Las Vegas Crime Rate: Staying Safe in Sin City
Las Vegas Crime Rate: Staying Safe in Sin City
Notorious for the Strip, Las Vegas is bathed in neon lights and gambling chips. Every year, 43 million people travel to Las Vegas to sample the high life, bask in the neon lights, and try their hand at poker in billion-dollar hotels. Needless to say, with a city overflowing with wealth and tourism, crime is also prevalent. The Las Vegas crime rate is 59 percent higher than the national average, making Las Vegas a dangerous place to be alone at night.
Just because Las Vegas can be dangerous doesn’t mean that you should stay clear of the city; many people visit Las Vegas without becoming victims of crime. Staying safe is important and easy to do as long as you are prepared beforehand. Here’s everything you need to know to stay safe in Sin City.
Crimes in Las Vegas
Crime rates are ranked on a scale from one to one-hundred. A small, country town like Spanish Fork, Utah, will experience a violent crime rate of 0.56. One of the most dangerous cities, Detroit, Michigan, will see a violent crime rate of 94.3. Crime can vary drastically from city to city, depending on the population. On average, large cities see more crime than small, rural towns.
The violent crime rate in Las Vegas is 40.9 (the national average is 22.7). Essentially, a person is twice as likely to be a victim of a violent crime when in Las Vegas. According to the United States National Institue of Justice, violent crime is defined to include homicide, assault, sexual assault, rape, robbery, kidnapping, and harassment. Nevada ranks fourth in the nation when it comes to its murder rate of women by men, with a murder rate of 2.03 per 100,000. Of course, this isn’t comforting, and there’s rarely anything comforting when looking at crime rates in a city. The homicide rate in Las Vegas is less than other cities like Los Angeles or New York City, but the homicide rate is still twice that of the national average.
Every day, violent crime makes the news in the city of Las Vegas. We hope that by sharing some of the daily news stories, current residents and future tourists make precautions to stay safe to the best of their ability.
On February 29th, 2020, a man was arrested at a truck stop as the main suspect in a shooting that happened on February 28th. Around 4 pm on the 28th, the police were called when shots were reported at a truck stop at I-15 and US-93. The police officers are still investigating the connection between the victim and the arrested person.
On March 6th, 2020, a suspect of robbery and kidnapping escaped the scene in their car. The police tailed the car, hoping to catch the suspect before the suspect was able to escape. At the intersection of Jones and Charleston in Las Vegas, the suspect crashed the car. The Las Vegas police called an ambulance, and all suspects in the vehicle were taken to the hospital with non-fatal injuries.
On March 4th, 2020, a couple was arrested for the murder of an 11-year-old boy. According to the news report, the murder happened in a different state, but the two were being held in jail after a report of domestic violence. The man in the relationship was charged with “substantial bodily harm, kidnapping in the first degree, coercion with force, domestic battery by strangulation and domestic violence,” according to the news report. The woman is still awaiting trial for her connection with the out-of-state case.
Every day, more news reports similar to these are reported. Law enforcement work around the clock to ensure that the state is safer for tourists and residents. Although crime data is high in the city, it shouldn’t dissuade people from visiting. To stay safe in a city like Las Vegas, tourists and residents should stay prepared and on guard.
Areas You Should Avoid in Las Vegas
The crime rate in Las Vegas fluctuates depending on where you are. To help you stay safe while visiting the city, we’ve gathered the most dangerous areas in Las Vegas and compiled their records. If you have to visit an area on our list, never go alone and bring pepper spray (or another form of personal protection). In the following areas, you’ll never know who or what you might come across.
1. Downtown Las Vegas
According to the FBI Crime Report, the crime rate in downtown las vegas is 93% higher than the national average. This crime rate includes all crime, not only violent crime. The crime rate includes pick-pocketers and petty crime, but that still doesn’t make the area safer. Essentially, while in downtown Las Vegas, there is a 1 in 19 chance that you will be a victim of crime. That means that out of every 19 people that walk through the downtown area of the city, one will be a victim. Considering that millions of people walk through the metropolitan area of Las Vegas, your chances of being the 1 out of 19 are pretty high.
2. East Las Vegas / Whitney
Another part of the city that you should avoid is East Las Vegas. This part of Las Vegas houses many inexpensive long-stay motels. This would be a bad area to book a stay. East Las Vegas has a crime rate that is 191 percent higher than the national average. Visiting this side of town almost guarantees that you’re going to become a victim of crime. No matter what, stay away from this side of town.
3. West Las Vegas
Not much better than East Las Vegas, the west side of town tends to draw in tourists due to its proximity to the Strip. However, this area is one of the most dangerous parts of the city. The Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise has the lowest poverty rate in all of Nevada at 14.6 percent. This area is known for robbing and mugging tourists who stray too far from the Strip. Do not book a room in this area of town unless you want to leave without a wallet or phone.
4. Meadows Village
Meadows Village sounds beautiful, peaceful, and quaint. However, this part of town is just as dangerous as the rest. Meadows Village is frequently reported for gunshots, car theft, and assault. Every day, new crimes are committed in this part of town, and many crimes involve guns. Meadow Village has the highest rate of illegal gun reports.
5. Naked City
Naked City is located just west of the Strip, past the Encore. However, once you get to the Encore, you’ll want to stop and go no further. Once you move past the Encore, you’re entering a part of town where cabs refuse to drive at night. It is widely considered to be one of the roughest parts of Las Vegas. Due to a high unemployment rate, low-income housing, and its proximity to the Strip, Naked City is extremely dangerous to visitors. The crimes reported in Naked City are enough to make the residents stay inside during both day and night.
Huntridge is known for its crime. Every day, during both daytime and nighttime hours, gangs and crime lords fight at gunpoint. Assault, major theft, and gun violence are a daily occurrence in Huntridge. The area has extremely high unemployment and poverty rates. Several years back, there was an attempt to clean up the area by modernizing the homes. However, if you’re visiting Las Vegas or looking to become a resident, do not fall for the newer homes in Huntridge unless you want to experience high crime rates.
When visiting Las Vegas, stay clear from any of the areas listed above. Do not attempt to wander away from the Strip and do not accept rides from strangers. While walking along the Strip, keep your belongings close and always travel with a group.
How Can Tourists Stay Safe?
When planning a trip, people rarely wonder about how they can stay safe. Cities don’t brag about their high crime rates, and travel brochures conveniently forget to mention that you’re likely to be pickpocketed while walking along the city’s main streets. Sadly, the simple truth of traveling is that traveling is dangerous, especially when you’ve chosen to travel to a city nicknamed “Sin City.” Tourists who are planning to travel to Las Vegas should keep several safety tips in mind.
First of all, tourists should always travel in a group. No matter what, do not go out alone on the Strip or in a Casino. You should always have more than two people by your side at all times. Sadly, as we mentioned earlier, crimes against women in Las Vegas are the fourth highest in the nation. Women traveling in Las Vegas need to be extremely careful in order to stay safe from becoming a victim of a terrible crime. Many violent crimes can be avoided as long as you travel with a few other people.
Although it might seem odd, tourists should always carry pepper spray. When the situation becomes dire, pepper spray can give a victim the time that they need to escape the situation and get help. Pepper spray is a combination of chemicals that, when sprayed into the face of the attacker, cause burning, itching, and intense pain in the eyes. Pepper spray will not cause permanent damage, but it will cause extreme discomfort for 20 to 90 minutes, depending on how much pepper spray was used. It comes in a small device with a push-button top. Tourists who plan to visit large cities, especially a city like Las Vegas, should always carry a bottle of pepper spray in their bag.
Tourists should always stick to popular public areas of the city. Even though it might be tempting to leave the “tourist traps,” those locations are the safest. Public areas are significantly less likely to see violent crimes than more secluded areas. When you are visiting a metro area, do not walk into alleyways or visit obscure locations. Instead, tourists should stay close to the crowd. The police department and law enforcement officers will patrol tourist areas more often, giving you a better chance of finding help if you need it.
Additionally, do not let strangers lure you away from the crowd. A common technique that is used in cities with the highest murder rates is for a stranger to offer a new attraction to an unsuspecting tourist. The stranger might offer to show you the best restaurant in the area, or give you an outrageous deal on a popular event. If the tourist shows interest, the stranger will lead the tourist away from the crowd. In thousands of homicide cases every year, witnesses admit to seeing the victim leave with a stranger. A good rule of thumb to follow while on vacation is to never leave with a stranger.
A common mistake that tourists make is that they walk with their phones in their hands. However, phones are the most common item stolen from tourists every year. A thief can easily snatch the phone from the tourist's hand and run off into the crowd. Additionally, using your phone leaves you distracted. This could make you an easy target since the criminal knows you’re not paying attention to your surroundings. Instead of being on your phone, put your phone in a secure pocket (preferably with a safety zipper) and pay close attention to everything going on around you.
Tourists, no matter where they are visiting, should always carry a theft-proof bag with them. Pickpockets are professionals in the world of theft. They know how to quietly open a purse and grab a wallet without the victim feeling or hearing a thing. This is what makes them so dangerous. No matter how aware you are, it’s easy for a pickpocketer to steal while you’re being jostled in a crowd. By using a theft-proof bag, you can prevent pickpockets from stealing your phone, wallet, or cash from your purse.
The last tip for tourists is to not share your trip on social media until you have returned. This is a common mistake that tourists make, and then they come home to find that their homes have been burglarized. How does this happen? Everyone has access to social media; friends of friends can see your posts. If a person posts that they are out of town for the weekend, the person has just announced to potential burglars that their home will be empty for several days. This makes the job easy for burglars. Additionally, posting your location on social media may alert those who want to harm you and tell them exactly where to find you. Instead, only post about your trip after the trip.
How Can Residents Stay Safe?
Residents living in single-family homes, apartments, condos, or mansions may find themselves feeling anxious in Las Vegas. Although Las Vegas is not the most violent or dangerous city in the world, it does experience a high crime rate. Out of all cities in Nevada, Las Vegas is by far the most dangerous city.
Living in Las Vegas may have interesting and exciting perks, but there’s no denying that it is a dangerous city to be living in. The area around the Strip is often dangerous with drunks looking for fights, drug addicts stealing money, and others who simply want trouble. Protecting your home and your family can be one of the most important things that you can do while living in the city. At Cove Security, we firmly believe that all families, no matter where you have chosen to live, should have the privilege of feeling safe and protected in their homes. Las Vegas residents are no exception.
When it comes to protecting your home, home security is a must-have. Home security systems come in two varieties: wired and wireless. Since the cost of living is already high while in the city, we recommend using a wireless DIY home security system. This type of home security system can be installed without a professional installation team and will arrive in the mail. Once you receive the package in the mail, you can set up the system in your home. Most DIY systems will come fully equipped with motion sensors, door and window alarms, indoor cameras, and more. You can easily customize the system to fit your home security needs.
One reason why a home security system should be your first line of defense is that security systems deter burglars. When a burglar or home intruder is targeting a home, they look for vulnerability. They want to be able to get inside the house with ease. Complications such as home security cameras, alarms, and sensors make intruders think twice about targeting your home. If you want to stop burglars from targeting your home, a great first step is to install a security system.
If you’re a resident of Las Vegas, then you should know where not to go. However, many people do not know which areas are the most dangerous parts of town and often find themselves straying into unwelcoming territory. To live safely, know where it’s safe to be—not all neighborhoods are safe during the day. Do your best to stay aware of the crime happening in your area. Use tools like SpotCrime.com and CityProtect.com to see where crime is most common in your area. These maps will allow you to plug in a zip code, address, or city and see which crimes happen in your neighborhood.
Residents of Las Vegas should also do their best to vary their routes home. You should learn to trust your instincts—if you feel threatened or uneasy, take a different route home than usual. Instead of walking one way, choose a different, more open path. Varying your route will prevent you from being ambushed or attacked. It will also help you stay more aware of situations, making you a more threatening target. When a criminal is looking for a victim, they look for people who are unaware, frail, and unlikely to fight back. If you’re walking with a straight back and making eye contact with the people around you, you’re less likely to attract dangerous attention. Instead, you will seem like a confident person who is willing to fight back.
Lastly, residents living in Las Vegas should always lock their doors. Surprisingly, many people in the United States do not lock their doors when they leave the house. There are three main excuses for people not locking their doors: “I’m only leaving for a little while.” “I know my neighbors. They wouldn’t break into my house.” “I live in a safe neighborhood.” Although homeowners may think that these three excuses make sense, they have proven to be faulty. There is no good reason for not locking the door of your house, even if you think that it is too much of a hassle to lock and unlock the door. Most burglaries happen because the homeowner did not lock the door to their home. This allowed the burglar to walk in through the front door without looking suspicious and drawing attention to themselves. If you live in a city like Las Vegas, you have even fewer excuses to leave the door unlocked. You should lock the door even when you’re inside to prevent an unwelcome individual from walking into the house.
Staying safe is important, especially in a dangerous city like Las Vegas. Whether you’re a tourist coming to experience life on the Strip, or you’re a resident just trying to survive, it’s important that you take all possible precautions to keep you and your loved ones safe.
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