This Town in Washington State Takes the Crown for Most Violent


Washington State is renowned for its progressive politics, varied culture, and stunning natural surroundings. It does, nevertheless, have a few communities that suffer with high rates of violent crime. Among them is Fife, a tiny community outside of Tacoma that has been named the state’s most dangerous municipality.

What is Fife and why is it so violent?

About 30 miles south of Seattle, in Pierce County, sits the town of Fife, home to about 11,000 residents. Included in the Tacoma metropolitan region, it was formerly an industrial and farming hamlet. Fife had a violent crime rate of 1,263 per 100,000 persons, more than three times higher than the state average of 358 and the national average of 367, according to the 2020 FBI Uniform Crime Report. In addition, Fife has the highest rates of violent assault, rape, robbery, and murder of any town or city in Washington.

The causes of Fife’s high crime rate are intricate and varied. Among the elements that could be involved are:

Poverty and inequality: The typical household income in Fife is $54,000, less than the $78,000 state average and the $62,000 federal average. In addition, the poverty rate is 16%, greater than both the national and state averages of 10% and 12%. Social and economic stress brought on by poverty and inequality can result in criminal activity and violence.

Drug and alcohol abuse: Substance abuse is a major problem in Fife, particularly among the youth. In contrast to 22% of students statewide, 32% of Fife students reported consuming alcohol in the previous month, according to the 2018 Washington Healthy Youth Survey. Compared to 17% of students statewide, 20% of Fife students reported consuming marijuana in the previous month. In contrast to 6% of students nationwide, 9% of Fife students reported using prescription medicines without a doctor’s prescription in the previous year. Abuse of substances can cause anger, impulsivity, and impaired judgment, all of which can result in crime and violence.

Turf battles and gang activity: Fife has an issue with gang activity, particularly among the youth. The Pierce County Gang Assessment estimates that there are roughly 2,000 members in 70 active gangs in the county. The Hilltop Crips, the East Side Lokotes, the South Side Locos, and the Native Gangster Bloods are a few of the gangs that are active in Fife. These gangs engage in violence, robberies, extortion, and drug trafficking. They frequently disagree with one another about money, territory, and respect, which can lead to killings, stabbings, and shootings.

What is being done to reduce violence in Fife?

Fife is aware of its crime problem and has taken action to deal with it. Among the programs that have been put into practice or suggested are:

Increasing the number of police officers and their resources: Fife’s police force grew from 25 in 2010 to 34 in 2020. It has also made investments in its police department’s modern machinery, cars, and technology. In order to exchange intelligence, plan operations, and identify high-risk offenders, Fife has also collaborated with other law enforcement organizations, including the FBI, the Tacoma Police Department, and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office.

Improving community involvement and violence prevention: Fife has started a number of initiatives and activities to interact with the community and stop violence. One such initiative is the establishment of a Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving (COPPS) unit in Fife, which aims to foster connections and trust with the locals, companies, and educational institutions.

Additionally, it is the organizer of the yearly [National Night Out] celebration of safety and community. Fife has additionally contributed to a number of youth initiatives, including the [Fife Mentor Program], the [Fife Youth Commission], and the [Boys and Girls Club], which offer young people opportunity, constructive activities, and role models.

Improving social and economic circumstances: Fife has acknowledged that crime affects society and the economy in addition to law enforcement. As a result, it has worked on many initiatives and programs to raise the standard of living and possibilities for the locals. For instance, it approved the [Housing Action Plan], which attempts to boost Fife’s housing availability and affordability. Additionally, it has created a [Downtown Revitalization Plan] with the goal of transforming the downtown area into a lively and appealing place with mixed-use construction, public spaces, and cultural events.


The high rate of violent crime in the Washington state town of Fife is caused by a number of variables, including gang involvement, poverty, and drug usage. Fife has improved social and economic conditions, increased police presence, and increased community engagement as ways to lessen violence, but she is not giving up. The town of Fife has many opportunities and strengths, but it also faces many difficulties. It is a town that merits consideration, assistance, and deference.

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