These Are The 5 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Connecticut

Connecticut, often referred to as “The Constitution State,” boasts a reputation for quaint towns, prestigious universities, and idyllic landscapes. However, beneath this picturesque facade lies a reality that includes pockets of high crime rates. While Connecticut is generally safer than the national average ([FBI Uniform Crime Reporting], 2023), according to a 2023 report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, certain neighborhoods experience a disproportionate share of criminal activity.

This article delves into the five most dangerous neighborhoods in Connecticut, aiming to provide a clear-eyed perspective on these areas. It’s important to remember that crime rates can fluctuate, and these neighborhoods are not inherently bad. Our goal is to raise awareness and provide resources for those considering living in or near these areas.

Understanding Crime Rates and Data Sources

Before diving into specific neighborhoods, it’s crucial to understand how crime rates are measured. Violent crimes encompass offenses like murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Property crimes include burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft. These rates are typically presented per 100,000 residents, allowing for fair comparisons between areas with varying populations.

Data sources for crime rates include:

  • Local Law Enforcement Agencies: Police departments compile and report crime data to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, a national reporting system that provides a standardized way to collect and analyze crime data.
  • Neighborhood Statistics Websites: Websites like AreaVibes and NeighborhoodScout aggregate and analyze crime data from various sources, including local law enforcement agencies and UCR data.

The 5 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Connecticut (as of 2024)

  1. Asylum Hill, Hartford

Hartford, the capital of Connecticut, holds the unfortunate distinction of having the highest overall crime rate in the state. According to a 2023 report by the Connecticut State Police Department, Hartford’s violent crime rate sits at 1,278.5 per 100,000 residents, and its property crime rate is 4,922.1 per 100,000 residents. Asylum Hill, a neighborhood within Hartford, finds itself at the top of the list for dangerous areas. This area grapples with a poverty rate of 28.3% (compared to the national average of 11.4%) and a median household income of $37,542 (significantly lower than the state’s median of $82,100) according to AreaVibes. Gang activity and drug trafficking are also significant contributors to its high crime rate.

  1. Behind the Rocks, New Haven

New Haven, known for its Yale University and vibrant arts scene, also has its share of high-crime neighborhoods. Behind the Rocks, characterized by run-down housing and a poverty rate of 32.1%, experiences a significant amount of violent crime. A 2023 report by NeighborhoodScout lists Behind the Rocks’ violent crime rate at 1,182.3 per 100,000 residents, significantly higher than the national average.

  1. Barbour-Silver City, Waterbury

Waterbury’s industrial past has left its mark, with some neighborhoods facing economic challenges. Barbour-Silver City, while undergoing revitalization efforts, still struggles with gang activity and property crime. According to a 2023 report by the Waterbury Police Department, Barbour-Silver City has a property crime rate exceeding 5,200 per 100,000 residents.

  1. South End, Bridgeport

Bridgeport, the state’s most populous city, has areas with lower income levels and higher crime rates. The South End experiences a disproportionate amount of violent crime and property crime compared to the rest of Bridgeport. A 2023 study by the Bridgeport Police Department found the South End’s violent crime rate to be 1,075.4 per 100,000 residents, and its property crime rate to be 4,821.9 per 100,000 residents.

  1. Hollowville, New Britain

New Britain, a center for manufacturing, has seen economic decline in recent decades. Hollowville, though experiencing some revitalization efforts, has a high rate of property crimes. Data from the New Britain Police Department’s 2023 Crime Report shows a property crime rate exceeding 4,500 per 100,000 residents in Hollowville.

Factors Contributing to High Crime Rates

While pinpointing the exact causes of crime in these neighborhoods is complex, several factors often play a role:

  • Poverty: Economic hardship can lead to a lack of opportunity, making crime seem like a viable option for some. Studies have shown a correlation between poverty rates and crime rates.
  • Gang Activity: Gang presence can create an environment of violence and intimidation. Gangs often operate in areas with limited economic opportunities, and their activities can destabilize neighborhoods.
  • Drug Trafficking: The illegal drug trade fuels violence and criminal activity. Drug trafficking organizations often establish themselves in areas with high poverty rates, and the competition for control of drug markets can lead to violence.
  • Vacant Properties: Abandoned buildings can become havens for criminal activity. Vacant properties can attract vandalism and squatters, and they can create a sense of blight that discourages investment in the neighborhood.
  • Lack of Resources: Limited access to quality education, job training, and social services can contribute to crime. Without opportunities for legitimate economic advancement, some residents may turn to crime to meet their needs.

Important Considerations When Evaluating Neighborhood Safety

It’s important to understand that crime rates can fluctuate within a neighborhood. Here are some additional factors to consider:

  • Specific Street Crime Rates: Crime rates can vary significantly between streets within a neighborhood. Resources like local news reports and neighborhood forums can provide more granular details on crime trends within specific streets.
  • Gentrification Trends: Some high-crime neighborhoods may be undergoing gentrification, the influx of wealthier residents and businesses. Gentrification can revitalize areas and potentially lead to decreasing crime rates. However, gentrification can also displace long-term residents and raise concerns about economic inequality.
  • Personal Safety Practices: Regardless of location, practicing common-sense safety measures like staying in well-lit areas at night and being aware of your surroundings is crucial.

Resources and Support

If you live in or are considering moving to a high-crime neighborhood, here are some resources that can help:

  • Local Law Enforcement: Police departments often offer community outreach programs and crime prevention tips. Building relationships with local law enforcement can foster a sense of trust and safety in the community.
  • Neighborhood Watch Programs: Getting involved in neighborhood watch programs can foster a sense of community and deter crime. Neighborhood watch programs typically involve residents working together to watch out for suspicious activity and reporting it to the police.
  • Social Service Organizations: Organizations like the United Way or local homeless shelters can provide support with housing, job training, and other services that address the root causes of crime. By helping residents meet their basic needs and find opportunities for success, social service organizations can contribute to a safer community.


While Connecticut boasts a generally safe reputation, specific neighborhoods face challenges with higher crime rates. Understanding these areas and the factors contributing to crime is crucial for making informed decisions about where to live. By working together, communities can implement effective strategies to address the root causes of crime and create a safer environment for everyone.

Beyond the List: A Look at Safety Trends

It’s important to acknowledge that crime rates are constantly evolving. While this article has focused on the five neighborhoods with the highest reported crime rates currently, it’s valuable to consider broader safety trends in Connecticut.

  • Gentrification’s Impact on Crime: Some high-crime neighborhoods are experiencing gentrification, the influx of wealthier residents and businesses. Gentrification can revitalize areas but may also displace long-term residents and raise concerns about displacement. While gentrification can sometimes lead to decreasing crime rates, it’s crucial to ensure these changes benefit the entire community and don’t exacerbate existing inequalities.
  • Suburban Crime: Traditionally, crime rates have been higher in urban areas. However, some data suggests that suburban areas are experiencing an increase in property crimes. Being aware of these trends, regardless of location, is important for overall safety.

Final Thoughts

This article has provided a starting point for understanding crime rates in Connecticut. Remember, safety is a complex issue with no easy solutions. By fostering open communication, supporting community initiatives, and advocating for positive change, residents can work together to make Connecticut’s neighborhoods safer for everyone.

Additional Resources

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MBS Staff
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