A new survey shows Lake Havasu City to be relatively safe compared to other cities in Arizona. It came in at number 17, right between Prescott Valley and the city of Prescott.

The rankings came from a private security firm that analyzed recent FBI crime statistics. It was focused exclusively on crime, certainly a big part of the picture when talking about safety.

Florence, home of the state’s main penitentiary, was ranked safest in the state. Tolleson, northeast of Phoenix ranked last.

The FBI statistics offer a good bit of insight on local crime. Rankings, however, should be taken with a grain of salt, especially when comparing so many relatively small cities. A single assault or robbery can alter the trend line in small communities.

Thankfully, Lake Havasu City is small enough to fit in that category. Though there are hundreds of property crimes and an assault every few days, the number of crimes is still a pretty small sample size.

Locally, the trend shows that crime is down a bit. That’s good. The point-in-time nature of the statistics means the trend should show a sudden shift with few actual extra crimes.

Any amount of crime is too much, of course, so no matter how high the crime safety ranking, there will always be more to do to prevent it.

Crime isn’t the only element in personal safety and some of those elements should make residents of Lake Havasu City feel even safer.

Natural disasters are few in and around the city. Hurricanes? Nope, except maybe a little leftover rain once in a while. Tornadoes? Not really, except for an occasional downburst. Wildfires? They happen, but the desert doesn’t burn near as extensively as timber.

Flash floods are a seasonal issue, though. People learn to avoid travel in low-lying drainages.

Economic security also imparts a feeling of safety. Locally, incomes are rising and jobs are plentiful. Visitors and seasonal residents tend to be financially stable. There is work to be done on economic diversification, but the current situation isn’t bad.

Social connections are important in feeling secure. There are good reasons to make sure vulnerable people get regular check-ins. Overall, though, the city’s population is very engaged. Activities and events are numerous, offering many, many chances to form social networks.

Lake Havasu City may be the easiest place in the country to strike up acquaintanceships and get to know a lot of people.

These elements figure highly in perceptions of personal safety. Some are intangible and hard to measure. Importantly, Lake Havasu City checks a lot of boxes.

As for crime, it’s nice to receive a decent ranking. It’s also important to keep working to reduce it even further.

— Today’s News-Herald

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