This City Becomes the Most Dangerous City to live in Oregon

Oregon offers a variety of landscapes, a deep cultural history, and lively city hubs. However, the level of safety and peace varies among its cities. Based on a recent report by RoadSnacks, a data and statistics analysis website, Ontario is identified as the most precarious city to live in within Oregon for 2023.

Factors that lead to Ontario’s heightened risk

Ontario is a small city located near Idaho and situated along the Snake River. It has around 11,000 residents with a median household income of $38,000, which is lower than the state average of $67,000. Recently, Ontario has experienced a significant increase in both violent and property crimes, leading to its high ranking on the 2023 list.

In Ontario, the rate of violent crime is 13.26 incidents per 1,000 residents, which is over three times higher than the state average of 3.47 incidents per 1,000 residents. Typical violent crimes in Ontario are assault, robbery, sexual assault, and homicide. In 2021, the city had a total of 146 violent crimes, which consisted of 4 murders, 12 rapes, 23 robberies, and 107 assaults.

Property crimes in Ontario are quite concerning, with a rate of 52.13 incidents per 1,000 residents, which is almost double the state average of 26.23 incidents per 1,000 residents. Some of the property crimes in Ontario are theft, burglary, and motor vehicle theft. In the year 2021, a total of 573 property-related crimes occurred, including 122 burglaries, 381 thefts, and 70 motor vehicle thefts.

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Factors influencing the incidence and consequences of crime in Ontario

Several factors contribute to the high crime rate in Ontario, such as:

  • Ontario has a poverty rate of 22%, which is higher than the state average of 12%. Moreover, Ontario’s unemployment rate is above the state average, standing at 5.3%. These economic challenges may result in stress and hardship, which could lead to criminal behavior or victimization.
  • Ontario is facing significant challenges with drug abuse, especially with methamphetamine and opioids. Methamphetamine is the most commonly used illicit drug, with heroin and prescription opioids following closely behind. Drug abuse and addiction can lead to criminal activities as individuals try to obtain resources to support their addiction.
  • Ontario is currently dealing with issues regarding law enforcement resources. The City of Ontario Police Department functions with a small team of officers and resources, facing challenges such as budget limitations, understaffing, outdated equipment, and decreased morale. Moreover, there are limited crime prevention or offender rehabilitation programs available in the city.

The high crime rate in Ontario has a detrimental effect on the well-being and quality of life of its residents, impacting:

  • Many residents experience fear and insecurity in their neighborhoods and homes. This may result in decreased time spent outdoors and increased stress, anxiety, and trauma from crime and violence.
  • Loss and damage: Individuals frequently experience material and emotional setbacks as a result of criminal activities, such as property loss, financial difficulties, identity theft, or harm to loved ones.
  • Social and economic decline: The city’s high crime rate is hindering the development of society and the economy. This leads to a decrease in tourism, investment, and population growth, as well as lower property values, tax revenues, and public services. Moreover, it undermines social unity, faith, and participation in community affairs.

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