Every summer, the Virginia State Police publishes an annual compendium of crime in the commonwealth that tallies offenses ranging from arson and assault to prostitution and drug possession.
The latest 500-page report, released earlier this month in PDF form, shows violent crimes and property crimes are down while vice offenses are creeping up.
But trends vary dramatically by locality. Use the interactive map below to explore how crime rates vary across city and county boundaries.
The data was contributed by law enforcement agencies across the state.
State police note that it only represents a snapshot count that is updated on a rolling basis. “As such, it is possible that the number and categorization of offenses may differ when comparing these data with those from individual reporting agencies. If there are concerns with these differences, it is suggested that you contact the agency directly.”
State police use a crime rate of offenses per 100,000 residents to normalize data across localities, but note a variety of unrelated factors impact the type and volume of crimes recorded, including: “1. Population density and degree of urbanization; 2. Population variations in composition and stability; 3. Economic conditions and employment availability; 4. Mores, cultural conditions, education, and religious characteristics; 5. Family cohesiveness; 6. Climate, including seasonal weather conditions; 7. Effective strength of the police force; 8. Standards governing appointments to the police force; 9. Attitudes and policies of the courts, prosecutors and corrections; 10. Citizen attitudes toward crime and police; 11. The administrative and investigative efficiency of police agencies and the organization and cooperation of adjoining and overlapping police jurisdictions; 12. Crime reporting practices of citizens.”