Friday, May 29, 2020 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

6 Incredibly Dangerous Cities, Streets, and Areas to Avoid at Home and Abroad

There are dangerous streets and neighborhoods in every major city in the world but there are some which reign supreme in terms of violence and crime. One wrong turn or exit could land an unwary motorist into the throbbing heart of danger where the criminal element awaits confused drivers.

The crimes in these areas are not petty. No one will hear the phrases “Thanks for your business” or “Have a nice day”. In fact, statistically speaking, the last sound they could experience is the ear-splitting gunshot of their final curtain call. Some of these streets and areas are that dangerous.

Since nobody would wish a fate like this on anyone, here’s some information which may prove helpful if you’re hitting the road any time soon. Know where you are are going and always stick to your route. Bear in mind, GPS has no concept of safe or dangerous. Relying solely on it could very well guide the unsuspecting into the pits of Hades. Turn it off and map your route the old-fashioned way if you aren’t sure where you are going.

These are some of the very most dangerous of all places to avoid.
Renacimiento, Acapulco, Mexico 

The 1963 movie “Fun in Acapulco” depicted this coastal city as it was so many decades ago. But a lot has changed. Acapulco is hands down the most violent city in Mexico. Sun-worshipping vacationers still visit there though tourism numbers have seen a dramatic decrease in more recent years. To wander freely about Acapulco is to risk grave danger.

Actually, all of Acapulco is saturated with violent crime. Even laying on the sand in front of a beachfront hotel has its risks. But no streets see more violent crime than Avenues Juan R. Escudero, and Ejido las Pozas were murder is an everyday occurrence. Gangs run the city and vendors are made to pay an ante or suffer the consequences of their foolish actions.

Though the poverty-stricken Renacimiento area is located in the hills away from the beach area, criminals make their way into town seeking victims. Bodies have been dumped on popular beaches and on more than one occasion people have been shot directly in front of tourists.

Recommendation; since driving through Mexico is taboo anyway, fly a little further south to Caye Caulker, Belize. You’ll be glad you did.
Renacimiento, Acapulco, Mexico
West Warren Avenue and McKinley Street, Detroit, Michigan

Detroit has a long history of violent crime and has earned every bit of its tarnished blood-stained reputation. The areas around West Warren Avenue and McKinley Street are the worst of the worst where a person’s chances of falling victim to a violent crime is a staggering one out of 13.  Evil eyes are kept peeled for outsiders who appear to not belong in the “hood”. They’re easy prey and the chances of law enforcement riding in like a rescue posse are slim to none.

Eighty-one percent of enrolled students in this area come from disadvantaged families living below the poverty level as compared to the 46.8% average of the entire state of Michigan. Vacant apartments and boarded up houses stand at 41.6% which make them ideal locations for meth labs, gang clubhouses, and flophouses for drug addicts and the indigent. The percentage of vacancies in this area is higher than 98% of America.

Residents who can afford to leave the area do, but not everyone is so lucky. Kids growing up here have little choice than to pledge their allegiances to one gang or another. If you happen to get hung up in this area by some evil twist of fate, never let anyone’s age fool you. They start young.

Recommendation; Detroit still has some pretty cool parts of town though extreme caution is suggested no matter where a traveler’s plans may take them. According to FBI data, Detroit, Michigan is the most dangerous city in America.
West Warren Avenue And McKinley Street, Detroit, Michigan
East St. Louis, Illinois

Which streets should be avoided in East St. Louis? All of them. Poverty runs rampant through this area. Thusly, so does violent crime. Though FBI data puts this area as second in danger to Detroit, many people claim it is arguably worse. Some unfortunate victims, the ones who have lived to share their stories, have terrifying testimonies of violent ordeals. Rampant poverty feeds the human instinct for survival at all costs, and in East St. Louis that cost is generally paid at someone else’s expense. Steer clear and make sure it isn’t at yours.

The per capita homicide rate is 18% above the national average. With a population of less than 27,000, in 2017 East St. Louis was home to a reported 27 murders, 35 rapes, 103 robberies, and 592 assaults.

Even though East St. Louis is so notoriously dangerous, the most dangerous street in the area is actually a portion of National Bridge Avenue in North St. Louis due to its high rate of gun fatalities.

Recommendation; Don’t go. Period. Go visit the bears at Yellowstone.
East St. Louis, Illinois
Scampia, Naples, Italy

The Scampia area of Naples is home to the largest open-air drug market in the world, all of the illegal type. It is unquestionably the most dangerous neighborhood in Naples.

Visitors who mistakingly make a wrong turn into Scampia will soon find themselves being followed by a “scout” on a motorbike. These scouts keep a lookout for lost motorist and continually advise their gang members where the cops are, or more importantly, where they are not. The Scampia area is riddled with violent crime during daylight, but even more so once the sun goes down.

Recommendation; By all means visit Naples, just know in advance where the Scampia area is so it can be avoided.
Scampia, Naples, Italy
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Yes. Mongolia. Every street in the entire city is dangerous after dark but especially Baga Toiru. Young punks will pick fights with tourists and they usually win. Being out alone is a 100% guarantee of being robbed, beat up, and probably left for dead.

Recommendation; Mongolia? Really? For heaven’s sake, go somewhere else.
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Mcculloh and West Preston Streets, Baltimore, Maryland

Parts of Baltimore is pretty bad. Especially around Mcculloh Street and West Preston Street. Incomes are extremely low and gun crime is extremely high. According to The Economist: ‘Black men aged 15 to 29 are as likely to die violently [there] as American soldiers were in Iraq at the height of its Baathist insurgency.’ Now. Imagine what happens to confused tourists. Especially if they are foolish enough to stop and ask directions.

Recommendation; The Baltimore Harbor is wonderful but definitely restrict your travels if you are unfamiliar with the area. One wrong turn could be a fatal mistake.
Mcculloh And West Preston Streets, Baltimore, Maryland
Always research the area prior to visiting any destination. Figure out in advance where you want to go and what you want to see. There are never any guarantees, but doing so will decrease your chances of falling victim to crime while increasing your chances of having the fun vacation you envisioned.

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