Crime in Atlanta

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Crime rates (2014)
Crime type Rate*
Homicide: 20.5
Forcible rape: 33.2**
Robbery: 512.6
Aggravated assault: 661.1
Total violent crime: 1227.4
Burglary: 1203.9
Larceny-theft: 3631.0
Motor vehicle theft: 912.5
Arson: 16.5
Total property crime: 5747.4
* Number of reported crimes per 100,000 population.
** Legacy definition[1]
Source: FBI 2014 UCR data

Crime in Atlanta, Georgia is above the national median and has been a major problem for the city since the middle 20th century. However, in recent years, the crime rate has begun to decline. Between 2001 and 2009 the crime rate in Atlanta dropped by 40 percent, according to the FBI. Homicide fell 57 percent. Rape was down 72 percent. Violent crime overall was down 55 percent.[2]

Atlanta’s public safety improvement between 2001 and 2009 occurred at more than twice the rate of the rest of the country.[3] Crime is down across the country, but Atlanta’s improvement has far surpassed the national trend. This relative improvement explains why Atlanta—after ranking in the top five highest crime cities for most of the previous three decades—now ranks 31st.

By location[edit]

At certain points in its history, Atlanta has been known for high crime rates, particularly property crime and homicides. Much of the city's crime, however, is centralized in most of its western neighborhoods and scattered neighborhoods adjacent to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. These include Grove Park, Center Hill, and Bankhead, some of the most crime-infested neighborhoods of Atlanta.


An Atlanta police car

During the 1970s, like with many large cities within the United States, Atlanta's population began to decline. By 1990, the population was 394,017, down almost 20% from its population in 1970, which was 496,973.[4] In addition, the city center and surrounding areas began to go through an urban decay, and crime spiked significantly throughout the 1980s. Along with many other major cities in the United States, Atlanta was hard hit by the crack epidemic of most of the 1980s to early 1990s. In 1994, Atlanta was ranked the most dangerous city in the country by the Morgan Quitno Press.[5]

In 1997, drug-related crime in metro Atlanta increased slightly, in part due to Atlanta becoming an important distribution center for cocaine, and other related drugs imported from Mexico.[6][7] These increases were mostly seen in Fulton, Gwinnett, DeKalb, Cobb, and Clayton counties. Many law enforcement agencies in the area have joined forces together with the Atlanta Police Department in an effort to decrease the overall crime in metro Atlanta.[8]

In addition, due to large amounts of revitalization projects in the city core, crime continued to fall, even amidst the hard economic times of the late-2000s/early 2010s.[9]


The city is served by the Atlanta Police Department, which has an estimated 2,000 officers working in the force. Atlanta is divided into six police zones.

Recent Rankings[edit]

Atlanta was recently ranked (October 2012) as the sixth most dangerous city in the United States among cities of more than 200,000 residents. According to Forbes the city has a violent crime rate of 1,433 per 100,000 and has experienced a violent crime rate rise of six percent in 2011. A reason for that is, amongst others, that Atlanta is lying on major drug trafficking routes[citation needed] and has suffered disproportionately from the financial crisis after 2008.[citation needed] Forbes claims FBI’s "Uniform Crime Reports" database as the source for its figures.[10]

Notable incidents[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "FBI". 
  2. ^ Edwards, David (November 1, 2010). "How to create a safer Atlanta". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved December 13, 2010. 
  3. ^ Edwards, David (November 1, 2010). "How to create a safer Atlanta". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved December 13, 2010. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ The First Safest/Most Dangerous City Listing. Morgan Quitno Press. Lawrence, Kansas, United States. 1994.
  6. ^ "Major cocaine and marijuana ring busted in Atlanta". September 17, 2008. 
  7. ^ "Mexican drug cartel busted up in Atlanta". October 29, 2008. 
  8. ^ [2]
  9. ^ [3]
  10. ^ Fisher, Daniel (October 18, 2012). "Detroit Tops The 2012 List Of America's Most Dangerous Cities". Forbes. Retrieved December 7, 2012. 
  11. ^
  12. ^

External links[edit]