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Is South Tacoma Dangerous?


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Understanding the Safety of South Tacoma

South Tacoma, a neighborhood in Tacoma, Washington, has often been the subject of discussions regarding safety and crime. When assessing the safety of an area, it's crucial to consider various factors, including crime rates, police presence, community involvement, and local perceptions.

Crime Statistics and Trends

The primary aspect to examine when evaluating the safety of South Tacoma is the crime rate. Statistics on violent crimes (such as assault, robbery, and homicide) and property crimes (like burglary and theft) provide concrete data. It's also important to analyze trends over time to see if crime increases, decreases, or remains stable.

Community and Police Efforts

The role of community initiatives and police presence can significantly impact the safety of a neighborhood. Active community groups, neighborhood watch programs, and effective police patrolling can deter crime and foster a safer environment.

Components Impacting Safety in South Tacoma

Economic Factors

Economic conditions like employment rates and business activity can influence crime levels. Areas with higher unemployment or economic distress might see higher crime rates.

Educational and Recreational Facilities


The presence of schools, libraries, and recreational centers contributes to community engagement and can help reduce crime by providing constructive activities and educational opportunities.

Housing and Urban Development

The state of housing and urban infrastructure can affect crime rates. Well-maintained areas with good lighting and infrastructure tend to be safer.

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Special Considerations for Specific Groups

Families with Children

Families might be more concerned about the proximity to schools, parks, and child-friendly facilities. The presence of gangs or drug activity in certain areas can be a particular concern.

Business Owners and Investors

The safety of an area can influence business activities and property values. A high crime rate can deter investment and affect the local economy.

Visitors and New Residents

For those unfamiliar with the area, understanding which parts of South Tacoma are safer and what times of day to avoid specific locations can be crucial.

Practical Advice for Navigating South Tacoma

  1. Stay Informed: Regularly check local news and crime reports to stay updated about safety in South Tacoma.
  2. Community Engagement: Participate in or support local neighborhood watch programs and community events.
  3. Precautionary Measures: Take basic safety precautions like avoiding poorly lit areas at night and being aware of your surroundings.
  4. Local Authorities: Report any suspicious activities to the police and cooperate with community safety efforts.

Like any urban area, South Tacoma presents a mix of challenges and opportunities regarding safety. Understanding the dynamic nature of the neighborhood, staying informed about local efforts to improve safety, and actively participating in community initiatives can enhance one’s experience living in or visiting South Tacoma. This engagement not only contributes to personal safety but also to the overall betterment of the community.

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Based on the latest data from 2024, the crime rates in South Tacoma are significantly higher than the Washington state and national averages. To provide a clearer picture, here's a detailed breakdown:

Crime Rates in South Tacoma

Crime Type Rate per 100,000 People Comparison to Washington State Average Comparison to National Average
Violent Crime 1,284 337% higher 230% higher property
y Crime 8,540 210% higher 336% higher
Total Crime 9,824 225% higher 319% higher

Note: The violent crime rate in South Tacoma is 54% higher than the overall Tacoma crime rate.

General Tacoma Crime Rates

Crime Type Rate per 100,000 People Comparison to Washington State Average Comparison to National Average
Violent Crime 820.4 179% higher 111% higher
Property Crime 4,777.5 73% higher 144% higher
Total Crime 5,597.9 100% higher 138% higher

Additional Context

  • Community Efforts: Tacoma has employed community policing and youth programs to address crime.
  • High-Risk Areas: South Tacoma, Eastside, and South End neighborhoods have exceptionally high crime rates.
  • Comparative Safety: South Tacoma is considered one of the most dangerous areas in Tacoma, with a 1 in 8 chance of becoming a victim of crime, and it's safer than 0% of the cities in Washington.

Safety Considerations

  1. Stay Informed: Keep abreast of local crime reports and avoid high-risk areas.
  2. Community Engagement: Participate in local safety programs and neighborhood watches.
  3. Precautionary Measures: Take standard safety precautions, especially in areas with high crime rates.
  4. Report Suspicious Activities: Cooperate with the local authorities in reporting and preventing crime.
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While South Tacoma faces significant safety challenges, understanding the specifics of local crime rates and taking appropriate precautions can help navigate the area safely. Community and police efforts are also critical in addressing these challenges.

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