GRAFTON—Although crime rates in West Virginia are reportedly higher than the national average, there are still cities offering residents a safer place to live, work and play, and according to one report, Grafton has topped that list for the third year in a row.
Most people hope to live in an area that provides a solid education system, a strong sense of community and is a safe place to live and raise a family. Well, Grafton was recently named as the safest place to live in the state.
SafeWise, the authority on safety and home security news, has released their fourth annual Safest Cities in West Virginia report, and named Grafton as the safest city in the state
Despite a statewide violent crime rate of 5.78 incidents per 1,000, every city on SafeWise’s list reported fewer than two incidents per 1,000.
Additionally, the report shows that property crime across West Virginia occurred at a rate of 32.11 incidents per 1,000 people—exceeding the national average of 27.11. But the safest cities did much better, with 80 percent keeping property crime under the national rate.
In order to determine the state’s safest cities, SafeWise reviewed crime report statistics for 2017, from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as, population data.
Cities who failed to report crime data to the FBI, or those that have 2,000 citizens or less, were not considered for the list, according to Rebecca Edwards with SafeWise.
Analysts from SafeWise took into consideration the amount of violent crimes reported for a city, which included crimes such as, aggravated assaults, murder, rape and robbery. They also looked into the number of reported property crimes, such as burglary, arson, larceny and motor vehicle theft.
They then calculated the likelihood that those crimes would be committed out of 1,000 people for each city.
Grafton, with a population of 5,121 residents, earned its number one ranking, coming in with zero violent crimes per 1,000 residents, and 1.56 property crimes per 1,000 citizens, according to the report.
“I’m really pleased to hear we are ranked number one, but it sounds like we have some work to do, some improvements to make, so that we can maintain our standing as safest city,” said City Manager Kevin Stead.
According to the report 50 percent of this year’s cities were also named the safest in the state last year, and 85 percent reported five or fewer total violent crimes, and there were zero murders among the safest cities.
“I am thrilled that Grafton was named the safest city in the state,” voiced Grafton Police Chief Robert Beltner. “I think it speaks highly of the work that my department is doing to ensure the safety of residents and guest to the city.”
Ceredo, with a population of 1,365, debuted on this year’s list in the number two position, reporting no violent crimes and 19.05 instances of property crimes per 1,000 residents.
Madison secured their spot in the top three safest cities, with a population of 2,831 residents, they reported 0.35 violent crimes and 16.25 property crimes per 1,000 citizens.
Neighboring Bridgeport came in as the 25th safest city, Morgantown 24th and Fairmont was ranked 27th.
“Grafton is a great community, filled with residents who truly care and want to make a difference, and I think that with reports like this, others will start see Grafton as the outstanding place it is,” Stead commented.