Study Names Cary One of State’s Safest Towns

Cary, NC – Cary’s role as a safe place to live is well established to the people who live here. But now, its safety has been settled by a new study that crunches the numbers on crime in North Carolina, putting Cary as one of the safest.

High Safety Ranking

In a study by ValuePenguin, Cary ranked as the eighth safest town in North Carolina, the third safest for a town with a population of 25,000 or more and the safest for a town with 50,000 people or more.

Andrew Pentis, lead analyst with ValuePenguin, said the study took the data in the FBI uniform crime report, specifically the number of violent and property crimes in each town and city.

“We take the violent crime per 100,000 residents and property crime per 100,000 residents, weighing violent crime at 80 percent and property crime at 20 percent, then multiply the results and that gives us a good, easy to understand rating,” Pentis said.

While property crime is more common than violent crime, violent crime is more heavily weighed because researchers believed it was more important to readers.

Cary’s position in ValuePenguin’s study has dropped since their 2015 report, which had Cary as the seventh safest town in North Carolina, but Pentis said it is still distinguished in the report.

“Larger cities generally fall down the list so Cary stands out in our study given its relative size,” Pentis said.

Different Kinds of Cities

According to the FBI’s uniform crime report, Cary had 81 violent crimes and 1,902 property crimes in 2015. And with a population of more than 150,000 people, this makes Cary distinctive in Pentis’ study.

“Generally, smaller cities are more likely to be safe,” Pentis said. “In a big city, resources are harder to find, people may not know each other as well and it poses a bigger problem for a local legislature.”

To try and show this, the study looked at crimes per 100,000 residents and also has a section where towns and cities are divided up by size. Also, towns with fewer than 5,000 residents were not included in the report.

Aside from population size, Pentis said there was no other clear factor that links the safest cities together but said this report serves as a jumping off point for further research.

“We’d love to dig deeper and find out why those cities score low,” Pentis said. “What does Cary do differently with police or with the way its citizens interact?”


Story by Michael Papich. Photos by Hal Goodtree.

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1 reply
  1. Bob Blackmun
    Bob Blackmun says:

    This is great news, but I wonder if the study, and the Cary Citizen article, are overlooking an obvious factor — although not all residents are wealthy, Cary is basically a wealthy community with very few residents who are considered to be criminals. This might help explain why Cary is very safe even while having a police dept. that is smaller, on a per capita basis, than many other cities and towns.

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