Top 10 Worst Neighborhoods in Phoenix, Arizona


There's a world of possibilities in Phoenix. If there's nothing to love about this city, being a sunny city for 300 days in a year (at the least) could be all the reason you may need.

While Phoenix may not be entirely crime-free, it's one you could say is far enough away from large crime proportions. Just as with other cities, you only need to be familiar with the good and the worst neighborhoods in Phoenix to better understand where to avoid.

Current Crime Situation in Phoenix, Arizona

According to the Phoenix Police Department, crime trended downward for the first half of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. While there was a drop in most violent crimes, shootings and sexual assaults rose. Overall, violent and property crimes fell 2% and 19% compared to 2022.

Phoenix also witnessed a drop in robberies and homicide at 12.1% and 13.3% respectively. There were 98 murders in the first six months of 2023 compared to 113 in 2022. Aggravated assault and rape increased by approximately 0.2% and 10%. 563 rape cases were reported in the first half of 2023 compared to 512 in 2022, an increase of 51.

Most property crimes are down, but vehicle theft was on the rise. Burglary, theft, and arson were down by 10%, 25.7% and 30.8%, respectively, compared to 2022. the number of shooting victims for gun crimes dropped by 15%. And so far, compared to 2,700 in 2022, 2,547 guns were impounded in 2023.

Top 10 Worst Neighborhoods in Phoenix, Arizona

1. Central City


Central City is situated in Arizona's center and includes downtown. It is said that Central City, which 60,045 people call home, is living the purge when criminals ravage at will and cops stand down. However, the level of crime does not compare to the activities that took place even in 1990. With this, there is now a heavy police presence in this city.

Open shootings, panhandlers, car break-ins, and muggings, amongst a few aremanaged and recorded in this city. Total crime amounts to 9,726 per 100,000 residents, with violent crime incidents at 2,732, 604% greater than the national average, and property crime incidents at 6,994, 257% greater than the national average. This neighborhood has distinct levels of safety, that’s why you will feel safer going farther East from Central Ave. or farther North from Van Buren.

Likewise, you will tend to feel unsafe farther West or South of Central Ave. The locals advise visitors, especially females journeying alone, to avoid night walks. This you can do during the daytime, though. Public transportation may be relatively safe, but you can be safer guarding your valuables and cash intensely and intentionally.


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2. Camelback East


Camelback East, with 149,154 residents, is adjacent to Scottsdale and Paradise Valley and has a total crime rate that is 21% higher than the whole of Phoenix. It also has a pretty prominent gang culture and is the hotspot in the entire area for drug use, property, and personal crime – one of the high crime areas in Phoenix.

According to 2021 FBI Statistics, the total crime is 4,565 per 100,000 residents, with violent crimes 115% greater than the national average. Not to be discounted, theft, a portion of property crime recorded as over 80%, showed how easy it is to get mugged of cash here. This means there needs to be more information on the frequency of police patrol in this neighborhood.

Generally, Camelback East is safe during the day. But locals advise tourists, primarily single traveling women, to stay away from night activities or movements, as this is the peak of criminal activities. During your Phoenix visit, if you can be watchful and stay away from poorly lit side streets, you can travel through the safer western half of Camelback East without worrying about safety.

3. Estrella


Estrella is known for its proximity to the city's downtown area, and the population is 90,378. Its horrifying high crime rate allows it to show repeatedly on lists of the worst areas in Phoenix, and the crimes are mostly vandalism, burglary, car theft, assault, and vandalism.

At the end of 2022, FBI data reports revealed total crime incidents settled at 4,021 per 100,000 residents. Violent crimes are 129% greater than the national average, but the general crime rate is 71% greater. 887 violent incidents and 3,134 property incidents were recorded in the 2022 year. Most of those crimes included robbery and assault.

Locals vouch for this neighborhood's safety and suggest bike riding or power walking, even at odd times at night. However, some areas of Estrella become more dangerous after dark. You hear about car thefts now and again, but not muggings or robbing of cash off one. Police activities are mainly non-existent so in Estrella, you have a 1 in 25 chance of becoming a victim of crime.

4. Alhambra


Alhambra, a large neighborhood located north of downtown with 134,116 residents, has a crime rate 74% higher than Phoenix. The current frequent crimes are those typical of large, urban neighborhoods. Some feel it is best avoided, while others walk with its reputation for being one of the rougher sections of Phoenix.

East of 17 is the neighborhood you'll feel most secure in. Grand Canyon University's hotel has received good evaluations for its security. Compared to the US average, Alhambra's crime rate is 180% higher, as property crime accounts for 5,002 of the total 6,579 crimes per 100,000 people. This crime report sums to 155% higher than the national average.

Odd hours for walking or bike riding across the neighborhood are great any time before sunset. After which, it becomes dangerous, primarily for females journeying alone. So in terms of security, locals recommend taxis and Uber. If it is impossible, be cautious in public rides and stay alert with your purses and wallets to guard your cash. Good enough, there is a noticeable police presence in this neighborhood.

5. Encanto


Encanto is barely 8 square miles and that makes it Phoenix's densest and smallest urban village. Its location is between Alhambra and Central City, and has 57,606 people. Interestingly, Encanto is statistically dangerous but at the same time known as one of the quieter parts of town.

Crime still occurs occasionally but tends to be nonviolent home invasions and property theft. It is expected to have things stolen or graffiti in Encanto, but it is rare to be mugged at gunpoint. This shows in the 2021 FBI crime report as 4,743 against total crime data of 6,068 per 100,000 residents. Theft takes up a more significant part of property crimes, 71%. The crime rate, however, is 142% higher than the national average.

Most locals power walk everywhere except the west. West across 15th seems sketchy. Along the side streets between Indian School to McDowell to the south and Camelback to the north between 7th-15th Ave are some good pockets, but it's block by block. Go too far past 15th Street, and it gets a little seedy.

It's recommended to avoid this neighborhood past 9 p.m. or move in groups, especially for women. Locals advise you to look into investing in security doors, windows, alarm systems, cameras, and dogs if you do not have one. Never leave anything of value in your cars, or ensure they are itemized on your homeowner's insurance.

6. South Mountain


South Mountain is home to 131,125 people, with 18% more crime than Phoenix. It rests in the southernmost part of Phoenix, about 15 minutes from downtown. Although undeniably beautiful, it is known for having a crime problem. Gang culture and violent attacks are significant issues, while drug trafficking and many shootings are the most common complaints from the area's people.

Between Buckeye through Southern and 19th Ave through 24th Street is poverty-stricken high crime. You should avoid the region between 7th Street and the Baseline at all costs, but 16th Street to 48th Street is safe. Out of a total crime of 4,457 per 100,000 residents, 78% are all reported property crimes. However, the security of patrolling officers is relatively good.

If you're considering stopping in South Mountain, keep your belongings safe, and do not walk around alone, especially at night and if you're an independently traveling woman. By some estimates, residents have a 1 in 23 chance of becoming victims of violent crime. The safest place to be is along the Baseline and not to the north of it.


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7. Maryvale


Maryvale is located south of Glendale and northwest of Phoenix's central part. In the 1980s, it was one of the most dangerous places in Arizona and the US. A significant amount of drug dealing, gang violence, and shootings, and the crime rate went through the roof. Few of the 247,287 people that call this neighborhood home are heavily involved in meth use and petty crime.

This neighborhood has 10% more crime than Phoenix's average, with a whooping crime rate of 77% more than the average rate. Other fantastic neighborhoods around Maryvale, like Glendale, have helped keep its property value elevated, but violent and nonviolent crime remains a problem. The total offense recorded was 4,163 per 100,000 people, while violent and property crimes were 925 and 3,238.

Statistics show that violent crimes are 139% higher than the US average, while property crime rates are 65% higher than the national average. The residents are divided on whether walks in the park are ideal. It becomes a task of common sense and judgment. You wouldn't find police patrol after sunset.

8. North Mountain


North Mountain has long been known for being sketchy, but it all depends on the area. This neighborhood of 178,370 people used to be crime-ridden. You expect sounds of gunfire and sometimes witness drive-by shootings, but that was dated decades ago. However, there are gang activities, assaults, robberies, and car thefts that occur from time to time.

With some dedicated policing, the crime rate improved. Property crimes rule over violent crimes, 3,759 versus 971 against the total crime of 4,730 per 100,000 residents. Violent crimes are 139% higher than the US average, but the neighborhood's combined crime rates are 77% greater. In Maryvale, you have a 1 in 24 chance of being a crime victim.

Hiking and walking along North Mountain Park during daylight hours is fine. However, locals advise to stay away from the neighborhoods around, particularly around sunset. The mix of poverty, and criminal activity in North Mountain makes it an area tourists should avoid for their safety. In this neighborhood, residents have a 1 in 22 chance of becoming a crime victim.

9. Laveen


Only 65,011 people call this area home. Laveen is one of the bad parts of Phoenix and focuses more on criminals than other sections of town. Locals report frequent shootings and other forms of criminal engagements, such as aggravated assault and robbery, as well as home invasions and break-ins.

This neighborhood is one where half a dozen catalytic converters get stolen from cars in the school parking lot in broad daylight, even with cameras everywhere. There are many brazen crimes, but there are no added patrols, no searching for suspects or their descriptions. The police officers are understaffed; and locals believe it doesn’t help to deal with complaints more quickly.

The total crime estimate in Laveen is 3,563 per 100,000 residents, with violent crimes and property crimes 90% and 44% greater than the national average. There's a low-key reminder to keep cash wads hidden to avoid being mugged. In Laveen, you have a 1 in 29 chance of becoming a victim of crime.

10. New village


New Village has a lot to offer but has its fair share of issues. It is a small central Phoenix neighborhood that used to be plagued with a massive crime problem, including drug use and gang violence, especially before the 2000s. Its population is roughly 5,653 people, with current crime slightly higher than the Phoenix average.

A breakdown of the 2022 crime report would show violent crime as 184 and property crime as 1,815. They both make up the total crime per 100,000 residents as 1,999. This result has rare crime viewings, unlike many dangerous neighborhoods in Phoenix. A person's likelihood of being a crime victim in New Village is 1 in 51. For this reason, your money is not safe with you while on public transportation or Street.

There is no reason for visitors to spend time in this neighborhood. You should cautiously pass through New Village via significant roads during the day or avoid it altogether after dark for your safety.

The Safest Places in Phoenix, Arizona

Is phoenix dangerous? When visiting a new city, safety should always be a top concern. While there are certain areas to avoid in Phoenix for tourists and newcomers, Phoenix has plenty of safe, vibrant communities. Based on statistics, here are the few neighborhoods that rank the highest regarding safety, We have Desert View, North Gateway, Deer Valley Village, Ahwatukee Foothills, Florence, and Paradise Valley.


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Phoenix, AZ, offers visitors endless attractions and natural beauty year-round. However, as with any major city, there are some neighborhoods where not to stay in Phoenix, especially for visitors who need to become more familiar with the city's layout. By being informed about these areas to avoid, tourists and travelers, maximize their safety and enjoy peace of mind while experiencing this city.