Is Tampa safe? It seems like a simple enough question. We all want to feel safe, wherever we go, whether it's to live, to work, or to visit for pleasure. But 'safe' is a relative term. People who work every day on construction sites might feel safe enough. They're used to the environment and know how to behave. A visitor to a site, however, could feel overwhelmed by the hazards that are all about them - they probably won't feel very safe.
Also, when we ask, 'Is Tampa safe?', what are we referring to? Some may have concerns about the possibility of hurricanes. Others could be worried about flooding. Or people could be thinking in terms of the number of motor vehicle accidents. However, the biggest factor when it comes to feeling safe is the fear of crime.
One of the least helpful things here is 'The News.' Violent crime makes for great headlines, unfortunately. And so, reports are often heavy on sensationalism and light on reality. Even one single tragic event could - unjustly - earn a neighborhood a bad reputation.
So how do we find out the truth? Statistics can be both a help and a hindrance. They don't lie, essentially, but they can sometimes give a skewed picture of what is actually going on. The best approach is to consult a range of sources, such as first-hand reviews, insurance reports, and real estate blogs. Using these you should be able to gain an overall sense of how safe an area is.
The following guide could be helpful in that quest. The research has been pulled from various sources to offer an overview of the safest neighborhoods in Tampa.
This neighborhood, and North Hyde Park, in particular, scores highly in terms of 'livability.' Tourists and residents alike speak highly of its many charms. It offers the 'best of both worlds' in the way of historic architecture and modern high-rise living. The vibe seems to be a happy one, with glowing reports about free parking and a huge range of unique stores, boutiques, cafes, restaurants, and bars, all set in within easy reach.
In terms of safety, crime rates here are 43% lower than the national average. Some reviews even encourage visitors to seek out the small, independent boutiques tucked away down back streets and alleys! That's not something you'd recommend in most large inner-city areas. Whether you're just visiting or considering moving to the area, Hyde Park should definitely be on your list.
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Reviews of Carrollwood consistently display these words; safe, clean, friendly, diverse, animal-friendly, family-friendly. What more could you ask for? Being centrally located, it is handy for getting to other parts of Tampa. Once you're there, however, everything is within easy reach - shops, restaurants, parks, cafes. The overall feeling is one of a community that welcomes everybody. There is a definite sense of cultural diversity, which has inevitably influenced the local food scene. Most of the residents report that their only experience of crime relates to minor issues. The biggest complaint other than this is that traffic can sometimes be heavy, concentrated around the schools (which, by the way, have ratings above the national average).
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'Affluence' is the keyword here. The two islands were joined in the 1920s as part of the massive dredging operation that shapes the bay area today. David Paul Davis was the Tampa native behind the project, buying the islands from the city and building his own community on them. His legacy lives on in this thriving neighborhood that boasts a crime rate 67% lower than the national average, and which is decreasing annually. Violent crime is 37% lower than average, and the neighborhood is considered to be almost 80% safer than other cities in Florida.
There are many young, professional families here, enjoying the parks, bars, and restaurants. These residents mix with the retirees who settle on the islands. As might be expected, the affluent tone and the demographics lend a more 'conservative' political atmosphere. Unsurprisingly, is cited as one of the best places to live in Florida, and 'safe' it most definitely is!
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There is a recurring theme in all reports on Westchase, and that is family. The whole neighborhood is planned well, with parks, pools, conveniently placed grocery stores, and well-run schools. Most residents express a feeling of community, stating that they have always felt safe living here. Diversity is not as evident in Westchase, and it has an affluent, 'middle-class' feel. The main complaint here is the lack of nightlife - which won't be a problem for a lot of people. Reported crimes are generally limited to DUIs or minor property incidents. When it comes to serious crime, Westchase is 57% lower than the national average.
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Last, but by no means least, is Palma Ceia. This neighborhood gets a 'thumbs up' on many counts. Our original question - 'Is Tampa safe?' - gets a big YES here! Not only are crime stats astonishingly good (81% lower than average), but the residents give glowing reports of life in Palma Ceia. The area is well-kept and clean. It's easy to park. Most kids play outside and feel safe doing so. Restaurants are within easy walking distance. And 93% of people stated that they were happy to walk alone at night. It is a quiet area with a community spirit, a holiday atmosphere, and friendly neighbors.
70% of residents who move here say that they plan to stay for at least 5 years - and you can see why!
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So, is Tampa safe? These five examples of Tampa neighborhoods prove that it can be. Like any large city, it has good and bad areas. Yes, there may be specific sectors to avoid. What it comes down to is using basic common sense. All these neighborhoods above have something in common; they are well-kept and display signs of community spirit.
When individuals look after their homes, their neighborhood, and each other, then, generally, they are going to be safe places to live, to work in, or to visit as a tourist.
If you'd like to learn about more Tampa neighborhoods, check out our guide to the best neighborhoods in Tampa.
Let us know what you think about Tampa and safety in the comments!