Unfortunately, Richmond is often perceived as being less safe than the average city. For 2005, Richmond was ranked 6th most dangerous city in the United States of 100,000 to 499,000 population based on crime statistics in six categories: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and auto theft. Some areas of the city have higher instances of crime than others (the Carver neighborhood north of Broad St. has picked up a bad reputation in particular), but the sections attracting the most tourists—the riverfront, the Fan district—are generally the safest.
That said, Richmond is a major city, and no matter what areas they venture into visitors should act accordingly during their stay—keep an eye on your children and bags, know where you’re going before you head out for the night, don’t carry around large amounts of cash. Use common sense and Richmond is likely no less safe than your hometown.