If you live in a big city, then you’ll know that there are certain areas that are too dangerous to step foot in, especially after dark. Unless, of course, you’re a six-foot-four machete-wielding dealer, in which case, knock yourself (or more likely someone else) out.
But for most of us Average Joes, we do what we can to avoid ever stepping foot into our city’s no-go zone – even if that means taking the long way home.
Having grown up in what is widely considered a dangerous city, Glasgow, I’ve always considered myself to be a relatively streetwise person. So when I moved to the East End of London, I made a point of choosing an apartment that you had to pass through two double doors to get inside. That’ll keep me safe, I thought. But it didn’t prevent me from getting robbed – in broad daylight, might I add – within three months of moving there. Although, I did manage to get the guy who stole my money put in prison (What can I say? Don’t mess with a Scottish person).
To discover the 10 most dangerous neighborhoods in America, check out the video below:
However, there are some places that even the East End’s most dangerous criminals would flounder in – and let’s bear in mind that East London played host to Jack the Ripper. Some of these are streets so dangerous that more people will statistically lose their lives there than soldiers did at the height of the Iraq War.
So, without further ado, here are the 11 most dangerous streets in the world. Step on them at your peril.
11. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
The streets of Ulaanbaatar, particularly Baga Toiruu, should be completely avoided if you’re a tourist, as young men have a tendency to start fights with foreigners here. Although it’s not quite the same as other dangers you’re about to read on this list, it’s definitely earned its place as the 11th most dangerous street in the world.
10. San Salvador, El Salvador
Horrifyingly, this city had 83.39 homicides for every 100,000 people in 2016. What’s more is that its troubles originated in the US with the deadly MS-13 gang that was started in America by Salvadorean immigrants. Its worst streets include Calle Zacamil and the Calle Principal of Ilopango.
9. Detroit, Michigan, USA
There’s a reason Detroit has a reputation for being a violent city; if you live in the vicinity of West Warren Avenue and McKinley Street, you have a one in 13 chance of being a victim of crime in any one year. That can’t be doing anything for house prices, that’s all I’m saying.
8. Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil
In May of this year, 14 people lost their lives in a nightclub shooting in the city in a tragic event reportedly caused by rival drug gangs. It’s these gangs who have been blamed for Fortaleza’s rising crime rate. The streets which are reportedly the worst are around the Iracema Beach area.
7. Baltimore, Maryland
Another one of America’s worst cities is Baltimore. A particularly bad area is the intersection of Mcculloh Street and West Preston Street. Here, wages are low and gun crime is rife.
According to the Economist, “Black men aged 15-29 are as likely to die violently [there] as American soldiers were in Iraq at the height of its Baathist insurgency.” Worse still, it’s a mere 50 minutes away from the seemingly safe Washington D.C.
6. Renacimiento, Acapulco, Mexico
Once a glamorous part of old Hollywood movies, Acapulco’s is now Mexico’s most dangerous city. Murder is a day-to-day reality on its streets, and the homicide rate hit a 20 year high in June 2017. Gangs run the streets and demand a portion of everyone’s weekly salary.
5. Cape Town, South Africa
From 2016 to 2017, Cape Town was South Africa’s most crime-ridden city. However, like a number of other cities mentioned on this list, it’s still a wonderful place to visit. Just remember to keep your wits about you so that your trip doesn’t turn into a nightmare.
4. East Saint Louis, St Clair County, Illinois
Often considered to be the worst city in the US, East Saint Louis is plagued by crime and poverty. The per capita homicide rate was 18% above the national average in 2013. In 2015, its population was just 26,616, and there were a shocking 9 cases of murder/manslaughter, 42 cases of rape, 146 cases of robbery, 682 cases of aggravated assault and 12 cases of arson – and that’s the ones that were reported. However, it’s worth noting that the most dangerous street in America is actually in North Saint Louis and it’s a stretch of National Bridge Avenue.
3. San Pedro Sula, Cortes, Honduras
Its 2016 murder rate was second only to Caracas, and it’s not uncommon to see corpses littering its streets. With one of South America’s worse economies, its roads are filled with violent crime, and the majority of incidents in the Chamelecón area are drug-related.
On a slightly more positive note, however, US-funded social programmes are making the area safer, so hopefully, it will continue to improve.
2. Catia, Caracas, Venezuela
This is the most dangerous street in the world’s most dangerous city, so unless you’re looking to find yourself in an early grave, you’ll never go here. In 2016, Caracas had a homicide rate of 60 a day. It’s a shocking example of how the country’s political turmoil has caused chaos on its streets.
1. Scampia, Naples, Italy
Coming in at number one is Scampia, Italy. It surrounds the largest open-air drug market in Europe so it’s no wonder that it’s on this list. If you spend as little as a few minutes driving around here, you will likely be followed by one of the countless gang “lookouts”, who want to suss out what you’re doing in the area. AVOID.
So there you have it – the 11 most dangerous streets in the world. The only upside to their existence, sort of, is that their dangers are well-known. That’s why this list is a testament to the importance of researching a city before moving there or visiting. Absolutely no one wants to unknowingly find themselves on a murderous gang’s turf when all they wanted to find was a shortcut to the city’s best sushi restaurant.