Houston, TX

Police warn: the 3 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Houston

Ash Jurberg

Photo by Jacky Lam on Unsplash

Recently I wrote about the most dangerous cities to live in within Texas. This was based on crimes per capita, and Houston ranked the fourth most dangerous city in Texas.

The crime rate in Houston has been on the increase. There have been roughly 190 homicides in Houston in the first five months of 2021. That means more than one homicide a day this year. Houston police numbers show a more than 28% increase from last year's high numbers. In addition, 79% of Houston zip codes saw more crime in 2020 compared to 2019.

" My patrol officers right now, they are crime-driven. They're going from call to call to call answering calls for service as they occur. They don't have as much time for proactive, investigatory work as I'd like, but I work with the resources I've got." Houston Police Department Commander Matthew May

Many people wanted to delve deeper into Houston's crime and look at which areas within Houston had the higher crime rates.

Below are the three most dangerous neighborhoods in Houston based on the number of violent crimes per 100,000 people for each district, compared to the Houston violent crime average. All stats are based on data from the local law enforcement agency.

1. The Far North

Image from Google Maps

Far North crime rates are 49% higher than the Houston average. The crime rates here are 222% higher than the United States average. Of even more concern is that the violent crime rate here is 455% greater than the national average.

2. Northeast

Image from Google Maps

Coming in second is the Northeastern area which has its crime rates 61% higher than the national average. Statistics also show that violent crimes in the Northeast are 194% higher than the national average. In fact, there is a 1 in 25 chance of becoming a victim of crime.

3. North Houston

Image from Google Maps

In the third position of the most dangerous Houston neighborhoods is North Houston, which has a crime rate 54% higher than the United States average. In addition, violent crimes in North Houston are 164% higher than the national average.

What makes a neighborhood dangerous?

Scott Decker, an Arizona State University criminology and a criminal-justice professor, 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 Houston neighborhoods that round out the top 10 in terms of crime:

4. Southeast

5. Medical

6. Northwest

7. Eastend

8. Westchase

9. Bellaire

10. Downtown

In March, Troy Finner was announced as the new Houston Police Chief. He recognized the formidable challenge that his team faced.

"I don't like to make excuses, but when you're 1,400 officers, you know, 2,000 officers short, it's a problem. Our local leaders, political leaders, they get it now so you're going to see more emphasis put on building our numbers up and of course when we get more police officers, I think we can be more effective, but we can't sit back and ... just throw our hands. We've got to be laser-focused on those locations and those individuals who are committing (crime)." Houston Police Chief Troy Finner

On Wednesday, Finner hosted a summit of over 40 law enforcement specialists to address the rise in violent crime. He was confident the meeting would yield results, although he did offer these words of caution.

"You're going to see surges in some areas and some hot spots that you've never seen before,"

Crime prevention tips

The city of Houston has crime prevention resources available- called Keep Houston Safe. It has tips on how to prevent burglaries, assault, and theft.

Readers- what do you think? Are there any Houston 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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