This Town in New Jersey State Takes the Crown for Most Violent


The Statue of Liberty, the Jersey Shore, and the Pine Barrens are just a few of the many attractions in the state of New Jersey. On the other hand, the most recent FBI data indicates that it also contains some of the nation’s most hazardous cities. Out of all of them, Wildwood is the town that sticks out as being the most violent.

What Makes Wildwood So Dangerous?

Situated in Cape May County, on the southernmost point of New Jersey, is the small town of Wildwood, home to roughly 5,000 people. It is well-known for drawing millions of visitors each year with its beach, boardwalk, and theme parks. There is a sinister aspect to this town, though, hidden underneath the pleasure and sunshine.

In 2020, there were 7,437 recorded crimes in Wildwood, including 6,724 property crimes and 713 violent crimes, according to the FBI. This indicates that there were 13.7 violent crimes for every 100 residents in the town and 129.5 property crimes for every 100 persons. These rates are significantly more than the 2.1 and 14.6 state averages, respectively.

Comparing Wildwood to other towns with comparable populations, it also comes out on top as the most dangerous town in New Jersey. Salem, for example, has 4,931 residents and a violent crime rate of 41.8 per 100, as well as a property crime rate of 68.8 per 100. With 4,899 people living there, Penns Grove has a violent crime rate of 36.7 per 100 and a property crime rate of 54.6 per 100.

What Are the Causes and Consequences of Wildwood s Crime Problem?

The high rates of crime in Wildwood are caused by a variety of variables, including gang involvement, drug misuse, unemployment, poverty, and a lack of education. In contrast to the state average of 9.2%, Wildwood’s poverty rate in 2019 was 28.9%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2020, the town’s unemployment rate was 11.9%, higher than the state average of 7.8%. Furthermore, in 2019 Wildwood’s high school graduation rate was 77.4%, lower than the state average of 90.9%.

The negative effects of Wildwood’s crime problem extend beyond its citizens and affect tourists and businesses as well. The continual fear of violence, theft, and vandalism negatively impacts the residents’ safety, health, and quality of life. The town’s reputation and tourism sector suffer when tourists who come to enjoy the attractions also end up as victims of crime. The town’s economy and employment are harmed by the potential losses, closures, and lawsuits faced by the companies that depend on the money from the tourists.

What Can Be Done to Improve Wildwood s Situation?

While there is no quick fix for Wildwood’s crime issue, there are some things that may be done to lessen it. Among these actions are:

  • Increasing the police presence and resources in the town, especially during the peak tourist season, to deter and prevent crime.
  • Implementing community policing and outreach programs, to build trust and cooperation between the police and the residents, and to address the underlying issues that lead to crime.
  • Providing more social services and opportunities for the residents, such as education, health care, job training, and addiction treatment, to improve their living conditions and prospects.
  • Promoting economic development and diversification in the town, to create more jobs and income for the residents, and to reduce their dependence on tourism.
  • Enhancing the security and maintenance of the town s attractions, to protect them from crime and vandalism, and to improve their appeal and quality.


The highest crime rates in the state and some of the highest in the nation are found in the New Jersey municipality of Wildwood. Numerous issues, including poverty, unemployment, drug misuse, gang activity, and a lack of education, contribute to the town’s crime problem. There are major ramifications from the town’s crime problem not only for the locals but also for tourists and companies.

There are several ways to lessen the town’s crime problem: stepping up police presence and resources; putting community policing and outreach programs into place; expanding social services and opportunities; encouraging economic development and diversification; and improving town attractions’ security and upkeep. The town of Wildwood has great promise, but it will require a lot of assistance to overcome its obstacles and develop into a better, safer environment for all.

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