Crime in Des Moines, IA, United States

Crime rates in Des Moines, IA, United States

Level of crime
44.44 Moderate
Crime increasing in the past 3 years
70.27 High
Worries home broken and things stolen
41.22 Moderate
Worries being mugged or robbed
36.49 Low
Worries car stolen
33.11 Low
Worries things from car stolen
53.38 Moderate
Worries attacked
32.64 Low
Worries being insulted
34.29 Low
Worries being subject to a physical attack because of your skin color, ethnic origin, gender or religion
17.14 Very Low
Problem people using or dealing drugs
52.86 Moderate
Problem property crimes such as vandalism and theft
54.05 Moderate
Problem violent crimes such as assault and armed robbery
41.22 Moderate
Problem corruption and bribery
40.00 Moderate

Safety in Des Moines, IA, United States

Safety walking alone during daylight
77.70 High
Safety walking alone during night
45.27 Moderate

Contributors: 37

Last update: April 2021

These data are based on perceptions of visitors of this website in the past 3 years.

If the value is 0, it means it is perceived as very low, and if the value is 100, it means it is perceived as very high.

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2 Comments so far
Anonymous on Dec 21, 2020:
As a teen in Des Moines this is what I have to say for it Des Moines if fairly safe and a really well place to visit but there’s also down sides north west side of Des Moines is where you should avoid walking at night because there sometimes is someone tailing you or trying to mug you Des Moines could be violent if your a teen and choose to try be in the drama but if you stay out nothing really would happen to you gun shot would often happen by Douglas but most of the times is just teens shooting at stuff for fun but one thing about Des Moines that other people might not know is that teens in Des Moines do have gang connections with people from rather high crime cities I used to live in California so the crime rate isn’t really as bad as Cali
Anonymous on Jan 02, 2019:
Short answer: Des Moines is safe to visit and stay if you are in the downtown central area, however, there are neighborhoods outside of the downtown area that tends to rise in the crime rate at night. But major crimes such as assaults and robberies only average once every two or three days.
Long answer: Des Moines varies pertaining to crime, and there are a lot of variables that affect crime, such as neighborhood disputes, seasons, nighttime, etc. However, Des Moines and its surrounding areas are experiencing rapid population growth which is contributing to the crime rate. Generally, crime mostly happens during the late night and in the warmer seasons where people will be more outside. The Des Moines Police separates the city into the following areas: Central (Downtown), East Side, West Side, and South Side. For easier explanation, let's summarize the crime rate in these areas.
CENTRAL (DOWNTOWN) - The downtown area typically is low in crime rate thanks to urban developers choosing to build more within the downtown area, and because of the higher concentration of pedestrians and lighting at night. The police station is located near the center of downtown, and the police also patrol the lively courthouse district at night. But there can be some instances where the homeless or intoxicated can be a worry. Major crimes are unlikely to happen in here.
EAST - The east side resides more of the industrial areas and is home to the Iowa State Fairgrounds. This area experiences somewhat more crime than the downtown area. However, due to the majority of industrial areas and the lesser amount of residential areas, the area does not experience as much crime as the other West and South sides.
SOUTH - The south side is home to the Des Moines airport and an Army Reserve base. The residential area is larger here which means more likelihood of crime, such as domestics, burglaries, thefts, etc. But this area is typically calmer than the other areas because of its close location to multiple parks.
WEST - The west side contains Drake University and its neighborhood, along with Merl Hay Mall. The residential area is dense here which means a higher likelihood of crime in this neighborhood. Major crimes do have a higher chance of happening in this area. But visiting the restaurants of the area and nightlife typically is safe.
Overall Des Moines is safer than its neighboring major cities, but be mindful of crime that may happen in between neighborhoods. If you don't find yourself in the middle of drama in these neighborhoods you can travel pretty safe around Des Moines. Gang-related crime is very low and the only possible gang crime is juvenile gangs and/or remnants of gangs from neighboring major cities. Major crimes only happen once in a while. Nightlife, attractions, and parks are nice to visit, especially the Iowa State Fair during the summertime.