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Church Hill, Chimborazo safer than the Fan

Style‘s 2016 Crime Almanac is out and offers a lot of info to dig into.

Comparing the total number of incidents from last year to this year, crime is down in every neighborhood between Brauers and Church Hill proper: Brauers, Mosby, Fairmount, Union Hill, Church Hill North, Oakwood, Chimborazo, and Church Hill all saw crime drop last year. While the number of reported incidents fell a whopping 40% in Woodville, the numbers jumped 18% in Creighton, 20% in Eastview, and 20% in Fairfield. The incident count was down slightly for Greater Fulton, and up 7.5% for Shockoe Bottom.

A fun stat from the report is “incidents per 100 residents”, a number that we can use to loosely compare different neighborhoods. The Fan, for example, saw 6.3 incidents per 100 residents last year, Jackson Ward had 21.7, while the East End stacked up like this:

  • Church Hill 4.5
  • Chimborazo 5
  • Fulton 6.6
  • Brauers 6.6
  • Woodville 8.9
  • Union Hill 9.1
  • Peter Paul 9.6
  • Church Hill North 10.6
  • Fairfield 11.4
  • Creighton 11.5
  • Mosby 11.6
  • Eastview 13
  • Fairmount 14.5
  • Oakwood 15.9

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WarGibFA 02/19/2016 at 11:16 AM

Shockoe Bottom’s at 9.1 I blame the number of apartments and lack of personal/community investment in the neighborhood.

Jennifer 02/19/2016 at 11:36 AM


So should we build houses in Shocko? If so where?

Lack of personal/community investment, where is your supposed with that? I bet most of CVS and Farm Fresh’s business is from the so caleld apartments. Keep in mind most of the apartments are high end.

Lastly, have you not thought about the night clubs, strip club and bars? Is there a possibility that they are contributing to the numbers at all? My guess is yes, they most likely contribute to the majority of the stats.

Bradley 02/19/2016 at 12:01 PM

I was all prepared to rag on the Fan, and then I checked Union Hill’s numbers.


Bradley 02/19/2016 at 12:04 PM

With regards to the above, these numbers are a bit deceiving. These numbers aren’t a measure of safety, they’re pure math: number of crimes divided by number of residents. Worse, the crimes aren’t weighted. Graffiti and murder count equally.

Otherwise, the map’s advice to stay away from the Capital is spot on.

John M 02/19/2016 at 12:24 PM

@Bradley – No murders in Church Hill last year. None since 2009, FWIW.

Also, the numbers don’t count crimes reported to the VCU police, so there’s also that missing bump

neighbor 02/19/2016 at 1:04 PM

I am still not going to be walking around in Church Hill at night; can’t even walk to the bus stop during the day with out being harassed for money.

Bradley 02/19/2016 at 1:14 PM

@John I like to think I’ve done my part by not murdering in Church Hill. I have to say, it feels much safer living here now than it did back in 2010.

John M 02/19/2016 at 1:18 PM

@Bradley keep up the good work 🙂

WarGibFA 02/19/2016 at 1:27 PM

@#3– I don’t think apartment living is conducive to forming tightly knit communities, such as those you see in Church Hill. How many of your next-door neighbors do you know by name, as an apartment dweller? How many of them do you know anything about?

It might get better as a years go on and resident population ages. As things stand now, we get a lot of students/young professionals out here, who have no long-term investment in the quality of the neighborhood. After all, if crime picks up, they can vote with their feet and move to another part of the city when that lease is up.

Yeah, clubs probably do play a role. It would be interesting to see what % of the crimes in Shockoe happen after 10 pm.

It’s entirely possible that I have an overly pessimistic view of the situation, and would love to be shown otherwise.

Elaine Odell 02/19/2016 at 1:40 PM

Last night, in Union Hill, about 9pm (give or take) we had an act of pricey-vehicle vandalism/property crime. Vandals smashed a window on a parked car (my nextdoor neighbor’s). Window completely destroyed–resulting in a big pain in the ass for my neighbor who works long hours and depends on her car to get to her job. Neighborly dog-walkers in Jefferson Park saw the incident and immediately called the police. Damn shame, random act of property vandalism that is costing all of us.

ASE 02/19/2016 at 7:47 PM

I live on the Hill and love it, but the comment of no murders since 2009???

John M 02/19/2016 at 8:01 PM

@ase – that was in Chimborazo

Eric S. Huffstutler 02/19/2016 at 9:32 PM

@11 WarGibFA… well said. That is so true. Even people who live in houses. Look at any of these house hunting shows and most want “new, updated (meaning newer than the 1990s), and private living (no neighbors). I have even seen some say they don’t “do neighbors”. That is how our young society roll these days… all into the digital age and don’t want to be bothered with maintenance or noise so rather not have face complaining neighbors. Now that may fly in the face of apartment living but to me apartments are hand in hand with rental cars. Impersonal, not yours, and don’t care. Just an overpriced postage stamp to flop in.

Unfortunately we do still have pockets in Church Hill of bad elements and little to no police patrolling seen. It is definitely better than when we moved here in 1999 mainly due to gentrification but that has slowed down so may account for an uptick of shady activity? You heard gunfire all the time back then and on holidays it sounded like Vietnam.

Alex 02/20/2016 at 10:59 AM

@14 – Hanover County is a little over 1 on the same metric. So roughly 20% of “safe” Church Hill.

Paul S 02/21/2016 at 8:04 AM

@Eric Huff – I think you are over generalizing about “young society” wanting no neighbors. During my childhood my parents, who both just turned 60 recently, thought moving 30 minutes outside the city to an area where several acres of woodlands separated most neighbors was desirable and a sign of success. Pretty much all their siblings did the same. I hated living in that type of community where a car was needed to get absolutely anywhere. After graduating college and getting my career established I’ve made urban living a priority for the last 12 years. My wife and I moved to the Chimborazo area in November and have really enjoyed getting to know our neighbors.

My wife and I have found that many of our peers also grew up in the suburbs and are also now choosing to live in cities.


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