Everyone should be aware of the high crime areas in the business and residential districts of their city of residence. When they travel, however, tourists, business professionals, or college students might journey into cities where they are not familiar with the dangerous sections of these cities. Baltimore, for example, is home to dozens of companies, and some of their employees might need to travel on a regular, or least on an occasional basis.
When traveling to cities for the first time, these travelers should check with the city police and with their hotel or motel staff to find out which areas of the business districts have what types of crime prevalent. Such information, however, might not be available, or it might not be extensive enough.
Thus, it is important for travelers, especially young, naïve travelers, to know if they have wandered into high crime areas. The faster they leave such areas, the less likely they will be to become crime victims.
This article will describe some of the crime indicators in high crime areas. The number of crime indicators usually will increase after dark.
Examples of crime indicators include:
- The lack of an adequate police presence on the streets.
- Boarded up buildings that once belonged to legitimate businesses that now are closed.
- Legitimate stores that, after business hours, have padlocked, metal gratings stretched across their store fronts.
- Surveillance cameras that are mounted on many buildings occupied by businesses.
- Graffiti on almost every available surface.
- Seedy hotels that have hourly rates.
- Adult book stores.
- Massage parlors.
- Check cashing establishments.
- Bail bondsman offices.
- Video gambling sites.
- Parking meters that have been broken open for their money.
- Pools of shattered window glass from past break-ins of parked cars.
- Sounds of gunshots.
- Menacing guard dogs standing watch in gas stations after hours.
- Drug dealers.
- Streetwalking prostitutes.
- Thieves who are selling their stolen goods.
- People whose grooming is perfunctory, and whose clothing is untidy, flamboyant, or sexually suggestive.
- Young men loitering with no apparent purpose for doing so.
- Cabbies refusing to pick up customers.
In such an area of a city, law abiding people are more likely to encounter thieves, con men, pickpockets, purse snatchers, muggers, robbers, or rapists. To lessen their chances of encountering these criminals, they should avoid or quickly leave areas with the above types of indicators of crime.
Do you know other indicators of high crime areas? Please comment below.