Independent surveys tout crime statistics for still-growing Surprise

[Jason Stone/Independent Newsmedia]

By Jason Stone, INDEPENDENT NEWSMEDIA

It’s safe to say Surprise is officially safe.

But don’t take our word for it: Just ask the latest three surveys to be released in the last month that have Surprise as one of the ten safest cities in Arizona.

The latest to heap good news on Surprise residents is SafeHome.org, a for-profit company that specializes in home safety.

In rankings the company released last week, it found Surprise ranked the fifth safest city in the state, only behind Oro Valley, Gilbert, Maricopa and Buckeye.

It mirrors two others that received national release – one from Safewise.com, which found Surprise as the sixth safest city in Arizona and Homesnacks.net, which had Surprise coming in tenth in the state.

“We are very fortunate to have such vigilant community members who actively look out for suspicious activity and report it right away,” Surprise police spokesman Tim Klarkowski said.

The studies mostly relied on official FBI data that nearly 14,000 law enforcement agencies report to the feds each year.

2019 SAFEHOME.ORG SAFETY RANKINGS

  1. Oro Valley
  2. Gilbert
  3. Maricopa
  4. Buckeye
  5. SURPRISE
  6. Lake Havasu
  7. Peoria
  8. Chandler
  9. Marana
  10. Scottsdale

For the SafeHome rankings, multiple factors were considered, including population, property crimes, violent crime trends, violent crimes, citizen-to-officer ratios and property crime trends.

That found Surprise near the top of the list, but it also shows some disturbing trends.

Despite being nowhere near the top of the list for property and violent crimes, Surprise saw the highest trend in the state for violent crime with a 19.3% increase over 2017.

Surprise totaled eight murders in 2018, which was six more than 2017, accounting for some of that jump.

Overall, Surprise has been relatively lucky with homicides over the last decade, reporting only 31 in that span, but more than half of those came over two years: 2016 (nine) and 2018 (eight).

The good news is the overall violent crime rate here is still below the state (4.91%) and national (4.49) averages.

Overall, SafeHome found 10 of the 500 safest cities in the U.S. in Arizona.

2019 SAFEWISE.COM SAFETY RANKINGS

  1. Oro Valley
  2. Buckeye
  3. Florence
  4. Gilbert
  5. Marana
  6. SURPRISE
  7. Sahuarita
  8. San Luis
  9. Scottsdale
  10. Maricopa

In the Safewise survey released earlier this month, Surprise finished behind Oro Valley, Buckeye, Florence, Gilbert and Marana, all of the same cities it trailed in the Safehome study, with the addition of the prison town Florence.

“The partnership between the community members in Surprise and our dedicated and professional police officers is truly a winning combination that allows us all to enjoy such a safe community,” Mr. Klarkowski said.

2019 HOMESNACKS.NET SAFETY RANKINGS

  1. Florence
  2. Oro Valley
  3. Thatcher
  4. Paradise Valley
  5. Gilbert
  6. Somerton
  7. Sahuarita
  8. Buckeye
  9. Maricopa
  10. SURPRISE

In the HomeSnacks survey released late last month, Florence took the top spot in the state, while Surprise just cracked the top 10 after moving up a spot from last year’s survey.

Cities and towns in between were Oro Valley, Thatcher, Paradise Valley, Gilbert, Somerton, Sahuarita, Buckeye and Maricopa – making Surprise the largest city in the top 10.

2018 ARIZONA VIOLENT CRIMES

  • Surprise: 168
  • AZ Fewest: 27 (Oro Valley)
  • AZ Most: 9,261 (Phoenix)
  • Surprise Trend: Up 19.3%
  • AZ Best Trend: Down 19.4% (Gilbert)
  • AZ Worst Trend: Up. 19.3% (Surprise)

2018 ARIZONA PROPERTY CRIMES

  • Surprise: 2,182
  • AZ Fewest: 583 (Oro Valley)
  • AZ Most: 54,456 (Phoenix)
  • Surprise Trend: Up 1.1%
  • AZ Best Trend: Down 18.5% (Bullhead City)
  • AZ Worst Trend: Up 7.8% (Prescott Valley)

2018 AZ CITIZEN-TO-OFFICER RATIOS

  • Surprise Ratio: 713
  • AZ Best Ratio: 329 (Oro Valley)
  • AZ Worst Ratio: 735 (Gilbert)

* FBI STATISTICS

Editor’s note: Jason Stone can be reached at 623-445-2805, on email at jstone@newszap.com or on Twitter at @thestonecave.


You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.