You might be planning a move to Baltimore or maybe just thinking about visiting. While it’s a great city with lots of history and safe areas, it also has some neighborhoods that can be quite dangerous. Here, we’ll talk about 15 of these neighborhoods, and give you some vital information to keep you safe.
The Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Baltimore
- Cherry Hill
- Druid Heights
- Broadway East
- Greenmount East
- Penn North
- McElderry Park
- Fairfield Area
- Johnston Square
- Park Heights
1. Cherry Hill
Let’s begin with Cherry Hill. This neighborhood has a notorious reputation when it comes to crime rates. You should always be mindful here, day or night. Statistically, Cherry Hill has one of the highest violent crime rates compared to other neighborhoods in Baltimore, and even across the nation.
A key fact to consider is the number of violent crimes per 1,000 residents comes to a whopping 17.29! That’s a figure that weighs heavily on the community. On the bright side, Cherry Hill boasts a strong sense of community among residents who are actively engaged in fostering a safer neighborhood. But nonetheless, you’d be well-advised to stay vigilant while in this area.
According to the latest stats from 2020, the neighborhood had a violent crime rate of 2,454 per 100,000 residents. Bear in mind, that this is far above the citywide average.
Notably, the neighborhood is an epicenter of drug activities, which largely contribute to its crime scene. In fact, prosecutors in Baltimore have noted that 44% of drug offenses take place here. Indeed, walking around the area, it may be wise to avoid less populated streets, especially during late hours.
3. Druid Heights
When you talk about uneasy neighborhoods in Baltimore, Druid Heights frequently comes to mind. According to crime data, this neighborhood has a higher crime rate than a majority of Baltimore neighborhoods, making it a challenging place to live or even visit.
Based on the last five years data, there have been instances of serious crimes such as assault, robbery, and other violent crimes occurring almost daily. These numbers serve as a warning for those planning to visit or establish residence in this area.
4. Broadway East
Broadway East isn’t just a neighborhood known for its rich history but, unfortunately, it has earned a reputation as a dangerous pocket of Baltimore. Couple this with a high poverty rate of 44% and it isn’t hard to see why this area is considered dangerous to live in or visit. While cultural draws like famous Jazz clubs attempted to bring positive attention to the area, crime rates have become the defining factor when considering Broadway East.
Statistically speaking, this neighborhood has a crime index of 1 – meaning it’s safer than just 1% of U.S. cities. Assaults, in particular, are quite alarming here. Your chance of becoming a victim of violent crime in Broadway East is 1 in 16. It’s really important to take this into account when planning a visit or deciding to move to this neighborhood. Being aware of your surroundings at all times in such areas is crucial for personal safety.
Upton usually finds its place in the top 10 when it comes to violent crime rates in the city. Burglary, armed robbery, and assault are commonly reported crimes. This makes taking precautions necessary if you need to visit or stay in Upton.
Statistically, the chances of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime here is 1 in 15.
Despite its less-than-ideal statistics, Upton is home to the historic Pennsylvania Avenue, a strong focal point for Baltimore’s African-American community. However, considering the safety aspect, it’s best to remain cautious and ensure personal safety if visiting Upton.
6. Greenmount East
Greenmount East hosts the label of a neighborhood you need to navigate with care. Crime statistics point it out as one of the unsafe areas in Baltimore. According to data, violent crime rates are extraordinarily high, with over 1,800 reported incidents per 100,000 people in 2019. The risk of being a crime victim is much more likely here than in other parts of the city.
Property crime rates have also seen high figures, with over 5,000 reported incidents per 100,000 people. So, remember to lock up well if you’re living or visiting there.
In Westport, crime rates are pretty high, making it less appealing to live in or visit. The chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime in this area is 1 in 20 according to Neighborhood Scout. Comparatively, this rate is higher than 99% of neighborhoods in the U.S.
For property crimes, indexing over burglary, theft, and car theft, the statistic sits at a significant 1 in 10. What does this mean for you? Simply walking through Westport increases your chances of being involved in some kind of crime. Therefore, whether you’re a resident or planning a short visit, it’s important to stay cautious in this neighborhood.
8. Penn North
If you find yourself in Penn North, be extra aware. This neighborhood holds the unfortunate label of the one of the more dangerous areas of Baltimore. Known for a high rate of both violent and property crimes, Penn North sees a significant amount of illegal activity. Just to give you an idea, the crime rate here is an alarming 153% higher than the national average.
Advice for visiting or living in the area? Keep your eyes open and stay very vigilant. Theft is very common, approaching almost 2 times higher than the national average. And let’s not even mention robbery and assault. Those numbers put Penn North on the map for all the wrong reasons.
And the problem seems to be concentrated, with 70% of the crime happening in the southern part of the neighborhood. So, if you happen to pass through Penn North, please take these statistics into account and prioritize your safety above all else.
9. McElderry Park
McElderry Park sits in the east of Baltimore and can occasionally be unsafe. The city’s crime data reveals that this neighborhood has a significantly high rate of violent crimes. If you’re there, always pay attention to your surroundings and stay alert, especially during the late hours.
Ironically, this neighborhood is rich in history with solid rowhouse-style architecture. However, the high rate of unemployment and poverty has led to increased criminal incidents. In 2019, there was an estimated violent crime rate of 3,483 per 100,000 residents, well above the city average.
Poppleton is a small neighborhood that has a high alarming crime rate. According to area police records, it reports twice the city average in violent crimes. This makes it one of the most treacherous areas to live in Baltimore. The region has an abundance of potential, but crime rates continue to overshadow it.
Interestingly, Poppleton is also known for its distinctive architecture, with rows of historic red-brick houses. Yet, the risk of encountering violence can unnerving for both residents and visitors.
11. Fairfield Area
Fairfield Area lands at the 11th spot on our list. This industrial, deep south Baltimore neighborhood has an exceptionally high crime rate. Data points us to the fact that Fairfield Area, sadly, experiences more crime in a year than 91% of other communities in Maryland. The unfortunate odds are that 1 in 25 people here suffer a property crime.
It’s crucial to note this doesn’t mean every inch of Fairfield Area is a danger zone. There are pockets of relative safety. But, this tells you to always stay alert, especially during night-time hours. Our safety suggestion? If you find yourself in this neighborhood late in the day, arrange a ride home instead of walking the streets.
12. Johnston Square
In 2020, this neighborhood recorded a rate of over 148 violent crimes per 1,000 residents, placing it among the top most dangerous neighborhoods. It’s important to maintain an increased level of vigilance while navigating this area, especially at night.
Despite the high crime rate, Johnston Square also presents tales of everyday life amidst its challenges. If you decide to visit, be aware that there may be incidences of gun violence or theft. Do make sure to be cautious, just as you would in any other place that poses similar risks. Nevertheless, there are locals who carry on with routine activities, despite the underlying safety issues.
It is not unusual to walk on the streets of Oliver and witness drug deals happen openly at street corners. In fact, in a single year, Oliver experienced nearly 1,000 reported incidents of violent crime.
This neighborhood’s crime prevalence raises a red flag for most. The advice to anyone planning to visit Oliver is always simple – remain alert and mindful of your surroundings. It may not be the most calming setting for a leisurely walk, given the uncertainty that looms. You’d be wise to ensure your possessions are secure and to avoid less crowded areas.
Midtown-Edmondson is an area in Baltimore that demands your attention. Not for its charm, sadly, but for its crime rates. It’s an area that has seen its share of hard times over the years. Simply put, crime rate statistics show Midtown-Edmondson to be one of the troublesome spots in Baltimore.
According to data from the Baltimore Police Department, Midtown-Edmondson has a high rate of violent crimes, including assault and robbery. Particularly alarming are the homicide rates, which surpass city averages. For your safety, if you don’t have a specific reason to be in this neighborhood, it’s better to avoid it.
15. Park Heights
Located in the northwest area of the city, Park Heights is infamous for its high crime rates. This neighborhood, unfortunately, reports an alarming number of violent crimes, which include homicides, assaults, and robberies. In 2020, it was found that Park Heights had the highest number of violent crimes compared to the other neighborhoods in Baltimore, according to Baltimore’s police data.
What’s more, it even lets out a “stay-away” signal with its property crime rate. Break-ins, theft, and car thefts in this area are significantly high, overshadowing Baltimore’s overall average.
In these times, it’s crucial for us to focus on safety and care for each other. With the right precautions, one can take steps towards personal safety even in these areas.
Despite higher rates of crime, there are residents in these neighborhoods working every day to build and nurture their communities. Don’t let crime reports – stay safe, stay informed, and take care.
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