Nicknamed “the Gang Capital of America”, Los Angeles is the home of over 150,000 gang members and consequentially some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in America.
Gangs such as Bloods, Crips, MS-13, the Sureños, and over a dozen others are active in the LA area. And with 294 homicides in 2016, the murder rate is relatively high and certain neighborhoods are highly crime-infested.
In Compton, as an example, FBI figures show 1 in every 3 males is either currently in prison or has previously been incarcerated. While the overall tendency has been a steady decrease in crime, LA saw an unexpected crime increase in both 2015 as well as 2016. While violent crime increased by 20 % in 2015 compared to 2014, and increased an additional 10 percent in 2016, according to LAPD data.
For the first time in over ten years, all categories of crime increased in 2015 and 2016 – from violent crimes to property crimes. But fear not, LA crime is almost exclusively linked to gang activity, for instance, as stated by Inglewood Police Detective Bureau Captain, John R. Frazier. Furthermore, violent crime is mostly geographically limited to certain low-income areas with high poverty levels and crime-infested neighborhoods.
This is the list of the “10 Most Dangerous LA Neighborhoods”, according to the LAPD in 2016.
10. Leimert Park
Located in South Los Angeles, Leimert Park has about 12,300 residents in a 1.2 sq. mi. area. Some of this neighborhood’s famous former residents include Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, and Tom Bradley. While the L.A. Metro rail serves this area, LAX transfers by limousine are also common. Leimert Park won the 2016 Curbed Cup winner by L.A. Curbed and won the title “L.A. Neighborhood of the Year.” Our limo services often serve this neighborhood and places such as the Vision Theatre, the World Stage, and the Leimert Park Village.
9. Manchester Square
With a population of 12,100 in a one square mile neighborhood, Manchester Square is a small area in South LA. With over 850 veterans, this neighborhood has a high number of formerly active service members. As the community borders LAX, LAX transfers are popular to and from Manchester Square. It’s for the most part a quiet and naturally beautiful and green community but has been the victim of the continued growth of LAX and a high homeless population as well as high crime levels.
Athens is also located in South Los Angeles and has a population of 10,000 in a 1.3 sq. mi. community. With over 252.7 crimes per 10,000 residents, Athens is one of LA’s most dangerous neighborhoods. Popular LA party bus and limousine destinations here include the L.A. Southwest College and the Chester Washington Golf Course.
Over 28,400 live in Vermont-Slauson’s 1.4 square miles, one of the highest population densities in the city. Also located in South L.A., Vermont-Slauson has one of the city’s lowest household incomes and only 3 percent of the city has a college or university degree, one of the lowest rates in the city.
6. Gramercy Park
Gramercy Park is yet another small community of the South region, occupying 1.1 sq. mi. and having a population of about 11,200. Gramercy Park has a high number of gang members and also a high number of veterans. Gramercy Park has a higher average income and higher education levels than Vermont-Slauson but has a large number of gang members contributing to high crime levels.
5. Green Meadows
The fifth most dangerous L.A. neighborhood, Green Meadows, is situated in South Los Angeles and has a population of 30,500 living in a 2.2 sq. mi. area. With only 3.5 % of the population having a higher education and a household income that averages $31,000 per year, Green Meadows is also struggling with gang violence. Unlike Manchester Square, Green Meadows is far from green and is mostly consisting of residential areas.
4. Vermont Knolls
With 349.1 crimes per 10,000 inhabitants, the community of Vermont Knolls is the fourth most dangerous neighborhood in the city. One of LA’s highest population densities – 21,600 people live in the area’s 1.1 sq. mi.
3. Harvard Park
Harvard Park has a population of about 11,000 people residing in 0.6 square miles. The community in South Los Angeles might be most famous for the documentary of the same name which features all the famous baseball players from the community, including Darryl Strawberry and Eric Davis. We visited this community as recently as yesterday to pick up customers for Los Angeles wine tours to Downtown’s San Antonio Winery.
2. Vermont Square
The low-income neighborhood of Vermont Square is located within the South L.A. area and has about 48,000 residents residing in 2.5 sq. mi., making it one of Southern California’s most densely populated areas. The neighborhood might be most famous for being home to the Barack Obama Global Preparatory Academy, but is also one of the city’s most dangerous communities due to the many deadly shootings taking place here.
1. Chesterfield Square
Chesterfield Square has with its 6,400 residents in a 0.6 sq. mi. community been named “the most dangerous neighborhood in Los Angeles” by the LA Times. Having an unusually high violent crime rate, Chesterfield Square is where the most deadly gang massacre took place, namely the 54th St Massacre in 1984.
Other Dangerous Areas
Surprised? Most people would maybe assume to find Skid Row (#34), Compton (#27), or Watts (#14) on this top ten list, but crime in these respective neighborhoods has been on a steady decline.
And while this list is based on violent crimes per 100,000 people, the City of Compton was named the 8th most dangerous city in the U.S. by the FBI in 2010 due to its high number of murders. The homicide rate has decreased since then, and in 2015 Compton experienced its lowest number of homicides in history at fifteen murders.
A whopping 91 percent of the homicides in Compton were committed by a firearm, compared to 68 percent nationwide. While Compton had the U.S. highest murder rate in California in the late 1960s, 46 murders per 100,000 residents, the FBI ranked San Bernardino as the most dangerous city in the state as of 2016. Inglewood, which also was topping the list at one point, is now down to the 10th most dangerous California city.
Is LA Dangerous?
But limousine clients shouldn’t be worried. Keep in mind that the total number of homicides in LA was 294 in 2016, down from 349 in 2001. Although crime is on an increase, the 2011 number of homicides was the lowest in over four decades. Knowing that the number of murders was over 1,000 per year in 1991, 1992 as well as 1993, Los Angeles is steadily becoming a safer city over time.
Keep also in mind that the city has gained over a million new residents since 1990. While the murder rate in 2014 was 6.7 per 100,000 residents, the homicide rate as of 1980 was a whopping 34.2 per 100,000. There might still be areas you shouldn’t stroll around in after dark, maybe particularly not alone, but our LA party bus and limo services serve every community throughout the Greater L.A. Area and you can rest assured that you are in safe hands when traveling with us!
Seeing things in perspective is also valuable: while Chicago is the 3rd largest city in America by population, the Windy City had more homicides in 2016 than Los Angeles and New York combined! While we shouldn’t compare ourselves to Chicago, the city with the most homicides in the nation, comparing L.A. to other U.S. cities will likely get us to realize that the City of Angels really isn’t all that dangerous.
While L.A. had a 2015 murder rate of 6.6 per 100,000 residents, the similar comparable figure is significantly higher in St Louis (59.2/100,000), Baltimore (54.9/100,000), Detroit (43.8/100,000), New Orleans (41.4/100,000), Pittsburgh (22.4/100,000), Memphis (21.4/100,000) and most other larger cities in the United States.
Did you know the Greater LA Area also is home to one of America’s safest cities?