Most Dangerous Cities in Oklahoma: A Comprehensive Analysis

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Oklahoma, a state known for its diverse landscape and rich cultural heritage, also faces its share of challenges when it comes to crime rates. Within the state, there are certain cities that have gained notoriety for being more dangerous than others. In this article, we will be looking at some of the most dangerous cities in Oklahoma, based on reported crime rates and statistics. By understanding the factors that contribute to crime in these locations, we can potentially address underlying issues and work towards a safer future.

Tulsa, the second-largest city in Oklahoma, unfortunately leads the list with the highest crime rate in the state. Residents of Tulsa have a 1 in 88 chance of being the victim of violence, and the city has experienced 4,407 burglaries. Nevertheless, it’s important to bear in mind that within the city, certain neighborhoods have higher crime rates than others, and many Tulsans still enjoy a peaceful and secure lifestyle.

Other cities in Oklahoma that have been flagged as dangerous include Anadarko, Ardmore, Ponca City, Hugo, and Pauls Valley. Ardmore, in particular, has been highlighted as the most dangerous place to be after dark, with the highest rate of violent crimes among smaller cities in the state. These cities face unique challenges, and while it is essential to be aware of the risks involved, it’s also crucial to recognize the ongoing efforts made by law enforcement and residents alike to improve the safety and quality of life in these communities.

Top 3 Most Dangerous Cities

Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City, the state’s capital and largest city, faces significant crime rates. With a population of over 600,000, it is important to be aware of the risks associated with residing in or visiting the area. Violent crimes and property crimes are the main contributing factors to the city’s overall crime rates. There have been numerous incidents of burglaries, thefts, and vehicle thefts across Oklahoma City.


Tulsa, the second-largest city in Oklahoma, has been ranked as one of the most dangerous places to live within the state. Residents face higher chances of becoming victims of violent crimes, with a 1 in 88 chance of experiencing such incidents. In 2020, Tulsa recorded 72 murders, making it the second-highest violent crime rate in Oklahoma. Besides violent crimes, the city also faces a high number of burglaries, with over 4,000 cases reported in a year.


Located in the southwestern region of the state, Lawton is another city that endures increased crime rates. As a relatively smaller city compared to Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Lawton’s crime rates still present a concern for its residents. The main contributing factors to the city’s crime rates are violent crimes and property crimes. Lawton has witnessed numerous cases of assault, robbery, burglary, and theft. It is crucial for residents and visitors alike to be vigilant and take necessary precautions.

Factors Contributing to Crime Rates


Oklahoma, like many states, experiences high crime rates in some cities due to several interconnected factors. One major factor is poverty. Economically disadvantaged areas often struggle with higher levels of crime, as residents may feel pressured to turn to illicit activities to make ends meet. People living in poverty may also face additional stressors, such as a lack of resources and support, which can contribute to criminal behavior. In some of the most dangerous cities in Oklahoma, poverty rates are significantly higher than the state and national averages.


Another factor contributing to crime rates in Oklahoma cities is unemployment. Joblessness often goes hand-in-hand with poverty, as people without stable employment can face financial strain and diminished prospects for the future. High unemployment rates can contribute to increased theft, drug-related offenses, and other criminal activities, as people may turn to illegal means to support themselves and their families. In cities like Tulsa and Muskogee, unemployment rates surpass the state average, which in turn, exacerbates the crime rates.


Lastly, a lack of access to quality education and low educational attainment can also play a role in crime rates in some Oklahoma cities. Education often acts as a deterrent to criminal behavior, as those with higher levels of education tend to have more career opportunities and earning potential. Additionally, schools can provide resources, social connections, and support systems that help keep young people away from crime. In several high-crime cities in Oklahoma, educational attainment rates are lower than the state average, which suggests a connection between limited educational opportunities and elevated crime rates.

Types of Crimes

When discussing the most dangerous cities in Oklahoma, it’s essential to delve deeper into the types of crimes that contribute to these high crime rates. This section will provide an overview of the various types of crimes that are most prevalent in these cities, focusing specifically on Violent Crimes and Property Crimes.

Violent Crimes

Violent crimes are offenses that involve violence or the threat of violence, including murder, robbery, assault, and sexual assault. According to the search results, Tulsa has been ranked as the most dangerous city in Oklahoma, with 72 murders in 2020, giving it the second-highest violent crime rate in the state. Shawnee and Del City also have high rates of violent crimes in Oklahoma.

Notably, in cities like Muskogee, situated along the Arkansas River, violent crimes are also quite common, posing a significant concern for residents.

Violent crimes often have devastating impacts on communities and individuals. Understanding the nature of these crimes can help improve public safety and develop effective crime prevention strategies.

Property Crimes

Property crimes involve the theft or destruction of property without physical harm to the individuals involved. These types of crimes include burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft. In Oklahoma, cities like Oklahoma City, Shawnee, Tulsa, and Del City have high property crime rates, making them some of the most dangerous cities in terms of property crimes.

It’s worth noting that property crimes can have a substantial financial and emotional impact on victims and communities, as they often result in valuable possessions being stolen or damaged. Additionally, high rates of property crime can contribute to a negative perception of a city’s safety and desirability.

Examining the types of crimes prevalent in these dangerous cities can help provide a clearer picture of the issues at hand and inform data-driven approaches to reducing crime and ensuring public safety.

Crime Prevention Initiatives

Community Policing

Community policing plays a crucial role in crime prevention in Oklahoma’s dangerous cities. This approach involves building strong relationships between law enforcement officers and the community, allowing them to work together to solve problems and address concerns. This partnership helps to create a safer environment and reduce the chance of crimes occurring.

Community policing often includes:

  • Presence of officers in neighborhoods
  • Collaboration with community organizations
  • Engagement in local events and activities
  • Promotion of crime prevention measures

Oklahoma Crime Stoppers Programs

A key component of crime prevention in Oklahoma is the Crime Stoppers programs, which encourage citizens to report criminal activities and share information with law enforcement. Oklahoma’s Crime Stoppers programs provide incentives for anonymous reporting, allocating cash rewards or other incentives to individuals who provide information that leads to an arrest or conviction.

These programs help:

  • Empower citizens to take an active role in crime prevention
  • Increase the likelihood of capturing criminals
  • Foster cooperation between the community and police

Reentry Programs

Reentry programs are another critical element of crime prevention in Oklahoma. These initiatives aim to reduce recidivism rates by providing support and resources to individuals who have completed their sentences and are reintegrating into the community.

Reentry programs in Oklahoma may include:

  • Job training and placement
  • Educational opportunities
  • Addiction treatment and counseling
  • Housing assistance

By offering these services, reentry programs help individuals transition back into society, subsequently reducing the chance of reoffending and contributing to overall crime rates in the area.

Comparing Violence to National Averages

According to the available data, the most dangerous cities in Oklahoma are Tulsa, Idabel, Anadarko, Ardmore, Ponca City, Hugo, and Pauls Valley. This section aims to compare the violence levels in these cities to the national averages in the United States.

In general, the national average for violent crime rates stands at about 1 in 246 residents. In comparison, Oklahoma City experiences a higher violent crime rate, where the chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime are 1 in 159 residents. It is important to note that the rates provided in this context are relative to the overall population of the locations mentioned.

However, Oklahoma is known for having several cities where the violent crime rates are exceptionally high. For example, the city of Tulsa is considered the most dangerous city in Oklahoma, with violence levels that surpass the national average by a considerable margin. The city of Idabel is also recognized for having signficant crime rates with concerns regarding safety and security.

Some factors that contribute to crime rates in these cities include local economical conditions, social issues, drug activity, and population density. Although it is challenging to accurately pinpoint the specific reasons for elevated crime rates in these cities, it is essential to recognize that the data and information provided are based on reported crimes and law enforcement activities.

Additionally, it is important to note that even in the safest states, certain cities may have high crime rates that considerably exceed national averages. Understanding the factors and patterns that arise in relation to crime and violence in Oklahoma is crucial for developing strategies to address safety concerns and foster a sense of security among residents.


In summary, several cities in Oklahoma are deemed dangerous based on crime rates and safety concerns. Some cities that have consistently appeared in various rankings include Tulsa, Idabel, Anadarko, Ardmore, Ponca City, Hugo, Pauls Valley, Muskogee, and Lawton.

Tulsa, being the second-largest city in the state, experienced 72 murders in 2020, contributing to its high violent crime rate. Meanwhile, Lawton has reported a significant number of violent and property crimes.

It is crucial for residents and visitors to remain vigilant in these areas and stay informed about safety precautions. By understanding the risks associated with these cities, we can work together to raise awareness and promote community efforts to improve safety and reduce crime rates.

While it is important to acknowledge the crime rates and safety concerns in these cities, it is also essential to recognize the efforts made by local authorities to address these issues. Engaging in proactive measures and supporting community-driven initiatives can pave the way for a safer and more secure Oklahoma.