Most Dangerous Neighborhood in Los Angeles

Finding the most dangerous neighborhood in Los Angeles is not easy. There are a number of them that would be suitable contenders for the title, especially in the wake of recent headlines and evening news reports. These areas are easily recognizable by the many window bars that keep homeowners safe in their homes, while taggers and gangbangers roam the streets.

It is well known that Los Angeles, also known as the City of Angels, is California’s largest city. As such, it is home to aspiring actors and singers as well as copious gang members and criminals; many of the latter lay claims to certain neighborhoods or turfs. While relatively safe during the daylight hours, dusk ushers in varying levels of danger for tourists and residents alike.

South Los Angeles a.k.a. South Central

When looking at downtown L.A., South Central borders on the Westside and the northeastern portion of downtown. It is a well known hub for gang warfare, muggings and poverty or drug induced property crimes. South Central L.A. is home to the decaying Shrine Auditorium and the defamed King/Drew Medical Center. Crips, Bloods, 18th Street and 38th Street gang members are a common sight in the vicinity.

Highland Park

Highland Park encompasses the 90042 zip code that identifies the northeastern portion of Los Angeles. Highland Park features a wide array of picturesque areas, parks and local landmarks. At night and in certain enclaves, it is home to The Avenues. This Mexican Mafia controlled gang is a frequent target of police raids, but thus far law enforcement is unable to control or eliminate the gang’s activities.

Pico-Union Neighborhood

At the corner of Pico Boulevard and Union Avenue begins an area that features the Zip codes 90006 and 90015. Pico-Union is home to South American immigrants, many of whom are undocumented but live in the area due to L.A.’s sanctuary city policies. Several street gangs, among them the feared Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and 18th Street Gang, operate their drug and other trades in the locale.

So … Which Area is the Most Dangerous Neighborhood in Los Angeles?

While it is wise to avoid spending time in South Central, Highland Park or the Pico-Union neighborhoods after dark, anyone thinking of moving into L.A. will do well to look for warning signs elsewhere as well. Spreading graffiti, streets where more homes than not feature bars over the windows and stores with broken windows are signs that the neighborhood harbors dangers.

Additional dangers come from surrounding cities, such as Compton or North Long Beach, where criminal activity easily spreads into Los Angeles neighborhoods. Occasionally there will be widespread gang unrests; most commonly during turf wars resulting from large-scale police raids, which also have a significant impact on a neighborhood’s safety.

It is virtually impossible to pick the number one most dangerous neighborhood in L.A. without concurrently reminding the reader that any area can be risky, especially if an individual exhibits behavior that a large group of local residents finds to be obnoxious. Another dangerous factor is the obvious act of being out of place, either due to gender, race or (assumed) gang affiliation.


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