People living in Racine, WI probably realize it isn’t necessarily the ideal place to live. In fact, it’s been rated the 10th worst place to live in Wisconsin, in part because it has the 6th highest crime rate in the state. Although it has a decent amount of amenities and a low cost of living, it falls down when it comes to housing, education and employment.
Only 13 percent of cities in the United States are less safe than Racine, and people in the city have a 1 in 29 chance of being a victim of some type of crime. The violent crime rate is slightly above the national median of 3.8 per 1,000 residents at 4.02 per 1,000 residents. Property crimes are much higher though, with a rate of 34.88 per 1,000 people compared to a national average of 26 per 1,000 people. The city ranks 5th in Wisconsin for violent crimes and 15th in the state for property crime. More staggering is the fact that there are 193 crimes per square mile in Racine, compared to a national average of just 32.8 crimes per square mile. The crime rate in 2014 overall was the lowest in 50 years, however, so the crime rate in the city may be improving. Only time will tell. The neighborhoods with the least crime include Kinzie Avenue/South Greenbay Road, Spring Street/Chicago Street and 15th Street/Perry Avenue. Those who’d like to live near Racine but in a city with a lower crime rate may want to consider Wind Point, Franklin, Sturtevant or North Bay.
Burglary is a major issue in the city. There are approximately 993.7 burglaries per 100,000 residents each year, which is much higher than the 338.8 burglaries per 100,000 residents in Wisconsin in general or the national average of 491.4 burglaries per 100,000 residents. Approximately 31 percent of crimes committed in the city are burglaries, making it the second most common type of crime after thefts, which make up 55 percent of the crimes in Racine. These statistics can be quite worrying, especially when you take into account that the average loss from a burglary in the city is about $2,000. Adding a home security system makes it so you’re three times less likely to get robbed and have only a 1 in 240 chance of being a victim of burglary instead of a 1 in 80 chance. Adding a home security system helps protect not only your home but also those of other homes nearby because the more security systems a neighborhood has, the less chance anybody in the neighborhood will be burglarized. More than 60 percent of burglars avoid homes with security systems because they are more difficult to get in and out of unnoticed, which is the goal for most of these criminals.
The city employs about 231 law enforcement professionals, of which 197 are police officers. This means there are about 2.5 officers per 1,000 people living in the city. This is higher than the average of 2.2 in Wisconsin but a bit lower than the national average of 3.3 officers per 1,000 people. Fewer police officers can mean longer response times, especially in cities where the crime rate is particularly high. Installing a security system that sends a video whenever the alarm goes off could mean that you’ll get a faster response time should your alarm go off, as this makes it a verified burglary. The police give this type of call a higher priority than the typical alarm, as more than 90 percent of security alarms are actually false alarms. The video could also be used to help catch and prosecute the burglar. The clearance rate for burglaries in Racine is about 26 percent, meaning that most burglaries are never solved due to lack of evidence. However, this is much higher than the national average of 12 percent. The police in the city are reaching out to the community to help solve many cases, often using stills from security cameras posted on their Facebook page to help identify criminals. This may be at least partly responsible for the higher clearance rates that the department achieves not only in regards to burglaries but other types of crimes as well.
Besides having a security system, there are a number of other steps homeowners can take to make their homes less likely to be targeted. Get an indoor dog, as many burglars prefer to avoid homes with dogs. You never know when a dog is going to be a biter. Dogs also tend to make a lot of noise and make it harder to get into the home undetected. Keep bushes away from the home so there are fewer hiding places for burglars to use to sneak up to the home. Make sure to lock all doors and windows whenever you leave the house, and make sure to secure any window air conditioners so they can’t be easily removed from outside the house. As many as one-third of all burglars actually get in through open doors or windows, so this is particularly important. Have lights on motion sensors so nobody can approach your home undetected at night. Add deep set deadbolts to the front door or, even better, the type of deadbolt that requires a key to open from either side so burglars can’t just smash a window and reach through to turn the bolt.