FBI Data Revealed the Most Dangerous Cities in New Hampshire

While New Hampshire consistently ranks among the safest states in the nation, boasting a low national violent crime rate of 23.6 per 100,000 people (far below the national average of 38.1), crime rates can vary significantly across its cities. Understanding these variations empowers residents to make informed decisions about where to live and take proactive steps to ensure their safety.

This blog post delves into the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program data to shed light on New Hampshire’s crime landscape. It’s important to acknowledge that UCR data only reflects reported crimes, so actual crime rates may be slightly higher.

New Hampshire’s Overall Crime Landscape

New Hampshire enjoys a reputation for safety, reflected in its consistently low crime rates. In 2020, the state’s violent crime rate was 22.6 per 100,000 people, well below the national average. Property crime rates followed a similar trend, sitting at 1,746.2 per 100,000 people compared to the national average of 2,597. While these figures indicate a generally safe environment, pinpointing variations across cities provides a more nuanced picture.

Unveiling New Hampshire’s Safest Cities

According to the FBI’s 2020 UCR Program data, several New Hampshire cities consistently rank high in safety. Here are three prime examples:

  • Rye (population 5,139): This charming coastal town boasts an exceptionally low crime rate, with a violent crime rate of 2.9 per 100,000 people and a property crime rate of 842.6 per 100,000 people. Rye’s strong sense of community, active neighborhood watch program, and affluent demographics likely contribute to its remarkable safety record.

“We have a very tight-knit community here in Rye,” says resident Sarah Miller. “Everyone knows each other, and there’s a strong sense of looking out for one another. Plus, the police department is very responsive.”

  • Hanover (population 11,230): Home to Dartmouth College, Hanover fosters a vibrant and secure environment. The town records a miniscule violent crime rate of 3.6 per 100,000 people and a property crime rate of 1,407.1 per 10,000 people. The college’s well-resourced security department likely plays a role in maintaining safety alongside a strong local police presence.
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Hanover Police Chief Michael Downing attributes part of the town’s safety to a collaborative effort. “We have a fantastic relationship with Dartmouth security and work closely together to address any potential issues. Additionally, our community policing initiatives help us build trust and rapport with residents, making them more likely to report suspicious activity.”

  • Auburn (population 5,608): This picturesque town nestled in Rockingham County enjoys a remarkably safe environment. It boasts a violent crime rate of 7.1 per 100,000 people and a property crime rate of 1,234.3 per 100,000 people. Auburn’s rural character and strong sense of community likely contribute to its low crime rates.

“We feel incredibly safe living here in Auburn,” says resident John Edwards. “It’s a quiet town with friendly people who look out for each other. Plus, the police department does a great job of patrolling the area.”

Shedding Light on New Hampshire’s Not-So-Safe Cities

While New Hampshire offers many safe havens, some cities grapple with higher crime rates. Here’s a look at three examples:

  • Manchester (population 115,240): As New Hampshire’s largest city, Manchester experiences a higher crime rate than the state average. The city records a violent crime rate of 38.6 per 100,000 people and a property crime rate of 3,214.1 per 100,000 people. These numbers are likely influenced by factors like concentrated poverty and gang activity in certain areas.

The Manchester Police Department is actively addressing these challenges through community policing initiatives, youth programs, and collaborations with social service agencies.

  • Berlin (population 10,030): This former mill city in Coos County faces economic struggles reflected in its crime rates. Berlin has a violent crime rate of 43.8 per 100,000 people and a property crime rate of 2,871.4 per 100,000. The economic downturn has led to higher unemployment rates and potentially contributed to property crime. However, there are signs of hope. The city is undergoing revitalization efforts, and the Berlin Police Department is working to build trust with residents through community engagement programs.
  • Nashua (population 89,313): The second-largest city in New Hampshire, Nashua experiences crime rates above the state average. The city records a violent crime rate of 31.4 per 100,000 people and a property crime rate of 3,102.5 per 100,000 people. These numbers are likely influenced by a combination of factors, including a larger population density and a mix of urban and suburban areas.
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The Nashua Police Department is committed to proactive crime prevention. They utilize crime data analysis to target high-crime areas, deploy foot patrols in key neighborhoods, and offer crime prevention workshops to residents.

Beyond the Numbers: Personal Safety Tips

While crime data is a valuable tool, it’s just one piece of the puzzle. Here are some general safety tips applicable to any New Hampshire city:

  • Be aware of your surroundings: Pay attention to your environment, especially when walking alone at night. Trust your instincts and avoid poorly lit or deserted areas.
  • Increase your visibility: If you’re walking or jogging, wear reflective clothing during low-light hours. Let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to be back.
  • Secure your belongings: Don’t leave valuables unattended in your car or on display in your home. Lock your doors and windows, even when you’re home.
  • Report suspicious activity: If you see something suspicious, report it to the police immediately. Don’t hesitate to call 911 if you feel unsafe.

Many resources are available to help New Hampshire residents stay safe. Local police department websites often provide crime prevention tips and neighborhood watch program information. Additionally, residents can explore resources offered by the state’s Department of Justice, which provides safety education programs and victim assistance services.


The FBI’s data paints a clear picture: crime rates vary across New Hampshire’s cities. While some communities boast remarkably low crime rates, others face challenges that require ongoing efforts. By understanding these variations and taking proactive steps, New Hampshire residents can contribute to the overall safety of their communities.

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Remember, crime data is a valuable tool, but it shouldn’t be the sole factor influencing your decisions. Combine this information with personal safety practices and a commitment to community involvement to create a safe and secure environment for yourself and your loved ones. New Hampshire communities have a long history of collaboration and a shared interest in safety. By working together, residents can ensure the Granite State remains a haven for peace of mind.

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MBS Staff
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