Washington DC is a city of contrasts, with wealthy neighbourhoods juxtaposed against much poorer areas on its outskirts. For city residents, the decision to live in a safe, central location often means paying exorbitant rent prices. On the other hand, living in less expensive neighbourhoods can mean facing longer commutes and higher crime rates. This report will delve into the most difficult areas of Washington, DC.
Is Washington DC Safe? An Analysis of the Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Washington DC
Although Washington, DC has seen an increase in violent crime rates between 2020 and 2022, it is essential to note that the city is generally safe, particularly in the tourist areas and central parts. The rate of violent crime in DC is comparable to other major cities. That being said, certain areas in Washington, DC are considered dangerous, and it may not be as safe as some other major cities such as New York City.
If you plan on exploring or relocating to DC, you must be aware of the areas you should avoid.
Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Washington DC
With its high violent crime rates, Brentwood stands out as the most dangerous neighbourhood in Washington, DC. This neighbourhood is home to a population of 28,660 people, and in 2022 alone, there were 1,715 violent crimes recorded. Burglaries, theft, and car theft also remain common in Brentwood, with a total of 7,556 incidents reported. Residents and visitors are advised to avoid leaving personal items like bikes or valuables in their cars, as petty theft is rampant. When taking public transportation, keeping your wallet, cash, and other valuable items hidden from view is recommended.
Anacostia, located in southeastern DC, has a population of 117,488 and is known for its high rates of violent and property crimes. Despite its historical significance, the area has been plagued by corruption for years. The crime rate in Anacostia is unpredictable and has fluctuated since the early 2000s. Drug and gang activities are rampant in the Ward 8 section and the River’s East Bank area. According to a study conducted in 2015, only 44 per cent of the residents feel safe walking on the street during the daytime. The locals have expressed dissatisfaction with the police’s lack of protection and adequate patrolling in the area. Therefore, it is advised to exercise caution while using public transit and keep your valuable items safe.
Deanwood is considered one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in in in Washington, DC, mainly due to its high crime rate. It is located in the Northeast area of DC and has a population of 29,798. Unfortunately, the violent crime rate in Deanwood is 600% higher than the national average. Most criminal activity in this neighbourhood is attributed to gang-related incidents, including gun violence and drug-relatedoffencess. Despite the moderate police presence, crime has been on the rise, increasing by 2% every year since 2018. In the first half of 2021, DC police reported 30 robberies, 34 assaults, 27 burglaries, and three murders in the area. The likelihood of becoming a victim of any type of crime in Deanwood is 1 in 12.
4. U Street Corridor
The U Street Corridor, located in Northwestern DC, has a population of 10,104 and has been known as one of the most dangerous places to live in Washington DC for decades. Since the 1968 riots, this area has been notorious for crimes, especially narcotics and prostitution. However, after police interventions in the early 2000s, crime rates have decreased, and the site is no longer the most dangerous in town. Nevertheless, gang-related crimes, including drive-by shootings, still occur regularly, so it’s crucial to be cautious when visiting this neighbourhood, especially at night and if you’re a female. The U Street Corridor neighbourhood has an overall crime rate of approximately 1 in 10, making it a place to be careful.
5. Columbia Heights
Columbia Heights, located in W,ashington DC, is notorious for being one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the area. With a population of 34,875, the neighbourhood is infamous for its gang activity. The crime rate in this neighbourhood was recorded to be 5,825 per 100,000 people in 2020. Although violent crime like shootings is mostly gang-related and does not typically affect the local population, it is still a cause for concern. However, walking or biking around the area during the day is generally considered safe, as long as one exercises common sense.
Petworth, located in the Northwest in Ward 4, has a population of 11,886 people. Although it is not considered one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in Washington, DC, it has some particularly unsafe areas. During the day, some residents have reported issues with panhandling and vagrancy, making walking in the area unpleasant. While Petworth’s overall crime rates are 14% lower than the Washington DC average, its violent crime rates are 143% higher than the national average. It is not advisable to walk alone at night due to constant problems with petty theft, pickpocketing, and muggings. To avoid these issues, it is recommended that you keep your cash and personal belongings secure.
Shaw is home to around 13,782 people in the Northwest of DC. The neighbourhood has a crime rate of 6,696 per 100,000 people, with property crime being seven times more prevalent than violent crime. Gunshots are frequently reported, especially around Sixth Street, and incidents of pickpocketing and mugging are common. It is advisable alwkeep personal belongings secure to avoid becoming a victim. Unfortunately, residents have a 1 in 12 chance of being a victim of a crime in this area.
8. Ledroit Park
In the early 1990s, this location was well-known for being an open-air drug market. Throughout the mid-2010s, there were significant fluctuations in the number of robberies and murders. As of 2022, the area has seen an 184% increase in violent crimes compared to the national average, and total crime rates are 161% higher. Property crimes are also prevalent, regardless of the time of day or night. It is advisable to take taxis instead of public transit and keep your cash and valuables close to you. However, the frequent presence of law enforcement officers enhances security in this part of town.
The stadium is home to a population of 21,142, with crime rates that exceed the city average by 24%. Violent crime, which includes gun violence, is unfortunately common in this area. However, the presence of a robustly staffed police department, including the metro station police, ensures safety for residents and visitors alike. It is essential to remain vigilant and monitor your belongings, especially when leaving valuables in parked cars, as property crime rates remain high. Despite these safety concerns, tseveralnumber of highly-rated hotels in the area, making it a popular destination for travellers.
Washington, D,C continues to hold its position as one of the most culturally and economically important cities in the United States. With its status as the centre of the government and host to countless international events, DC is a city of diversity. Despite some unsafe neighbourhoods, many still hold great historical significance in DCplan planning to relocate, it is essential to consider your needs and find the right area that suits you. This is especially important due to the city’s high cost of living and heavy traffic flow, as your neighbourhood will significantly impact your quality of life.
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