Phoenix, AZ

Police warn: the 3 most dangerous neighborhoods in Phoenix

Ash Jurberg
Photo by Matt Popovich on Unsplash

Recently I wrote about the most dangerous cities to live in within Arizona. This was based on population, and Phoenix ranked the eighth most dangerous city in Arizona. Many people wanted to delve deeper into Phoenix's crime and look at which areas within Phoenix had the higher crime rates.

Below are the three most dangerous neighborhoods in Phoenix based on the number of violent crimes per 100,000 people for each district, compared to the Phoenix violent crime average.

1. Central City
Central CityImage from WikiCommons images

Central City is located in the center of Arizona and includes downtown. The total crime here is 9,988 per 100,000 residents. Central City crime rates are 150% higher than the Phoenix average. Of even more concern is that the violent crime rate here is 508% greater than the national average.

Generally, the crime increases the farther west or south from Central Avenue you travel.

There is also the issue of illegal street racing, which the city is trying to crack down on.

"It's illegal. It's dangerous. It's a danger to the individuals that are involved in street racing, danger to the community,” Commander Brian Freudenthal, Phoenix Police Department.

2. Alhambra
AlhambraImage from WikiCommons images

Coming in second is the working-class neighborhood of Alhambra, which has a crime rate 71% higher than the Phoenix average. The total crime is 6,825 per 100,000 residents, which is 165% greater than the national average.

3. Encanto
EncantoImage from WikiCommons images

In the third position of the most dangerous Phoenix neighborhoods is Encanto which has a crime rate 58% higher than the Phoenix average. Encanto is only 8 square miles making it Phoenix's smallest and densest urban village. It is located between Central City and Alhambra.

There are 6343 crimes per 10,000 people in Encanto, well above the Arizona average of 2896.

What makes a neighborhood dangerous?

An Arizona State University criminology and a criminal-justice professor, Scott Decker, said a wide range of factors determined crime in a neighborhood. This includes poverty, single-family homes, graduation rates, and lack of economic mobility. He said an area that has significant socio-economic disadvantages is more likely to have a higher violent crime rate than an area with more opportunities for its residents.

"It's not just the single variable; it's the combination of them that make things worse," Scott Decker

The rest of the top 10

Below are the Phoenix neighborhoods that round out the top 10 in terms of crime

4. South Mountain

5. North Mountain

6. Maryvale

7. Estrella

8. Camelback East

9. Laveen

10. Deer Valley

In March, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed three bills forming responsible criminal justice policy in Arizona. They were to ensure that Arizona continues to focus on public safety while taking a responsible approach to sentencing reform.

We are committed to protecting Arizona families and our communities. I’m proud to sign legislation that prioritizes the safety of Arizonans while strengthening our prison system and supporting those who served their time." Governor Ducey

Problems in the police department?

Recently ABC15’s released an expose entitled Politically Charged investigation, which "examined how the Phoenix Police Department and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office colluded at the highest levels to target protesters and used their power to silence, frame, and punish critics."

The report is "the definitive account of how police and prosecutors created a fake gang, falsely classified protesters as members, and then charged them with bogus felony crimes."

It will be interesting to see the impact this may have on crime rates across Phoenix.

Readers- what do you think? Are there any Phoenix neighborhoods that you consider too dangerous and won't visit? Or are there ones on this list that surprise you?

Let us know in the comments below!

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