The 15 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Las Vegas: 2023's Ultimate List
Las Vegas started as a city run by the mafia, right on the outskirts of a nuclear testing facility. In its early days, it was a trip. During the 1950s, “Atomic City,” was once known, was the place to go if you wanted to do something sordid, gamble away money, or watch nuclear explosions go off in the desert.
According to FBI statistics, the most violent neighborhoods in Las Vegas are West Las Vegas, Rancho Charleston, Charleston Heights, Twin Lakes, and Michael Way. These areas routinely have the highest rates of violent and property crimes per capita, ranging from 185 to 417% more than the rest of the city. You should avoid visiting Sunrise, Whitney, and Huntridge too.
Of course, there are neighborhoods where you get naughty through the use of booze and dancers, and then there are neighborhoods where you just shouldn’t go near. If you’re wondering what to make of Atomic City, this guide will tell you what to expect.
Is Las Vegas Safe?
As much as Las Vegas has improved as a result of tourism, it’s still not a safe city. Crime is on the downswing, but this city still has a long way to go. Due to the “vice” industries that call Vegas home, it’s a hotspot for addiction.
In recent years, people have uncovered underground “cities” of people living in the tunnels. Many of these people have addictions and are deemed a danger by local police forces. Police can only do so much to curb these issues, as they don’t have a place to put all the vagabonds who come here.
If you want to go away from the Strip, you need to know where you’re going.
What Are The Worst Neighborhoods In Las Vegas?
Though it’s very rare that we say that a city is generally unsafe, Las Vegas frankly fits the bill. Though many parts of the glitzy city might make you think otherwise, this is truly a rough town. In the lesser-traveled areas, Las Vegas is known for problematic drug use as well as underground tunnels where addicts live.
Trying to pinpoint the most dangerous neighborhoods in Las Vegas isn’t easy. So, we decided to take a look at the places with the highest crime rates, with violent crimes being put closer to the top of the list.
1. West Las Vegas
- Population: 20,217
- Violent Crime: 3,154
- Property Crime: 11,005
- Total Reported Crime: 14,159
The west side of town, albeit not much better than East Las Vegas, tends to attract tourists due to its closeness to the Strip. However, this is one of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods. With a poverty rate of 14.6 percent, Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise has the lowest poverty rate in Nevada.
Tourists who go too far from the Strip are robbed and mugged in this region. If you don’t want to leave without your wallet or phone, don’t reserve a room in this part of town.
According to FBI records, there were a total of 14,159 crimes reported during the 2020 calendar year. Murder and auto theft were among the crimes committed.
There were 3,154 violent offenses and 11,005 property crimes in total. While these figures may appear tiny in a large city or neighborhood, the crime rate is quite high compared to a population of 20,217 people.
2. Rancho Charleston
- Population: 28,787
- Violent Crime: 2,184
- Property Crime: 10,323
- Total Reported Crime: 12.507
With a violent crime rate 500 percent higher than a typical United States neighborhood, Rancho Charleston has more in common with the violence of war-torn countries abroad than most parts of America. Simply put, everyone here has learned to live in fear of the crime.
It’s hard to pinpoint what causes the crime, but most people would agree that it’s a mix between the high drug addict population, the homelessness issue, and the gangs that have slowly made this area home.
Living here means you’ll have a 1 in 7 chance of being a victim of criminal activity. If you feel like taking your life into your own hands, here’s the place to do it. Just don’t say anyone didn’t warn you.
For the 2020 calendar year, there have been a total of 12,507 crimes reported in Rancho Charleston. Murder, assault, rape, auto theft, burglary, and other property-related crimes are among them.
Property crime also outnumbers violent crime by a large margin. 2,184 violent offenses and 10,323 property crimes were reported. All of this happened in a neighborhood with a population of 28,787 people.
3. Charleston Heights
- Population: 38,504
- Violent Crime: 1,461
- Property Crime: 6,770
- Total Reported Crime: 8,231
Admittedly, Charleston Heights has a lot of entertainment options that make it a fairly popular place for people to Airbnb during their stay in Vegas. Things like local psychic shops, casinos, arcades, and a performing arts center are bound to make people get a little bit curious about the place, right?
Curious as you might be, you still don’t want to live here full-time. The larger main streets are known for having gang graffiti, and the public school system here doesn’t help with that issue. Around 53 percent of residents claim they wouldn’t walk here alone at night.
It could be that they’re all about driving cars, which are very needed here. Or, it could be due to the 1 in 11 chance of being a crime victim. We can’t tell, but we’re willing to bet that the dark city streets have something to do with it.
In Charleston Heights, there were a total of 8,231 crimes reported in 2020. Murder and rape were among the offenses committed, as were burglary and property theft.
Property crimes outweighed violent crimes at this time. Per capita, there were 6,770 property crimes and 1,461 violent crimes reported.
4. Twin Lakes
- Population: 12,178
- Violent Crime: 1,198
- Property Crime: 6,794
- Total Reported Crime: 7,990
With property crimes over 265 percent above the national average, it’s safe to say that Twin Lakes has a serious theft problem. Even if you’re just looking at the violent crime, the rate still remains about a 233 percent increase over a national suburban average.
The area is close to Wildefire Ranch, the Neon Museum in the neighborhood next over to it, as well as a handful of restaurants. Unfortunately, this area also seems to have a problem with rampant coyotes, rampant theft, vandalism, as well as a severe gang issue.
Twin Lakes, which has a population of 12,178 people, had a total of 7,990 reported crimes in the 2020 calendar year. Murder, rape, assault, property theft, and auto theft are all examples of these crimes.
Around that time, there were fewer violent crimes than property crimes. Property crimes accounted for 6,794 per capita, while violent crimes accounted for 1,198.
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5. Michael Way
- Population: 51,496
- Violent Crime: 1,390
- Property Crime: 6,406
- Total Reported Crime: 7,796
Michael Way isn’t exactly the type of area that tourists associate with Las Vegas. In fact, it’s not even that recognized as part of Las Vegas unless you’re a Nevada native. Maybe it should stay that way. After all, Michael Way is one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Las Vegas for a reason.
Rumors of human trafficking have been rife around this area, but it gets worse. Assaults, robberies, and thefts are astonishingly common. Living here means that you have a 1 in 12 chance of being a victim of crime. Those aren’t the kinds of odds that we’d like to gamble with.
According to FBI records, in the 2020 calendar year, there were a total of 7.796 reported crimes. Murder and property theft were among the crimes committed.
Property crimes outnumbered violent crimes. There were 1,390 violent crimes and 6,406 property crimes reported per capita. This occurred in a neighborhood of 51,496 people.
- Population: 19,066
- Violent Crime: 1,535
- Property Crime: 6,051
- Total Reported Crime: 7,586
Sunrise, also known as Sunrise Manor, might seem like a sunny place to live, but the crime rate definitely casts a shadow on the residents’ ability to enjoy life here. The violent crime rate is a whopping 328 percent higher than the national average, with almost every crime imaginable making its appearance on a police blotter.
This area’s crime rate is unusually high in all the worst areas. Vehicle theft, murder, and aggravated assault are far more likely to happen within Sunrise Manor’s borders than outside. Theft of all types is equally commonplace.
A total of 7,586 offenses were reported in 2020. Murder, rape, car theft, and burglary were among the crimes committed. There were 1,535 violent crimes and 6,051 property crimes reported per capita out of this total.
7. East Las Vegas
- Population: 34,490
- Violent Crime: 1,506
- Property Crime: 5,230
- Total Reported Crime: 6,736
ELV, as you might abbreviate it, is a hotspot for crime—but not in the way that many other districts are. Here, it’s not property crimes that are considered to be a serious concern. Rather, it’s the fact that there is an out-of-control gang issue.
The violent crime rates are so high they are almost triple the typical rate in Las Vegas. With a 320 percent violent crime rate above the national average, going out here at night is not suggested in the least bit.
The main reason for the uptick in crimes is linked to the new flood of homeless people who have made a habit of rummaging through garbage cans. However, new businesses have been helping this area get a little nicer. So all isn’t lost.
In total, 6,736 crimes were committed in East Las Vegas in 2020. These offenses include both violent and non-violent crimes.
Property crimes outnumbered violent crimes. There were a total of 5,230 property offenses reported and 1,506 violent incidents. This is, nonetheless, a higher crime rate in a population of 34,490 people.
8. Desert Shores
- Population: 17,179
- Violent Crime: 1,133
- Property Crime: 4,722
- Total Reported Crime: 5,855
With a total crime rate over 163 percent above the national average, it’s easy to see why police advise travelers to stay away from things around this area. Violent crimes like murder, rape, and assault are twice as common here than in a typical neighborhood elsewhere.
This area has manmade lakes a picnic park and is known for being fairly closed off as a community. So, why would this end up on the list? It’s hard to tell. However, it seems like many residents have issues that make them prone to violence.
Well, it seems like crime has seen a downswing in recent years. Even so, you have a 1 in 15 chance of becoming a victim of crime in Desert Shores.
This neighborhood had a total of 5,855 reported crimes. This comprised of a wide range of offenses, from murder to theft. According to FBI figures, 1,133 violent crimes and 4,722 property crimes were committed.
9. Downtown East
- Population: 7,843
- Violent Crime: 844
- Property Crime: 3,537
- Total Reported Crime: 4,381
Most people who have a friend who lives in Las Vegas might have heard of Downtown East. This area is primarily residential, though you can still occasionally find tourist hotspots in certain areas. While the rents here might be higher than in other areas, most people still wouldn’t want to move here.
Who could blame them? It’s one of the most unsafe neighborhoods in Las Vegas. With a violent crime rate of 968 per 100,000 people, assaults are a fairly commonplace issue here. You’re 1.5 times more likely to be a victim of violent crime here than in a typical neighborhood.
For the 2020 calendar year, there have been a total of 4,831 crimes reported in Downtown East. Murder, assault, rape, auto theft, burglary, and other property-related crimes are among them.
Property crime also outnumbers violent crime by a large margin. 844 violent offenses and 3,537 property crimes were reported. All of this happened in a neighborhood with a population of 7,843 people.
10. Cultural Corridor
- Population: 12,643
- Violent Crime: 838
- Property Crime: 3,513
- Total Reported Crime: 4,351
Cultural Corridor was home to the Reed Whipple Cultural Center that closed down in 2011, but it still remains a fascinating place to go if you love pinatas or a trip to the Neon Museum. Just watch out while you’re here since it’s also one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Las Vegas.
The problems with the Cultural Corridor neighborhood come in both violent and non-violent flavors. Assaults due to drunken fights are quite common, as are thefts. Vehicular thefts, in particular, are rumored to be high up there.
A total of 4,351 offenses were reported in 2020. Murder, rape, car theft, and burglary were among the crimes committed. There were 838 violent crimes and 3,513 property crimes reported per capita out of this total.
11. Naked City
- Population: 10,896
- Violent Crime: 769
- Property Crime: 3,220
- Total Reported Crime: 3,989
Naked City is located past the Encore, just west of the Strip. However, as you reach the Encore, you’ll want to come to a complete stop. After passing the Encore, you’ll find yourself in a district of town where cabs refuse to travel at night. It is commonly regarded as one of Las Vegas’ most dangerous neighborhoods.
Naked City is particularly risky for visitors because of its high unemployment rate, low-income housing, and proximity to the Strip. The number of crimes reported in Naked City is enough to keep residents inside at all hours of the day and night.
In this neighborhood, there were a total of 3,989 crimes reported in 2020. Murder and rape were among the crimes committed, as were burglary and property theft.
Property crimes outweighed violent crimes at this time. Per capita, there were 3,220 property crimes and 769 violent crimes reported.
- Population: 41,124
- Violent Crime: 633
- Property Crime: 2,651
- Total Reported Crime: 3,283
East Las Vegas is another neighborhood you should avoid. Many low-cost long-stay motels may be found in this area of Las Vegas. This would not be a good place to stay.
East Las Vegas has a 191 percent higher crime rate than the national average. It’s practically impossible to avoid becoming a victim of a crime if you visit this part of town. Stay away from this part of town at all costs.
Whitney, which has a population of 41,124 people, had a total of 3,283 reported crimes in the 2020 calendar year. Murder, rape, assault, property theft, and auto theft are all examples of these crimes.
Around that time, there were fewer violent crimes than property crimes. Property crimes accounted for 2,651 per capita, while violent crimes accounted for 633 cases.
- Population: 16,115
- Violent Crime: 706
- Property Crime: 2,956
- Total Reported Crime: 3,661
Huntridge is well-known for its criminal activity. Gangs and gang leaders fight at gunpoint every day, both during the day and at night. In Huntridge, assaults, large thefts, and gun violence are all too common. Unemployment and poverty are highly high in the area.
A few years ago, an attempt was made to clean up the neighborhood by updating the residences. If you’re visiting Las Vegas or considering relocating, avoid the newest residences in Huntridge unless you want to be subjected to high crime rates.
In total, 3,661 crimes were committed in Huntridge in 2020. These offenses include both violent and non-violent crimes. Property crimes outnumbered violent crimes.
There were 2,956 property offenses reported, but only 706 violent incidents. This is, nonetheless, a high crime rate in a population of 16,115 people.
14. Meadows Village
- Population: 3,097
- Violent Crime: 691
- Property Crime: 2,895
- Total Reported Crime: 3,587
Meadows Village appears to be lovely, serene, and charming. However, this portion of the town is just as dangerous as the rest. Gunshots, car theft, and assault have all been recorded at Meadows Village.
In this part of town, fresh crimes are committed every day, and many of them involve guns. Meadow Village has the largest number of reports of illicit guns.
In the 2020 calendar year, there were a total of 3,587 reported crimes, according to FBI records. Murder and property theft were among the crimes committed.
Property crimes outnumbered violent crimes. There were 691 violent crimes and 2,895 property crimes reported per capita. Those are incredibly high numbers for a neighborhood of 3,097 people.
- Population: 41,554
- Violent Crime: 426
- Property Crime: 1,559
- Total Reported Crime: 1,985
In a part of Vegas that is almost entirely residential, Buffalo stands out as one of the most unlivable areas in the entire city. The crime rate is to blame, and it’s not showing any sign of slowing down, either.
With a property crime rate of over 10,000 per 100,000 residents, this area has one of the highest crime rates in Las Vegas. This leads people to have a 1 in 9 chance of being a victim, regardless of what section of the neighborhood they choose to live in.
Most people who live here note that it’s “not safe at all” and urge people to avoid walking alone at night. Listen to the locals, folks! Buffalo isn’t the kind of place that anyone should try to go to for a quick stroll.
According to FBI records, there were a total of 1,985 crimes reported during the 2020 calendar year. Murder and auto theft were among the crimes committed.
There were 426 violent offenses and 1,559 property crimes in total. While these figures may appear tiny, when compared to a population of 41,554 people, crime still exists.
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Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.
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