Safety / Violent Crime


Violent Crime


Crime is often an indication of the safety of a community and can influence a person’s perception of that community. Higher levels of violent crime are associated with higher levels of poverty and racial segregation.1, 2 An increase in the crime rate is detrimental to the health of a community and its residents.3

As defined by the Department of Justice, violent crime includes the offenses of murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.

The rate of violent crime is measured by the number of occurrences per 100,000 individuals in a given population per year.

The data dashboard below shows current and recent trend data for rates of violent crime in Forsyth County:

Dashboard: Violent Crime Rates

Violent Crime Rate Sees Overall Decrease

  • Violent crime in Forsyth County decreased between 2008 and 2010 and then increased again between 2013 and 2016. However, violent crime was lower in 2016 than in 2008.

Aggravated Assault Most Prevalent Type of Violent Crime

  • Aggravated assault is by far the most common violent crime in Forsyth County.

Instances of Types of Violent Crime Over Time

  • Aggravated assault rates decreased from 2008 to 2013, but have increased between 2013 and 2016. Aggravated assault rates in 2016 were similar to those in 2008.
  • Robbery rates, which are about a third of aggravated assault rates, decreased between 2008 and 2010 and have held steady after that.

Forsyth Crime Rate Similar to Majority of Peers

  • In 2016, the violent crime rate in Forsyth County was lower than that of Durham County but higher than that of Guilford County and North Carolina in general.

Aggravated Assault Most Prevalent Among Peers

  • Durham County and Forsyth County have similar rates of aggravated assault.
  • Forsyth County has a lower rate of murder compared to Durham County but similar rate of murder compared to Guilford County and North Carolina.
Notes on Data

The crime rate is defined as the number of offenses per 100,000 population. It is derived by first dividing a jurisdiction’s population by 100,000 and then dividing the number of offenses by the resulting figure.The population figures used to calculate standard error are based on the bridged race population estimates.

If you are interested in using data from this report for more rigorous purposes, please contact for a consultation on how best to proceed.

Literature References
  1. Block, R. (1979). Community, Environment, and Violent Crime. Criminology.17(1):46-57.
  2. Speer, P.W., Gorman, D.M., Labouvie, E.W., Ontkush, M.J. (1998). Violent Crime and Alcohol Availability: Relationships in an Urban Community. Journal of Public Health Policy. 19(3):303-318.
  3. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2015). Social Determinants of Health. Retrieved from http:/
Data Sources

NC State Bureau of Investigation, Crime Trends, Retrieved from:

United States Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Bridged-Race Population Estimates, United States