Situated on Florida’s Gulf Coast, overlooking Tampa Bay is the tropical city of Tampa. It’s a thriving city, pulsing with energy, history, and a prospering economy. It’s an extremely popular place to live and retire due to its beautiful weather and relatively affordable cost of living. However, if you’re planning a move to a big city like Tampa, it’s important to look at the good and the bad. One of the most important things to research is the Tampa crime rate. You want to be sure that you’re relocating to a safe city.
Overall, crime in Tampa has gone down in recent years, which is great news! However, when moving to a new city, it’s important to take a closer look at crime statistics. Crime rates can fluctuate from one neighborhood to the next, especially in large, densely populated cities like Tampa. Our guide to crime in Tampa will help you make an informed decision when choosing an area in which to reside.
Understanding the Tampa Crime Rate
What should you look for when trying to understand crime in Tampa? Crime rates are calculated by dividing the amount of reported crimes by the total population of the area being researched, then multiplied by 100,000. Experts look at overall crime rates, property crime and violent crime. Violent crimes include incidents like homicide, murder, sexual assault, rape, robbery, harrassment, and abducation. Property crimes include burglary, theft, vandalism, and arson. Crime rates can be compared to other cities, states, and at a national level because of the crime rate per 100,000 people.
Here’s a snapshot of Tampa’s crime statistics:
- Tampa total crime: 8,174 total incidents
- Tampa total crime rate: 2,080 per 100,000 people
- Chance of becoming a victim of a crime in Tampa: 1 in 48
It’s also helpful to look at Tampa’s crime map – most city government or police departments provide interactive maps so residents and prospective residents can track criminal activities up close. Click here to take a look at Tampa Police Department’s interactive crime map. Information regarding sex offenders and predators are not included in this map. Click here for information about sex offenders in the Tampa area.
Violent Crime in Tampa
Tampa experienced a spike in violent crime during the first five months of 2020. Experts attribute the sharp increase to the shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic, specifically in densely populated neighborhoods where gang violence is an issue. However, the bigger picture shows that Tampa has seen a huge decline in violent crime in recent years. In fact, violent crime rates fell almost 22% between 2016 and 2019.
Overall violent crime in Tampa is 7% higher than the national average, with a rate of 407 per 100,000 people. The violent crime in the United States is currently at a rate of 366 per 100,000 people. The violent crime rate in Florida is 374 per 100,000 people, so Tampa is less safe than Florida’s average. Chances of being the victim of a violent crime in Tampa is 1 in 246. The murder rate in Tampa is 6.9 per 100,000 people.
Property Crime in Tampa
Property crime in Tampa is about 23% lower than the national average. Tampa has a property crime rate of 1,674 per 100,000 people. The United States property crime rate is 2,109 per 100,000 people. Theft is the most prevalent property crime in Tampa, perhaps due to the large amount of tourists the city hosts each year. Chances of being a property crime victim in Tampa is 1 in 60.
Property crime rates in Tampa are trending down since 2016. Though there was a recent increase in violent crimes, they’ve found much fewer burglaries and theft taking place in Tampa neighborhoods, which is helping many feel safe.
Dangerous Areas of Tampa
Even if a city has a very low crime rate, there are always areas that are more dangerous than others. Because Tampa is a big city, it’s not immune from neighborhoods that are less than desirable to live in. The following neighborhoods are considered the least safe in Tampa:
- Population: 1,818
- Crime rate: 673% higher than the Tampa average
Historic Ybor was once the epicenter of organized crime in Tampa. Today, it is a major tourist hub by day, but at night it is considered one of the most dangerous places in Tampa. It is thought that crime in Historic Ybor is driven by the homeless population, in part due to abandoned buildings in the area. It is not advisable to go out after dark in Historic Ybor.
- Population: 1,453
- Crime rate: 577% higher than the Tampa average
Downtown Tampa is another densely populated neighborhood teeming with tourists. This is likely why the property crime is especially high in Downtown. Your chances of being the victim of a property crime in Downtown Tampa is 1 in 9; chances of being a victim of a violent crime in Downtown is 1 in 37.
- Population: 1,926
- Crime rate: 420% higher than the Tampa average
It is possible that the high crime rate in Drew Park is related to poverty. Drew Park has a large population of residents living below the poverty line: average per capita income in Drew Park is $9,887.
There are plenty of safe places to live in Tampa! In fact, the majority of neighborhoods are highly rated. Below are just a few of the best rated Tampa neighborhoods with low crime rates. For more information on these and other secure neighborhoods in Tampa, click here to check out our complete guide!
- Population: 4,519
- Crime rate: 519 per 100,000 people
Palma Ceia is an affluent, safe neighborhood that is popular among retirees. It’s an affluent area known for its luxury amenities, like the Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club. Interested in a quiet neighborhood, but not totally ready for a slower pace? Palma Ceia is only 8 minutes from Downtown.
- Population: 3,533
- Crime rate: 648 per 100,000 people
If you’re set on living close to Downtown, Harbour Island might be for you. Only 6 minutes from Downtown, Harbour Island is a commuter’s dream. Don’t plan on spreading out too much though; most Harbour Island residents live in apartments or condos.
- Population: 2,120
- Crime rate: 805 per 100,000 people
With a median sale price of $1.03M for a home, Parkland Estates is one of Tampa’s most exclusive neighborhoods. Parkland Estates is popular among affluent families, about 25% of whom have school-aged children. It’s a great option for commuters too – it’s just a 13 minute drive to Downtown Tampa.
Tampa Safety Tips – How to Avoid Crime in Tampa
- Avoid walking alone at night in areas like Historic Ybor, where there is a higher rate of crime after dark.
- Lock your car doors while driving and after parking, especially in areas of higher crime rates.
- Stay alert in tourist areas where there is a higher rate of property crime.
Tampa Police Department
The Tampa Police Department was enacted in 1886. Though it started out fairly small with just a city marshall, it quickly expanded to two detectives and a few officers, and the next year in 1887, Tampa was incorporated as a city.
Tampa Police Department Statistics
- 1,215 police officers
- 2.3 officers per 100,000 people
- The current chief of police is Brian Dugan
If you want up to date information about Tampa crimes, anyone can access the Tampa police reports here.
411 N Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602, (813) 276-3200
Tampa Crime Rates FAQ
What is the crime rate in Tampa, Florida?
The overall crime rate in Tampa is 8,145 per 100,000 people, which is 18% higher than the national average. Violent crime in Tampa is 7% higher than the national average. Property crime in Tampa is about 23% lower than the national average. Your overall chance of being a victim of a crime in Tampa is 1 in 50.
What are the bad areas of Tampa?
The least safe areas in Tampa are Ybor City, Downtown, and Drew Park.
Is Tampa safer than Orlando?
Crime rates are 18% lower than the national average in Tampa, vs Orlando where crime is 124% higher than the national average.
Overall, Tampa is a beautiful, fairly safe place to live. If you’re planning to relocate to Tampa, 2 College Brothers has your back! We’re the best professional moving company in the Tampa area, and we’re ready to help. Call 2 College Brothers today at 813-922-1528 to get started on your free quote!