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Crime in the U.S. state of Virginia has generally decreased from 2008 to 2014.


Overall, there were 177,060 crimes reported in 2014 in Virginia, including 338 murders and homicides.[1]

In 2012 Virginia had the 3rd-lowest rape rate by state after New Jersey and New York.[1][2]

The state has significantly lower crime rates than demographically similar neighboring states Maryland, North Carolina, and Tennessee.[3]

By location

Hampton Roads

In 2013, Hampton Roads had the highest crime rate by region in the state.[3]


In 2012, Richmond had 42 murders, a murder rate of 20.2 per 100,000.[4]

In 2007, the FBI Uniform Crime Reports ranked Richmond as the 5th worst city for violent crimes with populations of 100,000 to 250,000.[5] Today Richmond is not in the top 25 of violent crime or murder.[6]

Capital punishment laws

Main article: Capital punishment in Virginia

Capital punishment was abolished in this state when Governor Ralph Northam signed a bill into law on March 24, 2021.[7] Before that date, both the electric chair and lethal injection were used to execute prisoners.[8]

State and federal officials could opt to send violent criminals to face trial in Virginia rather than their current state due to Virginia judges being more willing to carry out execution.[9]

When the “Beltway sniper” was arrested for 10 killings in the Washington area in 2002, federal authorities opted to send him to Virginia for prosecution even though most of the shootings took place in suburban Maryland.[9]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Virginia Crime Rates 1960 - 2014". Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  2. ^ "List: States where rape is most common". CNN. 3 February 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Crime". Archived from the original on 2015-11-07. Retrieved 2015-11-10.
  4. ^ "Virginia State Police - Crime in Virginia Publication". Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Crime in the United States 2007". Archived from the original on 2016-11-18. Retrieved 2016-07-28.
  6. ^ "Table 6". Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Why It's So Significant Virginia Just Abolished the Death Penalty".
  8. ^ Jim Iovino (2009-11-10). "Facts about Virginia's Death Row". NBC Washington. Retrieved 2010-02-17.
  9. ^ a b Savage, David (17 September 2015). "California killer faces Virginia execution". Los Angeles Times.