ohio safe?
While some areas of Columbus have high crime rates, Columbus Ohio contains many safe and nice places to live. You can stay away from areas to avoid in Columbus Ohio easily.
Is Downtown Columbus Ohio safe?
Yes, Downtown Columbus is a very safe place. The neighborhood has an overall crime rate that is 37% lower than the national average.
What is the crime rate in Columbus Ohio?
The overall crime rate is 3,686 offenses per 100,000 people. Columbus crime rates have been trending down, with a 38% decline in the Columbus Ohio homicide rate.
Is Columbus Ohio safe? Columbus Ohio has a reputation for high crime rates. The reality is that violent crime in Columbus is trending down, and some neighborhoods report far higher crime rates than other neighborhoods. You can move to safe and quaint communities like Victorian Village and Italian Village.
But before you start living in Columbus, you must figure out how to move to the city. Bell Moving is the most trusted Columbus moving company, with a 98% customer satisfaction rate. Get a free moving quote by calling 613-503-0035.