Anchorage, Alaska, is a wonderful city amid snowy mountains and ice-covered lakes. Even though the temperatures often dip below freezing, there are many people who love the idea of living there. There are a lot of different factors to consider before moving to an area or choosing to stay, including how much crime occurs in the city.
The crime rate in Anchorage, Alaska, is incredibly high. It is considered one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. A person has a 1 in 22 chance of being a victim of crime. There are statistics showing that crime is decreasing from previous years, but it still remains high.
People may and probably should be worried about a city with such a high crime rate. This is definitely understandable, but there are still many facets of crime to consider that show a fuller picture of what a crime rate really shows. Some of these include what kinds of crimes are committed in Anchorage, how to protect yourself against crime in Anchorage, and how effective the police force is in the city.
What Kinds of Crime are Committed in Anchorage, Alaska?
There are many kinds of crimes committed in Anchorage, Alaska, with very few exceptions. Violent crimes occur fairly frequently in this city. When comparing this city to other cities, it is clear that Anchorage has a few different issues. Violent crimes that tend to happen the most frequently in this area include rape, murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault, and aggravated assault with a weapon. Violent crimes happen much less frequently than other crimes in this area, but the odds are still around 1 in 84 people.
These numbers can be really alarming, however, there is more to the story. Something that should be considered is the fact that crime rates are calculated by when the crime is reported, not when it occurred. Sexual crimes are also counted by the victim and by each instance they report.
These factors can lead to misleading statistics, as many people who have been sexually assaulted don’t report the crime at all. If victims feel empowered, and safe, and choose to report, it is usually way after the crime occurred. There might have also been an increase in reporting as it has become more societally acceptable to talk about and people believe the victims when they report sexual crime now than in previous years.
Even if the numbers are accurate by the year, the number also includes repeat instances. Repeat instances are often common in domestic violence cases. Domestic violence is a distressing and harmful evil that should be eradicated, like all violent crimes, yet perpetrators don’t typically target people outside of the home. People might be safer in this community than the numbers suggest. However, this does not discredit the statistic completely, as the crimes still did occur and are still a problem in the community.
When it comes to property crimes, Anchorage is a crime hotspot. The chance of someone becoming a victim of property crime in Anchorage is 1 in 29. Property crimes include robbery, vandalism, burglary, arson, and larceny. Vehicle theft is also tracked. Vehicle theft numbers are higher in this city than in most of the nation. People have a 1 in 250 chance of getting their car stolen.
How to Protect Yourself Against Crime in Anchorage, Alaska
There are many different things that people can implement to protect themselves against crime in this city. Many of the techniques advised are commonplace, but all can eliminate the chance of crime substantially.
Officials and residents of the area recommend that people properly lock doors to cars and homes to prevent people from breaking in. Some even mention going as far as getting additional locking mechanisms in cars and reinforcing sliding glass doors on homes with dowels. Another basic tip is to lock up valuables inside buildings. Anything left outside of a home is much more likely to get stolen.
Some more advanced methods that people should utilize include getting motion sensors for their house lights, getting game cameras, recording serial numbers on certain valuables and taking pictures of those that don’t have numbers, and maintaining the property. Natives even recommend putting additional steering wheel locks on their cars like The Club. Each of these techniques is preventative, as they help deter crime in the first place and help people track down pieces of their property if something does happen.
As for violent crime, the best ways a person can protect themselves is to travel in groups, let people know where they are going and when they should be back, be aware of the situation, and practice using self-defense. The more a person is prepared and willing to be confident in their skills, the more likely they are to be safe from violent crime.
How Effective is the Police Force in Anchorage, Alaska?
The police force in Anchorage, Alaska is effective at their jobs. In recent years, the crime rate has actually gone down significantly as a state by about 14.5 %, while in other cities the crime rate has gone up in recent years. Crime levels are comparable to how they were in 1975.
The governor and other state departments have made huge changes to certain laws and to how they tackle different issues. The Department of Public Safety has implemented different factors and tactics in order to improve public safety.
How to Report a Crime in This City
If a crime is ongoing or people are afraid for their or another’s safety, they should call 911 to report it. If a person is trying to report a crime after it happened, they should call the police department or use the 311 number.
911 gets people in contact with emergency responders as soon as possible. 311 is the nonemergent equivalent. People call 311 when people need a police officer, but it isn’t time-sensitive. Examples of good reasons to call 311 include crimes after the fact or motor vehicle accidents with minimal or no injuries.
With each of these different factors in mind, people looking to move to Anchorage, Alaska have a much more in-depth understanding of what crime looks like in the area. They can feel assured that they can be safe and have the ability to react appropriately when crime does occur.