It would be great if we lived in a world where mugging and assault were brutish acts of a distant past, but unfortunately, that world has yet to come.
Crime is a part of life, and like any other city, Nashville has its fair share, but how bad is the state of crime in Nashville, and what types of crimes are most prevalent?
In order to answer these questions and more, we’ve collected some of the most recent statistics and data so that you can be informed before visiting or moving to the area ensuring a safe and relaxing experience in this wonderful city.
Table Of Contents
- Is Nashville Safe?
- How Does Nashville Compare To Other Cities?
- Top Petty Crimes/Scams In Nashville
- Is Nashville Safe To Visit Alone?
- The Safest Neighborhoods To Stay In Nashville While Visiting
- What Areas Of Nashville Should Be Avoided?
- Is Nashville Public Transportation Safes?
- Important Emergency Numbers In Nashville
- Nashville Safety Tips
- Nashville Safety FAQ
Is Nashville Safe?
When looking purely at the metrics, the city of Nashville has room for improvement when it comes to keeping violent crime levels down.
The most basic way that crime is measured in any given city is through the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). As you might guess, this method uses reported incidents to base an estimation of how prevalent crime is in any given area.
When using this same method, Nashville had a much higher number of incidents reported to local authorities than the national median in every category.
However, this doesn’t mean that you need to cancel your long-anticipated trip to Nashville — most of these incidents were reported in areas typically outside of where tourists are found.
It’s also worth mentioning that while the occurrence of violent crimes, such as aggravated assault, have risen considerably over the last few years, homicide rates have gone down over 10% just from last year.
How Does Nashville Compare To Other Cities?
While Nashville’s crime is a bit higher than the national median, Nashville is far from becoming the nation’s most dangerous city.
According to the most recent data, Nashville ranks 54th among the most dangerous cities in the US in terms of violent crime with a violent crime rate of 11.87 incidents per 1000 residents.
In comparison, here are the violent crime rates of some of the country’s most violent cities:
- Bessemer, AL: Violent crime rate of 33.1 per 1000 residents
- Mobile, AL: Violent crime rate of 27.9 per 1000 residents
- Monroe, LA: Violent crime rate of 26.3 per 1000 residents
- Saginaw, MI: Violent crime rate of 25.1 per 1000 residents
- Memphis, TN: Violent crime rate of 25.1 per 1000 residents
In contrast, here are the violent crime rates for a few of the safest cities in the US:
- Ridgefield, CT: Violent crime rate of 0.28 per 1000 residents
- Fulshear, TX: Violent crime rate of 0.28 per 1000 residents
- Muskego, WI: Violent crime rate of 0.32 per 1000 residents
- Arlington, MA: Violent crime rate of 0.4 per 1000 residents
- Lexington, MA: Violent crime rate of 0.7 per 1000 residents
Top Petty Crimes/Scams In Nashville
Now that we’ve covered Nashville’s violent crime rate, let’s briefly discuss the level of property crimes that occur in Nashville.
While Nashville’s property crime of 36.74 incidents per 1,000 residents is higher than the national average of 19 incidents per 1,000 residents, this is a much shorter gap compared to violent crime in Nashville and the national average (11.87 vs. 4).
You may also be relieved to know that certain property crimes in Nashville, such as forcible entry and larceny, are actually dropping at a staggering rate compared to the previous year’s statistics.
Here is a glimpse of the most recent public crimes statistics report from the Metropolitan Police Department from 2021:
- Robbery: 1,643 total incidents
- Burglary: 3,285 total incidents
- Larceny: 19,436 total incidents
- Motor vehicle theft: 2,998 total incidents
Again, most of these incidents are reported outside of the areas where tourists tend to go, however, tourists should take extra precautions when it comes to the crime of event scams.
While statistics specific to Nashville aren’t publicly available, event scams are one of the most common and financially devastating scams that tourists face at any given time. Nationally, it’s estimated that 12% of event ticket sales are fraudulent.
Because so many events take place in Nashville every year, it’s important that you make sure that you get your tickets from a reputable vendor and that you double-check multiple sources regarding the event you’ll be attending.
Is Nashville Safe To Visit Alone?
In general, Nashville is a perfectly safe place to travel alone, however, if you are traveling to Nashville by yourself, it’s important to be mindful of your surroundings.
As mentioned several times in this guide, most of the crime in Nashville is concentrated in a few neighborhoods outside of the downtown area (where most of the tourists are found), so if you intend on leaving the downtown area, it’s best to take a buddy, especially after dark or on foot.
The Safest Neighborhoods To Stay In Nashville While Visiting
Below is a list of the safest neighborhoods in the Nashville metropolitan area, along with a few suggestions for accommodations for each area:
We’ve included the safest neighborhoods that also have a large number of accommodation options in or around that area.
While there aren’t any hotels directly within the Belle Meade neighborhood, the area is surrounded by many accommodations, such as the Hampton Inn, Residence Inn, and La Quinta Inn, all less than a mile away.
The Belle Meade neighborhood is a great place to find a variety of highly acclaimed restaurants. Sperry’s and Belle Meade Meat and Three located at Belle Meade Winery are both great examples of upscale dining establishments in the area.
If you’re looking for something a little more casual, Sam’s Place has upscale quality plates with a relaxed atmosphere.
If you’re looking for some fun outdoor activities in Nashville, the Belle Meade area is a great place to look.
Percy Warner Park, a giant natural area is located right on the edge of the Belle Meade neighborhood and is a great place to immerse yourself in nature and take part in many activities ranging from golfing to birdwatching.
You can also find Cheekwood Estates close by which has a giant walkable sculpture garden, botanical garden, and historic tours available. Lastly, Belle Meade Winery and Historical Site is another fantastic place to spend the day. Take a tour of the estate, and stay for a wine tasting!
You won’t find any traditional lodging in the residential neighborhood of Edmonson-Cloverland, however, there are many accommodations in the neighboring area of Brentwood. There, you can find a room at The Hilton or SpringHill Suites.
Just outside of Edmonson-Cloverland, you can find Granberry Park and Tennis Courts for a low-key afternoon of recreation.
There are a few great options for restaurants in Green Hills. For upscale options there is Etc. restaurant and Char Restaurant. For casual Mexican, there is El Palenque and for casual American, there’s The Crow’s Nest.
Poplar Creek Estates
The small residential neighborhood of Poplar Creek Estates is one of the safest neighborhoods in Nashville, but it is somewhat limited in accommodations compared to other areas of the city.
You may be able to find an Airbnb listing for an affordable and hassle-free accommodation or check out one of the many hotels in the surrounding neighborhoods.
There are many restaurants in the Poplar Creek Estates area, such as Cafe 100 which specializes in upscale American dinner service. If you’re looking for something a little less formal, you can also find Dairy Queen and Starbucks close by.
Poplar Creek Estates is a quiet residential community, so if you’re looking for the bright lights and honkytonks that Nashville has to offer, you won’t find it here.
What Areas Of Nashville Should Be Avoided?
According to the most recent data, here is a list of neighborhoods in Nashville that are currently experiencing a high level of crime.
While the number of incidents may seem low compared to the number of incidents reported in some of the downtown neighborhoods, it’s important to note that there is a higher population in downtown neighborhoods, and consequently, a lower crime rate per capita.
For comparison, the Central Precinct which serves the downtown Nashville area west of East Nashville reported a total of 3,527 incidents for 2022.
Even though the area and population is smaller, the Glencliff neighborhood in Nashville experienced a total number of 3,399 incidents for the same year — only slightly lower.
Note the proximity to downtown and major tourist attractions. As a sightseeing tourist, you will likely never need to venture into these areas, but it’s good to keep them in mind when booking accommodations.
Is Public Transportation In Nashville Safe?
Public transportation in Nashville is well-reviewed and can be a useful asset to travelers.
Nashville public transportation consists of over 50 bus routes stretching into the entire metropolitan area and suburbs. Most buses run until 11:00 pm, but some run later depending on the day.
While there are no publicly available statistics on the number of incidents reported on Nashville city buses, you can expect to have a safe and reliable ride so long as you follow basic safety precautions.
If you’re concerned about safety on public transportation, or if you’ll need a ride late at night, there are many ride services available, such as Uber, Lyft, or local taxi services.
Important Emergency Numbers In Nashville
Nashville Safety Tips
Traveling to Nashville can be an exciting and enjoyable experience, but like any travel destination, it's essential to prioritize safety to ensure a smooth trip.
Whether you're exploring the city's vibrant music scene, enjoying its culinary delights, or visiting its historical landmarks, keeping safety in mind will enhance your overall experience.
Here are some safety tips when traveling to Nashville:
- Protect your valuables. Keep your belongings secure at all times. Use a money belt or a secure crossbody bag to deter pickpockets. Avoid displaying expensive jewelry or electronics in public
- Watch your drinks. When visiting bars or clubs, keep an eye on your drinks to prevent any potential tampering. Stick to drinks you see being prepared or open yourself.
- Be cautious with strangers. While Nashville is generally a friendly city, exercise caution when interacting with strangers, especially late at night. Avoid sharing personal information with people you don't know well.
- Stay hydrated. Nashville's summers can be hot and humid. Drink plenty of water, especially if you plan on spending time outdoors.
- Use sun protection. Wear sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the sun's rays, especially during outdoor activities or sightseeing.
- Be mindful of traffic. Nashville's traffic can be busy, so exercise caution when crossing streets and be aware of surrounding vehicles.
- Stay informed. Check for any local advisories or safety updates before and during your trip.
- Trust your instincts. If something doesn't feel right, remove yourself from the situation and seek help if needed.
Nashville Safety FAQ
Is Nashville a safe city?
As discussed, Nashville isn’t the safest city in the country, but it’s far from becoming as dangerous as the likes of St. Louis or Detroit. You won’t need to watch over your shoulder the entire time you’re in town, but make sure to pack your common sense.
What areas would I avoid in Nashville?
Most areas frequently visited by tourists are safe, but unless you need to, try to stay outside of the southernmost and western parts of the city, in particular, Antioch, West Meade, Salemtown, Heron Walk, Glencliff, and Bordeaux.
Is it safe to walk in Nashville at night?
It’s perfectly safe to walk around downtown Nashville at night, but don’t dottle. Know where you’re going and don’t make unnecessary stops along the way. Don’t go down any dark streets and don’t walk outside of the downtown area unless absolutely necessary.
What should I do if I need help?
For emergencies, call 911. For non-emergencies, call the non-emergency helpline, 615-862-8600.