TREASURE COAST ― Two Treasure Coast cities have made a new list of the 50 safest cities in Florida. Three others were ranked in the top 100.
Home security company SafeWise compiled the list based on crimes reported to the FBI in 2018 through the Uniform Crime Reporting program. This is the company’s sixth annual list, each with about a one year lag in reported data.
Rankings were based on both violent and property crime. The report looked at aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery reported in each city for the violent crime calculation. It looked at burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft to calculate property crime.
Marco Island was named the safest Florida city with a violent crime rate of 0.3 incidents per 1,000 people and a property crime rate of 5.4 incidents per 1,000 people.
Port St. Lucie, at number seven on the state list, was ranked the safest Treasure Coast city, with a violent crime rate of 1.1 per 1,000 people and property crime rate of 9.6.
The tenth safest city in the state and second on the Treasure Coast was Sebastian, with a violent crime rate of 1.2 per 1,000 people and property crime rate of 10.9.
Those were the only two Treasure Coast cities to make the safest 50 list.
Vero Beach was number 57, with two violent crimes per 1,000 people and 24.2 property crimes per 1,000 people.
Stuart was number 75, with three violent crimes per 1,000 people and 29.5 property crimes per 1,000 people.
Fort Pierce was number 90 in the state, with 6.1 violent crimes per 1,000 people and 25.7 property crimes per 1,000 people.
Since the data was from 2018, it included the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that killed 17 people and injured another 17. Despite that incident, Parkland ranked as the fourth safest city in the state, with a low violent crime rate of only 1.1 incidents per 1,000 people. The report noted that mass shootings are outlier events that are not indicative of the general safety of a city.
In addition to the safest cities report based on crime data, SafeWise conducted a telephone survey to gauge resident experience with crime.
According to the survey, 56% of Florida residents express high or very high concern about their safety on a daily basis. That’s 10 percentage points above the national average. Fifty percent named physical assault by a stranger as their biggest violent crime concern.