Crime & Safety in Wilmington>Question Details

Tony Castelli, Home Buyer in Colts Neck, NJ

What seems to be driving the high crime risk in the Carolina's?

Asked by Tony Castelli, Colts Neck, NJ Wed Dec 26, 2007

Coming from the New York/New Jersey area, I've spent a fair amount of time in the Wilmington, NC and Myrtle Beach, SC areas and never gave crime a second thought. Looking at the crime statistics relative to the national average, they seem to be off the charts. Actually, it appears much of the south eastern states have a very high crime rate. Were talking 1.5x to 2x the national average and about 10X from what I’m use to.

Does anyone have a sense of what is driving the high crime rate?

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You're comparing a relatively sparsely-populated area of NJ to vacation areas on the beach. Beach areas generally draw more transient residents, which in turn leads to a higher crime rate. Also, the increased consumption of alcohol/drug use by both residents and vacationers contributes to that number. Crime in Orlando is 10 times the national average - 100 times that in Colts Neck, for that reason. Much of the
Southeast is made up of these vacation destinations. Look at it this way - if you make a living breaking into homes, you can do it anywhere. Would you stay in Colts Neck, or would you head to a warm beach where people didn't bring their dogs, but did bring their cash?

If you go inland, let's say to Cary, NC, you have crime that's well below the national average. A great site for comparing these stats is

If you're thinking about buying in NC, and are concerned about crime - I'd strongly recommend the Raleigh area. We have 100 people a day moving here - and the #1 source of newcomers is New Jersey.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 27, 2007
Quite simply, the city management wasn't prepared for the population boom. and are slow to react. Wilmington is catching up though.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 30, 2007
Wow... To be honest, that information is surprising to me. I have lived in Charlotte, NC for 8 years and in a smaller town in NC for 10 years prior to that. While every city and town has it's crime to deal with, I have never felt that the Carolinas were prone to a higher crime rate than NY or NJ! And I have family in NJ!

I am not sure where you are getting your information, but I would venture to say that you most likely are seeing higher petty crime rates vs. major crimes. But again, that would be my guess.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 27, 2007
Are you possibly comparing a large city with a small town? When I look at Sperling's Best Places guide, which compares cities across the nation, Trenton NJ (the state capital) has a violent crime rate of 8 and a personal crime rate of 8. Raleigh, which is also a state capital with about the same number of people, has a violent crime rate of 5 and a property crime rate of 6.

From personal experience living near Raleigh, I have to say that crime is much less of a problem than in other major cities I've lived in. As everywhere, it depends on the neighborhood. I'm in a suburb, and most of my neighbors leave their doors unlocked and have never had a problem. I rarely see much in the news about crime either. I'd look more closely at the crime records to see if it's specific areas that are of concern, and also who compiled the numbers.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 27, 2007
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