Considering visiting or moving to Charlotte, NC? One of the many things you probably want to know is this: is Charlotte, NC safe? Should you be concerned about crime? While Charlotte has a higher-than-average crime rate, this is attributed to just a handful of neighborhoods north of Uptown which account for a staggering 8% of violent crime despite being just two square miles. Most communities are very safe for families, singles, and seniors. Here’s everything you want to know about the Charlotte crime rate including the dangerous areas of Charlotte to avoid.
Understanding the Charlotte Crime Rate
One of the best ways to understand crime in Charlotte and compare it to where you live now is by comparing crime rates. Crime rates are based on the FBI Uniform Crime Statistics (2019) and they are reported as the per-capita amount of crime in the city. That is the number of crimes per 100,000 people. This makes it easy to compare the scale of crime regardless of the size of the city. Only eight index crimes are used to calculate the crime rate in Charlotte: four violent crimes and four property crimes that are well tracked by all police stations and considered very serious.
What is the Charlotte, NC crime rate?
- 4,665 total crimes per 100,000 people
- 739 violent crimes per 100,000 people
- 3,926 property crimes per 100,000 people
You have a 1 in 21 chance of being the victim of crime in Charlotte.
By comparison, the national average crime rate is:
- 2,580 total crimes/100k people
- 382 violent crimes/100k people
- 2,362 property crimes/100k people
Charlotte NC Crime Map
You can use this Charlotte, NC crime map from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department to see crime by location and date.
Property Crime in Charlotte, NC
There were 37,070 reported property crimes in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2019. That breaks down to:
- 28,304 larceny and theft offenses
- 5,426 burglaries
- 3,340 car thefts
- 151 arsons
You have a 1 in 25 chance of being the victim of property crime.
Violent Crime in Charlotte, NC
There were 6,982 violent crimes in Charlotte in 2019. That breaks down to:
- 4,587 aggravated assaults
- 1,975 robberies
- 317 rapes
- 103 homicides and nonnegligent manslaughter
You have a 1 in 135 chance of being the victim of violent crime in Charlotte. The Charlotte, NC murder rate is 11 homicides per 100,000 people. The national average is 5 murders per 100k people.
It’s important to note that 2019 has had more homicides in Charlotte since 1993.
Dangerous Areas of Charlotte
While the Charlotte crime rate is much higher than the national average, it’s helpful to remember that most crime, particularly violent crime, is confined to a handful of areas. In fact, some neighborhoods have a crime rate almost 500% higher than the Charlotte average!
Just four “hot spots” in Charlotte account for 8% of all violent crime in Charlotte despite comprising only two square miles. These four worst spots for violent crime are: LaSalle St & Beatties Ford Rd, Sugar Creek Rd & I-85, Central Ave & North Sharon Amity Rd, and Nations Ford Rd & Arrowood Rd.
The types of crimes in these problem areas vary. Sugar Creek Road is home to a cluster of one dozen motels that cater to transient people with a high rate of prostitution, robbery, and assault. The Arrowood Road area is home to a large Hispanic population who police say are targeted for armed robbery as they usually carry cash and language barriers mean crimes are rarely reported. In the Beatties Ford Road area, homelessness and drugs contribute to high crime.
You’ll find many safe places to live by avoiding these high-crime areas of Charlotte, NC.
- Pinecrest (pop. 250) has 479% more crime than Charlotte and a violent crime rate of 4,282/100,000 people!
- Lincoln Heights (pop. 2,500) has 406% more crime than Charlotte
- Tryon Hills (pop. 1500) has 352% more crime than Charlotte
- Grier Heights (pop. 3,000) has 329% more crime than Charlotte
- Smallwood (pop. 1,000) has 2,759 violent crimes per 100k people
- Plaza-Shamrock (pop. 3,000) has 266% more crime than Charlotte’s average
- Washington Heights (pop. 2,000) has 263% more crime than the Charlotte city average
- Enderly Park (pop. 3,500) has 2,672 violent crimes per 100,000 people
- Hidden Valley (pop. 13,000) has 235% more crime than the city average
- Oak Forest (pop. 6,000) has 2,343 violent crimes/100k people
- Thomasboro-Hoskins (pop. 6,000) has more than 3x the violent crime of the Charlotte average
- Montclaire South (pop. 12,000) has a violent crime rate 3x higher than Charlotte’s
In 2010, one area of Charlotte earned the dubious distinction of being one of the 25 most dangerous neighborhoods in the U.S. This area is the 10-mile stretch between Graham Street and N. Tryon Street between Atando Ave & Seaboard St. It includes the communities of Lockwood and Tryon Hills among others. While residents said the area had become safer than it was, residents still had a 1 in 9 chance of being the victim of violent crime. By comparison, Charlotte at the time had a city-wide risk of 1 in 63.
The Lincoln Heights and Oaklawn area is one of the bad areas of Charlotte to avoid. The area is known for prostitution, drug crimes, gang violence, shootings, car theft, and high rates of burglary and assault.
In 2019, Catherine Simmons Avenue in Charlotte was named the most murderous area in the city with three people fatally shot within a half-mile and a fourth shot around the corner. Between 2015 and 2019, police responded to 175 gun crimes near the corner of the intersection of Catherine Simmons and Custer Street. That’s more than anywhere else in the city. The street is less than a mile long and, within 5 years, was the site of 60 gun crimes including 5 murders, 6 armed robberies, and 30 aggravated assaults.
Between 2013 and 2018, the violent crime rate in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood which includes Catherine Simmons increased 50%. By 2018, the community had a violent crime rate almost 7x higher than the county.
Safest Neighborhoods in Charlotte, NC
Ready to explore safe neighborhoods in Charlotte to call home? The following communities offer safety plus great amenities you’ll love.
- Uptown, or Downtown Charlotte, is home to amazing cultural attractions and restaurants. It’s broken into 4 wards. The Fourth Ward is one of the best places to live in Charlotte with Victorian homes on quiet streets walking distance to dining and events.
- Ballantyne is an upscale neighborhood along the border with South Carolina. It’s home to several golf courses plus the large Ballantyne Corporate Park for employment opportunities. Families and young professionals appreciate Ballantyne which has a crime rate 8% lower than the national average.
- Chantilly is one of the safest Charlotte neighborhoods with a crime rate 42% below the national average! It’s right outside Uptown and perfect for young professionals, singles, and young families with smaller bungalows and apartments.
- Mountainbrook is an idyllic community of post-WWII single-family homes with large, wooded lots. Retirees and families appreciate this safe Charlotte neighborhood for its great amenities to stay active like the Mountainbrook Swim & Racquet Club. It’s also home to some of the best public schools in Charlotte!
- Providence Crossing is one of the safest and most upscale neighborhoods in Charlotte. This community of single-family homes range from 1,800 to 4,200 square feet. It’s close to two shopping centers including Promenade on Providence with outdoor movie nights plus two new mixed-use urban developments.
Charlotte, NC Safety Tips – How to Avoid Crime in Charlotte
- Always be aware of your surroundings, especially at night. Park your car somewhere secure and lock your doors to reduce the risk of theft.
- Invest in exterior lighting, window locks, and an alarm system to reduce your risk of burglary.
- The area around Catherine Simmons Avenue, including Tryon, Lincoln Heights, and Oaklawn, should be avoided, particularly at night. This is the biggest hot spot for violent crime in Charlotte.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Information & Stats
- Police chief: Johnny Jennings
- Officers: 1,823 sworn officers (472 civilian staff)
- Non-emergency phone number: (704) 336-7600
- Address: 601 E. Trade Street Charlotte, NC 28202
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) serves all of Mecklenburg County, an area of 438 square miles. The department was formed in 1993 when the Mecklenburg County Rural Police Department merged with the Charlotte City Police Department. Uniquely, the CMPD is a “county police” department with jurisdiction over the whole county.
The department has several divisions and units. The Field Services Group is the patrol division with four service areas, each with 3 or 4 patrol divisions and two response areas. The department units include:
- Aviation Unit
- SWAT team
- Bike Patrol
- Bomb Squad
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport Division
- Citizens on Patrol, a volunteer program that assists with crowd control, enforcing handicapped and fire lane violations, and patrolling neighborhoods, schools, and parks
Charlotte, NC Crime Rate FAQ
Is Charlotte, NC safe?
Charlotte has a high crime rate compared to the national average. However, like any major city, most areas are very safe with some areas of the city you should avoid. Violent crime is concentrated in just a handful of areas that are easy to avoid.
What are the bad areas of Charlotte, NC?
The bad areas of Charlotte are Lincoln Heights, Tryon Hills, and Oaklawn north of Uptown. This small area accounts for 8% of all violent crime in Charlotte. Common issues include gang violence, prostitution, gun violence, aggravated assault, drug offenses, and armed robbery.
What is the crime rate in Charlotte, NC?
The Charlotte crime rate is 4,665 crimes per 100,000 people. There are 739 violent crimes/100k people and 3,926 property crimes/100k people.
Don’t let the seemingly high crime rate in Charlotte, NC scare you. Most crime is concentrated in a few areas you can easily avoid. Most Charlotte neighborhoods are safe with many neighborhoods that have crime rates far below the national average!
Are you ready to see what life has to offer you in Charlotte, North Carolina? When you’ve chosen the community you want to call home, give the friendly movers at Make a Move a call to request a free Charlotte, NC moving quote!