Public Safety
Violent Crime Rate


Violent Crime Rate

What does this measure?

The number of reported violent crimes per 1,000 residents. Murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault are included in violent crimes.

Why is this important?

Crime affects quality of life for those who directly experience and witness it, sometimes resulting in long-lasting trauma. Indirectly, it also affects the lives of others in the community, as well housing stability and a community's perceived attractiveness as a place to live, work and do business.

How is our county performing?

In 2018, there were 2.4 violent crimes reported per 1,000 residents in Berks County, lower than Pennsylvania's rate. The county rate fluctuated year to year, ending 32% below the 2005 rate. By comparison, the state's violent crime rate dropped steadily during 2005 to 2018 - a 24% decline, while the US fell 22% in the same period. In contrast, Reading City had 7 violent crimes reported per 1,000 residents, a 36% decline from 2005.

Violent crime rates in 2018 were higher in Berks than in neighboring counties. Chester and Montgomery rates were less than half that of Berks, at 1.3, followed by Lancaster and Lebanon both at 1.8, Lehigh at 1.5 and Schuylkill at 2.3. Similar to Berks, Lancaster and Schuylkill had year-to-year fluctuations in their rates though both had higher rates in 2018 than in 2005. The largest declines occurred in Lehigh (59%), Montgomery (44%), and Lebanon (42%).

Notes about the data

Crime reports are never complete because not all crimes are reported, and some crimes in particular, such as rape and assault, are believed to be underreported. Data are from the FBI's Uniform Crime Report. It should be noted that this indicator represents crime penetration. Because areas vary in population, counts of criminal incidents do not accurately measure impact. By presenting crimes per 1,000 residents, it is possible to compare rural and urban areas of the state.

There may be additional research available on this topic. Click on Reports and Resources to learn more.

Violent Crime Rate
20052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018
Pennsylvania4.04.24.04.03.83.63.63.63.33.13.13.23.13.1
Berks County3.53.63.13.33.23.43.13.32.93.33.12.72.62.4
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city11.011.68.69.98.78.78.69.48.48.68.06.87.17.0
Berks County Peers
Chester County1.71.81.91.81.71.61.61.61.31.31.31.41.21.3
Lancaster County1.62.01.91.81.61.81.81.71.71.61.81.82.11.8
Lebanon County3.12.72.42.31.61.81.72.21.81.51.81.51.81.8
Lehigh County3.54.13.12.92.82.62.42.42.32.11.81.92.01.5
Montgomery County2.22.22.01.92.12.01.81.71.71.51.41.21.41.3
Schuylkill County1.91.62.22.02.01.82.22.01.81.62.24.72.02.3

Source: Pennsylvania Uniform Crime Reporting System




Number of Violent Crimes
20052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018
Pennsylvania50,31952,43250,73550,44448,02346,31045,96745,39342,75440,25040,18640,35240,01939,136
Berks County1,3701,4631,2531,3511,3261,3821,2701,3811,2211,3561,2821,1291,078990
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city9361,001752868765766758828744760700597624621
Berks County Peers
Chester County780850937897837793809827678682670709642670
Lancaster County7899789789308429469388789068759679461,126965
Lebanon County385352308306218243224292241203241203250250
Lehigh County1,1661,3741,0551,011969922854851803757656698719537
Montgomery County1,7511,7451,5721,5261,6621,5651,4331,3991,3721,2111,1471,0121,1391,048
Schuylkill County277240320295295274330300262229321680280324

Source: Pennsylvania Uniform Crime Reporting System




INDICATORS TREND | BERKS COUNTY