Andrew Parker

25 Cities Where Residents Feel Like They’re Living on the Front Line of Crime

Not all cities are great examples of safety and charm. Some American ones are actually pretty difficult to live in because of high crime rates and other safety issues. But what makes them so bad? Here are 25 of these cities and why they’re such dangerous locations.

St. Louis, MO

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St. Louis is famous for that big and beautiful arch, but there’s also a less attractive side to it. The city is struggling with high violent crime rates, including some of the highest number of homicides and assaults in the country. The people here are always on their toes, and they’re desperately trying to make the streets safer.

Baltimore, MD

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With its gorgeous harbor and historic sites, Baltimore is also struggling with violent crimes like shootings and robberies. For the people who live here, these issues are a part of daily life, and this means even a simple trip to the store is difficult. Although the city’s trying to turn things around, it’s still dealing with some pretty big challenges.

Detroit, MI

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Detroit was once the heart of the automobile industry, but not anymore. Economic decline and rising crime rates have caused all kinds of issues in this city. It’s made things even more difficult for residents, both in terms of property values and personal safety. Sadly, it doesn’t look like things will get better anytime soon.

New Orleans, LA

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There’s no denying that New Orleans has some of the best jazz and jambalaya around, but you should watch out if you ever decide to visit. The city’s high violent crime rate can take out the joy of any traveler’s visit, even though local law enforcement is trying to improve things. No amount of festivities can brighten up this city’s dark side.

Memphis, TN

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Most people know Memphis as the home of blues and Elvis Presley, although the crime rates in certain areas usually hit a sour note. High property and violent crime rates mean that it’s quite tough to live in certain neighborhoods. Many locals fear for their safety and the city’s overall prospects.

Chicago, IL

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Chicago has skyscrapers and deep-dishes pizzas, but they don’t take away from its rising crime rates. Of course, the local government is attempting to stabilize the areas that are worse hit by these crime rates. Unfortunately, this progress is taking far too long, and it’s made progress pretty uneven.

Oakland, CA

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When you think of Oakland, what do you see in your mind? It’s probably some stunning views and a diverse community of people. Sadly, most locals just think about the number of burglaries and assaults that happen here every year. The local police are stretched thin, and it’s making it even harder for them to keep up with the demands of making the city safer.

Philadelphia, PA

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Even the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia, has its fair share of challenges. In some areas of the city, residents are dealing with constant crime, which means they’re not able to live or work in the way that they’d like. The community has to pull itself closer together and work harder if they’re going to make this city better.

Milwaukee, WI

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Although it has become famous for its breweries and unique arts scene, there’s also plenty of violent crime brewing in Milwaukee. Studies show that the number of homicides has been declining, although it’s still much higher than before the pandemic. The government is trying to make things better by giving more funding to the police department and creating programs like the “Safer City MKE” initiative.

Atlanta, GA

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Atlanta has plenty of things going on, including new entertainment facilities and businesses opening up. Sadly, this has also led to an increase in crime rates, as some areas are thriving while others are struggling. It’s a problem that Atlanta’s been facing for a while, and it seems like it’ll continue dealing with this for much longer, too.

Cleveland, OH

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Even a city like Cleveland, which has a reputation for music and sports, is still working hard to make a comeback from high crime rates. In some neighborhoods, people are struggling with poverty and also some seriously high crime rates. Of course, the city has created some community programs to give these people a leg up and make the streets safer.

Albuquerque, NM

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If you’re in Albuquerque, you might want to double-check your car locks before you leave. The city has one of the highest rates of automobile thefts in the country, and local law enforcement is trying to fight this with new initiatives. Sadly, it’s an uphill battle that’s keeping police and residents pretty busy.

Stockton, CA

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In sunny California, Stockton is dealing with high crime rates and high unemployment. These challenges often go hand-in-hand with each other, which means that it’s hard for anyone to achieve personal or economic security. Community leaders are trying to improve job opportunities to make things safer, but only time will tell if these efforts work.

Washington, D.C.

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Sadly, even America’s capital, Washington D.C., has safety issues across its neighborhoods, although it’s not exactly equal. Some neighborhoods are almost completely safe, while others are dealing with regular breakouts of violence. Depending on where you live in D.C., you might feel like you’re in an entirely different world.

Kansas City, MO

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The biggest cause of crime in Kansas comes from the drug trade, which has caused a huge shadow over the city’s overall vibe. Certain neighborhoods are suffering from these drug issues more than others, and your safety is practically non-existent here. Unfortunately, data shows that the number of homicides has been increasing year on year since 2020.

Little Rock, AR

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City officials in Little Rock have their hands full with a lot of safety issues, particularly violent crimes like assaults and robberies. But that’s not all, as many people are also suffering from increasing poverty and unemployment rates. They’re trying to solve these issues by improving community-police relations, which will hopefully make neighborhoods more livable.

Indianapolis, IN

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In Indianapolis, the major problems come from gang activity and drug crimes, which have caused an increase in violence. In some areas, shootings are an everyday occurrence, and life feels like a war zone. If you’re planning to walk around after dark, don’t be surprised if you see a carjacking going on.

Fresno, CA

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Burglaries and thefts are pretty widespread in Fresno, which has left many homeowners feeling violated. Fights between gangs are pretty common, and they’re mostly fueled by drug issues. To make matters worse, the rising poverty rates mean that many people are stuck in a cycle of crime and despair.

Hartford, CT

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Most headlines in Hartford are about the shootings and robberies that seem to happen on a daily basis. With lots of people out of work and money tight, some residents are feeling desperate and turning to crime to solve their issues. It’s a tough city to live in because you never know when or where violence will strike next.

Tucson, AZ

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Residents in Tucson are no strangers to crime, especially property crime, and they’re constantly on edge because of all these burglaries and car thefts. After the sun goes down, things get even scarier, as assaults are way too common. Many people feel trapped in their homes, wondering if they’ll ever feel safe again.

San Bernardino, CA

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It’s no wonder that San Bernardino’s got a reputation for being tough because violent crimes are a dime a dozen. Gang activity has turned some neighborhoods into a struggle between life and death. While property crime rates have declined, the number of violent crimes, like rape and homicide, has only increased. 

Buffalo, NY

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Like in some other cities, the drug trade has caused all manner of problems in Buffalo, particularly in terms of shootings and stabbings. In some areas, like East Buffalo, drug addiction is all too real of a problem. With violence around almost every corner, some locals are wondering if the city is worth the risk. 

Bridgeport, CT

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In Bridgeport, violent incidents are becoming much too common, particularly in terms of shootings and robberies. The city’s dealing with some economic issues that are only making matters worse, as they drive up poverty levels and people’s desperation. Even the neighborhoods that used to be safe have become huge danger zones.

Newark, NJ

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Newark’s crime rates are a tale of two cities. On the plus side, violent crime rates have fallen by approximately 10%, but property crimes have risen by 35%. The number of homicides has also decreased while the number of automobile thefts has increased. Clearly, for every issue that the city solves, another one springs up to take its place.

Springfield, MA

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Crime is just a part of life in Springfield, Massachusetts. Data shows that the violent crime rate is much higher than the national average, as 438.5 crimes are committed per 100,000 people. This rate has been fluctuating since 2006 and doesn’t show signs of slowing down. Even so, property crime rates tend to be a little lower.

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