Is Salt Lake City Safe?

by | Dec 30, 2022

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Come to Salt Lake City, the Crossroads of the West, for outdoor sports, intersecting cultures, and a healthy dose of natural beauty. SLC is Utah’s capital and its largest city–but is Salt Lake City safe? Is it a good place to live? Just how safe is Salt Lake City, depending on where you are in the metro area? Let’s take a closer look at crime data to find the best area to stay in Salt Lake City, whether you’re moving there or just passing through.

Is Salt Lake City Safe?

If you’re thinking about spending time in the city, you’re probably wondering about safety. Is Salt Lake City dangerous? Unfortunately, the surface-level answer is yes. SLC is known for many things, but safety is not among them.

Salt Lake City, Utah Crime Rate

Crime is a complex issue, and reported crimes aren’t the only measure of personal safety. However, crime rates are still important to consider. They’re a good indicator of how safe you might feel somewhere and how likely you are to experience a crime there.

To put it bluntly, there is a lot of crime in Salt Lake City. NeighborhoodScout’s 0-100 crime index gives SLC a zero, meaning it’s safer than 0% of U.S. cities. In fact, it recently reappeared on the website’s list of the most dangerous cities in the country thanks to a recent surge in violent crime.

Needless to say, that’s not good.

According to FBI data, SLC experienced 16,733 reported criminal acts in 2021. That makes the crime rate in Salt Lake City about 83.5 crimes per 1,000 residents. By comparison, Utah averages around 27 crimes per 1,000 residents annually, and the nationwide rate is 23.3 crimes per 1,000 residents. To put it another way: the Salt Lake City crime rate triples the state and national averages.

The Car Theft Epidemic in SLC

Motor vehicle theft is particularly a problem in Salt Lake. The city’s car theft rate is 5x the national rate. According to a report from the Salt Lake City police department, the most commonly stolen cars across the city in 2021 were:

  • Honda Civic
  • Honda Accord
  • Ford F-150
  • Honda CR-V
  • Ford F-250

If you have one of these vehicles, take precautions to avoid joining the city’s car theft statistics. Always lock your car and consider extra measures like VIN etching, wheel locks, and immobilizers.

Other Considerations

Crime is just one part of feeling safe. SLC’s police department has an active presence in the community. The force regularly publishes statistics, summary reports, and crime control plans.

And these plans might be working. In a poll from Niche, 82% of respondents said they feel “very safe” or “pretty safe” living in Salt Lake. AreaVibes poll respondents were less complimentary, with only 47% saying they felt “extremely safe” or “fairly safe” walking alone at night.

So, is Salt Lake City safe? According to crime data, no. But according to its residents, maybe. As you might imagine, the answer depends a bit on where you find yourself in the city.

Safest Neighborhoods

In terms of criminal activity, some areas of Salt Lake are safer than others. Where are you less likely to experience a crime? According to NeighborhoodScout, the safest neighborhoods in Salt Lake City are:

  1. Greater Avenues East
  2. Fort Douglas / University of Utah
  3. University Village
  4. Arcadia Heights
  5. Sugar House East
  6. Harvard Park / Princeton Park
  7. City Creek
  8. Forest Dale
  9. Bonneville Hills / Wasatch Hollow
  10. Yalecrest

Most of these neighborhoods are clustered on SLC’s east side, toward the Wasatch Mountains. The University of Utah campus also provides a certain level of safety, likely because of the campus’s security presence. And if you’re looking for a safe suburb, nearby Bountiful is your best bet, with a low 8.7 crimes per 1,000 residents.

Most Dangerous Neighborhoods

Of course, there are also areas of the city where crime is more common. AreaVibes lists these neighborhoods as the highest-crime areas of Salt Lake City:

  1. Westpointe (15.2 violent crimes per 1,000 residents)
  2. Poplar Grove (13.9 per 1,000)
  3. Glendale (13.1 per 1,000)
  4. People’s Freeway (11.5 per 1,000)
  5. Arcadia Heights (9.9 per 1,000)
  6. Rose Park (9.7 per 1,000)
  7. Downtown (8.1 per 1,000)
  8. Fairpark (8.0 per 1,000)
  9. Liberty Wells (7.5 per 1,000)
  10. Capitol Hill (7.0 per 1,000)

It’s worth noting that this ranking only considers violent crimes. That’s why Arcadia Heights appears on both lists–you’re less likely to experience a crime there, but if you do, it’s more likely to be a violent crime.

Suburban living isn’t necessarily the best way to avoid crime either. Some of Salt Lake’s suburbs have crime rates that are just as high or higher. Examples include Millcreek with 79.3 crimes per 1,000 residents and South Salt Lake with a staggering 98.0 crimes per 1,000 residents.

If you’re in any of Salt Lake City’s dangerous neighborhoods, take precautionary steps to protect yourself, your family, and your property. You’ll find some basic security tips below.

Best Neighborhoods in Salt Lake City: Other Factors

If you’re choosing where to live in Salt Lake City, there’s more to think about than crime rates. Here are a few other areas to consider, depending on what’s most important to you.

Top-rated public schools (from Niche):

  • Greater Avenues
  • Capitol Hill
  • Fairpark
  • Liberty Wells
  • Sugar House
  • Nearby suburbs like Kaysville and Fruit Heights

Most affordable (from AreaVibes):

  • Poplar Grove
  • Rose Park
  • Fair Park
  • Glendale
  • People’s Freeway

Best for families (from Niche):

  • Wasatch Hollow
  • Greater Avenue
  • Foothill/Sunnyside
  • Yalecrest
  • East Bench

Highest real estate appreciation (from NeighborhoodScout):

  • Rio Grande
  • Downtown
  • Exchange Place
  • Central City
  • People’s Freeway

Most walkable (from Redfin)

  • Central City
  • Rio Grande
  • Liberty Wells
  • People’s Freeway
  • East Central

SLC offers a lot of options, thanks to its rich cultural history and breathtaking natural landscape. No matter what’s important to you, there’s a Salt Lake City neighborhood you’ll love.

Tips for Staying Safe in SLC

Even in the best neighborhoods in Salt Lake City, you need to be smart about security. Keep your family safe with these home security tips.

Set your property up strategically to discourage intruders. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) involves making conscious design choices that make committing a crime difficult or unappealing. Think like a robber to find your home’s vulnerabilities and then remedy them. That might mean installing bright exterior lights, trimming high hedges, putting up a gated fence, and so on.

It’s also a great idea to become familiar with your local police officers and the crime prevention resources they provide. The Salt Lake City Police Department has three Community Liaison Officers who can help you, depending on your policing district. The city’s law enforcement also has citizen involvement opportunities, including an active Neighborhood Watch program.

The most important step you can take is to install home security cameras with live security monitoring. Deep Sentinel’s advanced camera systems help stop crime before, during, and after an incident through real-time intervention and the fastest police contact time in the industry.

Even if you don’t like the answer to “Is Salt Lake City safe?”, you can feel safer with Deep Sentinel on your side.

Need a Solution that Prevents Crime?
Deep Sentinel is the only security technology that delivers the experience of a personal guard on every customer’s home and business. Visit or call 833-983-6006

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