What Are the Most Dangerous Parts of Baltimore?

There are different reasons why a city or area might be considered dangerous. For example, traffic fatalities or pedestrian deaths can lead to a place being described as potentially dangerous. Primarily, though, the reference is to the crime rate.

Like any major city, Baltimore can be a potentially dangerous place to be, although it depends on where you are. U.S. News & World Report does rank Baltimore as the 7th-most dangerous metro in the country out of 150 cities, but much of the crime occurs in certain neighborhoods largely controlled by gangs rather than the entire city. Other reports put Baltimore higher on the lists of the most dangerous places.

By the end of July, Baltimore had seen more than 200 homicides for the year, leading the mayor of the city and the Safe Streets organization to push for safer neighborhoods.

So, what are the most dangerous areas and neighborhoods of Baltimore?


Middle-East is a neighborhood in East Baltimore. Johns Hopkins Medical Center is nearby, but the community has undergone housing abandonment and urban decay, as well as increased crime. The neighborhood was the filming location for much of The Wire, which was an HBO drama based in Baltimore.

The area of land that’s located between Johns Hopkins Hospital and Frank C. Bocek Park is referred to as the Down the Hill neighborhood by locals.

The violent crime rate is well above the national average in the neighborhood.

Unfortunately, in 2001, the Middle East neighborhood was affected by major redevelopment on the part of the city of Baltimore and Johns Hopkins. Many of the row homes in the neighborhood were destroyed, and families were relocated. It’s been a major source of controversy in the city since then.

You will sometimes hear this neighborhood referred to as Hopkins-Middle East.

The violent crime rate in Hopkins-Middle East is a staggering 858% greater than the national average.

West Baltimore

West Baltimore is near the University of Maryland’s downtown campuses, and there are a lot of new cultural venues coming up in the area, but the crime rate still remains pervasively high.

According to AreaVibes, the crime rate in West Baltimore is more than 350% above the national average, with violent crime 724% above the national average. The neighborhood gets an F for crime, employment, and schools, according to the same data.

Grove Park

Grove Park is a Baltimore neighborhood that has some reasonably priced homes and lower average rent than other parts of the city, but the crime rate tends to be higher than the national average. Many of the homes in Grove Park were built before the end of the 1950s. Violent crime in the community is almost 300% higher than the national average.

Cherry Hill

Cherry Hill is surrounded by the middle branch of the Patapsco River and railroad tracks to the south. Cherry Hill is home to the largest public housing project in Baltimore, which has more than 1000 units. The only roads that lead into or out of the neighborhood are Hanover Street, Potee Street, Cherry Hill Road, and Waterview Avenue.

The Cherry Hill neighborhood is known for gang activity, including the Hillside Gang. Recently a member of the gang pled guilty to conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise as part of his membership in the organization. The ATF said that the Hillside gang “terrorized” the Cherry Hill community for years. The ATF went on to say in a press release that members of the gang pushed drugs into the community and constantly threatened violence while also taking the lives of others.

The Hillside Gang, according to this press release, operates in the 600 block of Cherry Hill Road and other locations throughout the neighborhood as well as west and southwest Baltimore.

This recent case was part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, which charged 21 defendants in the case who all pleaded guilty. The Project Safe Neighborhoods program, brings together communities and all levels of law enforcement to make neighborhoods safer.

Fairfield Area

The Fairfield area neighborhood is along I-895. It’s near the Patapsco River, in the southeast part of the city. The western boundary is marked with railroad exchanges. The neighborhood appears industrial, yet jobs are hard to find, with a median income under $30,000 for residents. The total crime in the Fairfield Area is more than 320% above the national average, and violent crime is 667% above the national average.

Monument Historic District

The East Monument Historic District or the Monument Street District is a residential area of Baltimore made up primarily of rowhomes. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, this area of the city was the heart of what was known as the Bohemian community in the city. The neighborhood was originally known as Little Bohemia or Bohemia Village. Bohemia is the historical name for parts of the Czech Republic, and many immigrants from the country came to the neighborhood when they moved to America.

Now, violent crime is around 317% above the national average in the neighborhood, with AreaVibes giving it an F for crime, employment, and schools.


Finally, Sandtown-Winchester is a community in West Baltimore known by locals as Sandtown. It’s north of Lafayette Street and west of Fremont Avenue. The neighborhood is considered one of the most affected by poverty in West Baltimore and the city as a whole.

The neighborhood has an unemployment rate that’s nearly twice that of Baltimore as a whole.

The neighborhood was home to Freddie Gray, whose death while in police custody in 2015 sparked protests.

The neighborhood was often known as Baltimore’s Harlem until the riots in 1968. Many residents left, and businesses didn’t reopen, leaving opportunities for drugs and violent crime. More than a third of the houses are now abandoned in the neighborhood, and almost a third of families in the community live below the poverty line.

Around 3% of the community’s population is also estimated to be incarcerated.

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