Houston, Texas, is America’s fourth biggest city, and quite culturally varied, with lively food and arts scenes. Houston provides plenty for active travelers to do, from going to the Area Center to checking out the zoo to taking your children to the immersive Children’s Museum. But is Houston safe?
The Houston crime rate numbers supply a partial response: In general, crime in Houston happens 81% more often than the rest of Texas, and 95% more often than the rest of the United States, in part because of its huge population. Pests are just as rampant as crime rates. Wildlife control company in Houston will eliminate that threat to your family.
As for the violent criminal offense, Houston clocks in at 150% higher than the average in Texas, and 170% higher than the rest of the country. Property criminal offense in Houston also takes place a lot more frequently than the rest of the state or country, though it has been reducing the past few years.
Although the majority of Americans view Houston as being safe, Houston’s rates of both assault and vehicle theft are really rather high, while reported rape rates are considered “middle of the line.”
It’s worth noting, however, that most of Houston’s threats are confined to the bad areas of West Houston, so it’s important to know which Houston neighborhoods to avoid. Beyond that, the common tourist keeping a normal amount of vigilance is not likely to encounter much, if any, crime in Houston.
Tips for Staying Safe in Houston
- Keep away from the bad parts of Houston, including crime-ridden areas like Sunnyside, “the Track,” and the hazardous neighborhood that’s around the intersection of Dowling and McGowen Streets.
- To protect yourself from Houston crime, beware of pickpockets, particularly in the city’s most crowded locations, and ensure that valuables are inconspicuous– or left at home.
- Houston natural disasters are a major problem for the city, consisting of frequent hurricanes and floods. If you find yourself experiencing any of these devastating events, shelter in place, keep away from windows and out of cars, and follow authorities’ directions.
Areas to Avoid in Houston
Prior to arriving, it’s a good idea to know which are the locations to prevent in Houston– especially since two of America’s 25 most dangerous neighborhoods are here.
One of these bad areas in Houston centers around the crossway of Dowling and McGowen Streets, in Houston’s historical 3rd Ward. Though the area is home to the University of Houston and Texas Southern University, it has a high rate of violent criminal activity: Every year, residents have a 1 in 13 chance of becoming a victim.
The 2nd essential area to avoid in Houston is Sunnyside, located south of downtown Houston Here, residents have an annual 1 in 11 chance of being victimized.
Another Houston neighborhood to avoid is known as “the Track,” spreading across a half-mile near Bissonnet Street. “The Track” is well-known for its high crime rate, a quarter of which belongs to prostitution.
How to Get Around Safely in Houston
Another crucial consideration when it comes to Houston security is how to navigate the city. Take all of the exact same precautions that you would when visiting any big American city: Keep your valuables in your hotel safe, out of sight, or, better yet, in your home. The main crimes that tourists should be worried about are petty: pickpocketing, purse-snatching, car burglaries, and vehicle thefts.
Be vigilant for opportunistic thieves in crowded tourist spots and on public transit. Stay away from the unsafe areas in Houston, and if you do get mugged or robbed, don’t resist.
Houston’s public transport and taxis are typically safe, but the transit stations can be a different story. If you’re waiting for a bus or a train, make sure that it’s daytime, or if it’s after dark, that you’re not alone.
As for Uber, Lyft, or other app-based employed cars, take basic safety measures: Select a busy, well-lit area when waiting for your trip, confirm that the license plate and driver’s face match what comes up on your screen, sit in the back, and make certain to geo-share the details of your trip with someone who cares about you. Also, do not give the driver your name when they arrive; request for the name on the booking instead.
Houston Natural Disasters
According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS), Houston is one of America’s leading 10 riskiest locations in terms of natural disasters. Still fresh in the mind of most Houstonians is 2017’s devastating Hurricane Harvey, which killed more than 80 people in Texas.
If you find yourself in a hurricane in Houston or anywhere else, shelter in place, stay away from windows and out of cars and trucks, and display local media reports for authorities’ assistance and instructions.
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