PHOENIX — Each year, the FBI collects data from police departments around the country to try and create a clearer picture of crime in the U.S.
The data can also provide insights on where violent crime may be more prevalent.
It's known as the Uniform Crime Reporting Program, or UCR.
"What it does is it tracks all major cries that are committed within the United States," Jeff Hynes, a former Phoenix Police Commander and current teacher at Glendale Community College, said.
"UCR numbers are indicative of how safe your city is to live in"
The FBI warns against using the numbers to rank a city as "safer" than another. Multiple variables can cause numbers to change and the statistics are reported voluntarily.
A few years ago, Buckeye Police got in trouble for fibbing about their numbers.
Hynes said, after looking at the numbers, he believes they are accurate.
You can see them all here:
What the data showed is of the 10 Arizona cities with populations of more than 1,000 people, Gilbert had the lowest violent crime rate.
The rate reported was less than one instance for every 1,000 people. The two biggest cities in Arizona, Tucson and Phoenix, had the worst rates, with almost seven instances of violent crime per 1,000 people.
Hynes said population density, economic conditions, and how residential to urban an area are the three main drivers in these statistics.
"So your Surprises, your Gilberts, your Chandlers are going to be safer places to live. Bottom line." Hynes said. "The denser the population, the lower the socioeconomic condition, the higher the crime rate. It's that simple"
Phoenix and Tucson are not more violent compared to comparable cities nationwide. Cities like Los Angeles, Denver, Dallas, and San Antonio (to name a few) all have higher violent crime rates.
The full data can be seen here: