Despite having only 3 million people, Arkansas has one of the highest crime rates in the country. It ranks 33rd in terms of population, but fifth for its property crime rate and first for its violent crime rate. When it comes to motor vehicle theft, Arkansas ranks slightly higher than the United States as a whole with 2.88 per 1,000 compared to 2.68 per 1,000. On the upside, Arkansas has a low cost of living and low property taxes. There are a lot of outdoor activities, including seven national parks and 9,700 miles of rivers and streams.
Why is there high crime in the beautiful state of Arkansas? One reason could be that the state as a whole is among the poorest in the nation, and an increase in crime is often associated with low incomes and poverty.
Arkansas is taking steps to reduce its crime rate. The Protect Arkansas Act has raised the minimum prison sentence for serious crimes and introduced stricter punishments for property crimes by repeat offenders.
Little Rock crime rate
Little Rock, the biggest city in Arkansas, plays a role in the high Arkansas crime rate. It has an overall crime rate of 73.31 per 1,000 with 53.02 of those being property crimes.
Little Rock suburbs tend to be safer parts of its metropolitan area, although some petty property crimes still occur. The most violent crime occurs in the urban areas of Little Rock.
Fort Smith crime rate
Fort Smith is another city that contributes to the high crime rate in Arkansas. Its overall crime rate, lower than that of Little Rock, is 66 per 1,000. The property crime rate is slightly higher than Little Rock at 54.88 per 1,000. Burglaries and larceny-theft have declined, though they remain high compared to the rates for other cities.
Most of Fort Smith is fairly safe. Crime is concentrated in a few areas of the city, particularly on the western side. The riverfront and historical areas are relatively safe during the day but see a spike in crime at night.