Portland, OR

Dangerous Neighborhoods in Portland, OR

Terry Mansfield

Portland, Oregon, has many safe neighborhoods. However, some are dangerous. Let's take a look at those.

The official seal of Portland, Oregon, USA.By Unknown author - Public Domain, Wikimedia.


This article will examine Portland, Oregon's most dangerous neighborhoods. We'll discuss the hazards in these neighborhoods and offer tips for staying safe.

Our research used the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics (UCR) reports on Violent Crime and Property Crime.

The UCR subdivides its categories into Murder, Rape, Robbery, Assault, Burglary, Theft, and Vehicle Theft. The UCR has now implemented the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), which provides detailed, incident-based data.

In addition to the UCR, we utilized other sources to develop our list of Portland's most dangerous neighborhoods with the highest violent and property crime rates.

Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Portland

1. Centennial

2. Powellhurst

3. Old Town-Chinatown

4. Mill Park

5. Sunderland

6. Lloyd District

7. St. Johns

8. Parkrose

9. Bridgeton

10. Kenton

Other Unsafe Neighborhoods (in alphabetical order)

  • Arbor Lodge
  • Argay
  • Boise
  • Brentwood-Darlington
  • Brooklyn
  • Buckman East
  • Buckman West
  • Concordia
  • Creston-Kenilwoth
  • Cully
  • Downtown
  • Eliot
  • Foster-Powell
  • Glenfair
  • Goose Hollow
  • Hayden Island
  • Hazelwood
  • Hosford-Abernethy
  • Humboldt
  • Kerns
  • King
  • Lents
  • Madison South
  • Montavilla
  • Mt Scott-Arleta
  • Multnomah
  • North Tabor
  • Northwest
  • Overlook
  • Parkrose Hgts
  • Pearl
  • Pleasant Valley
  • Portsmouth
  • Richmond
  • Rose City Park
  • Sellwood-Moreland
  • South Tabor
  • Sullivans Gulch
  • Sunnyside
  • Wilkes
  • Woodlawn
  • Woodstock

The Dangers in Portland's Neighborhoods

Portland is, unfortunately, no stranger to violent crime. This includes murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults. The majority of these crimes take place in Portland's most dangerous neighborhoods.

Drug Crime.

Drug crime is also a major problem in Portland. This includes the possession, sale, and manufacture of illegal drugs. Drug crime is often linked to violent crime, as drug dealers may resort to violence to protect their turf.

Property Crime.

Property crime is also a serious problem in Portland. This includes burglary, larceny theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. Property crime can be especially devastating for businesses and families who are victims of it.

How To Stay Safe

Stay aware of your surroundings.

The first step to staying safe in Portland is always being aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to the people around you and trust your gut if something feels off. Look down at your phone or other devices only if you walk alone. Be alert when walking through parking lots, alleyways, and deserted streets.

Travel in groups.

Whenever possible, travel with a group of people rather than alone. There is safety in numbers, and you will be less likely to be targeted by criminals if you are with others. If you must travel alone, try to choose well-lighted, busy routes with plenty of people around.

Keep to Well-Lighted Areas.

Stick to well-lit areas as much as possible to stay safe during the day and at night. Avoid dark alleyways, deserted streets, and other places without good visibility. If you are out after dark, carry a flashlight to see clearly and be seen by others.

Know the Police Hotlines.

Do not hesitate to call the police if you are in a dangerous situation or witness a crime. The Portland Police Department has a non-emergency hotline (503) 823-3333 you can call or dial 911 for emergency assistance. Knowing these hotlines can help ensure you get the help you need if you ever find yourself in danger while in Portland.

To stay safe in Portland, you should be aware of your surroundings, travel in groups, keep to well-lighted areas, and know the police hotlines. You can reduce your risk of becoming a victim of a crime by taking these precautions.

Portland residents are more likely to be victims of violence, drug-related crimes, and other crimes. These neighborhoods have high crime rates due to several factors, but residents can also improve safety by reducing risks.

Dangers Posed To Residents

Victims of crime are at a higher risk.

The most dangerous neighborhoods are those with the highest crime rates. You're more likely to become a crime victim if you live in one of these neighborhoods. This is because criminals have more opportunities to target you, and fewer people can help if anything goes wrong.

Increased risk of being exposed to violence

Violence is more likely to affect you if you live in a neighborhood with a high violent crime rate. This could mean witnessing a crime, being threatened or attacked, or knowing someone victimized. Feeling safe in your community is difficult when you see violent crimes or are a victim.

Increased risk of being exposed to drugs and drug dealers

If your neighborhood has a high rate of drug-related crimes, you're at an increased risk of being exposed to drugs and drug dealers. This could mean seeing illegal drug activity, being offered drugs by dealers, or knowing someone arrested for drug possession or dealing. Drug activity can make a neighborhood unsafe and lead to other crime types, like theft and violence.

How To Improve These Dangerous Neighborhoods

Increase police presence.

One way to help make dangerous neighborhoods safer is by increasing police presence. The police department could station additional officers or have officers patrol these neighborhoods more often. A more significant law enforcement presence may deter potential criminals from committing crimes. Thus, residents will feel safer knowing that more officers are around to protect them.

Improve lighting and security.

Another way to improve safety in dangerous neighborhoods is by improving lighting and security. It is possible to do this by installing more streetlights, repairing broken streetlights, and trimming trees or bushes that block streetlights. Additionally, property owners can install security cameras and alarm systems to deter criminals and help law enforcement identify suspects after a crime has occurred.

Community involvement.

Community involvement is also vital to making dangerous neighborhoods safer. Residents can get involved by forming neighborhood watch groups, attending community meetings, and working with law enforcement to identify problem areas or potential criminal activity. By coming together, residents can make their neighborhoods safer places to live.


Portland, Oregon, has violent and drug-related crimes in its most dangerous neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are unsafe because residents are at an increased risk of becoming victims of crime, being exposed to violence, and being exposed to drugs and drug dealers. More police presence, better lighting, community involvement, and better security are needed to improve these dangerous neighborhoods and make them safer.


FBI National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)

Federal Bureau of Investigation Crime Data Explorer

FBI Crime/Law Enforcement Stats Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program

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