These Are The 5 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Montana

Montana, the “Treasure State,” is known for its majestic mountains, sprawling prairies, and wide-open spaces. It evokes images of cowboys, pristine wilderness, and a slower pace of life. However, beneath this idyllic facade lies a reality where crime exists, just like anywhere else. While Montana boasts lower crime rates than the national average, specific areas within the state have higher concentrations of criminal activity.

This article delves into the five most dangerous neighborhoods in Montana, based on recent crime data. It acknowledges that crime rates can fluctuate, and this is a snapshot of the current situation. We’ll explore the statistics, contributing factors, and safety tips for navigating these areas. It’s important to remember that crime can occur anywhere, and this information is for general awareness purposes, not to instill fear.

1. Havre (Hill County)

  • Stats: Havre, a city of roughly 9,700 residents in north-central Montana, holds the dubious distinction of having the highest violent crime rate in the state. According to sources on Montana crime rates, Havre experiences a staggering 992 violent crimes per 100,000 people. Property crimes are also prevalent, with a rate of 3,959 per 100,000 residents.
  • Facts: Assaults, particularly domestic violence, contribute significantly to Havre’s high violent crime rate. Property crimes like theft, burglary, and vandalism are frequent, targeting both homes and businesses. The economic struggles of some residents, combined with a lack of resources and opportunities, might be contributing factors.

Safety Tips in Havre:

  • Be aware of your surroundings, especially at night.
  • Avoid isolated areas and poorly lit streets.
  • Lock your doors and windows, even when you’re at home.
  • Install a security system if possible.
  • Report suspicious activity to the police immediately.
  • Consider getting involved in neighborhood watch programs to foster a sense of community and vigilance.

2. Polson (Lake County)

  • Stats: Nestled on the shores of Flathead Lake, Polson presents a contrasting case. While it boasts stunning scenery, it also grapples with a high property crime rate, reaching 5,241 incidents per 100,000 people sources on Montana crime rates. Violent crime is lower than Havre, at 234 per 100,000.
  • Facts: Polson’s property crime issue might be linked to its status as a tourist destination. The influx of visitors creates opportunities for theft and burglary. Drug use and gang activity are also concerns within the community.

Safety Tips in Polson:

  • Be extra cautious with your belongings in crowded tourist areas.
  • Don’t leave valuables unattended in your car.
  • Secure your home, especially if you’re leaving for an extended period.
  • If you witness suspicious activity, report it to the authorities.
  • Engage with local businesses and community organizations to address underlying issues.

3. Ronan (Lake County)

  • Stats: Ronan, another Lake County city, takes the unfortunate crown for the highest violent crime rate in Montana, exceeding 1,023 per 100,000 residents sources on Montana crime rates. Property crime rates are also concerning, at 3,871 per 100,000.
  • Facts: Similar to Polson, Ronan’s location on Flathead Lake might contribute to its violent crime statistics. Social and economic factors, along with substance abuse, are likely contributing elements.

Safety Tips in Ronan:

  • Exercise caution, especially after dark.
  • Stay in well-lit areas and avoid walking alone.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and trust your gut instincts.
  • Report any suspicious activity to the police.
  • Support community initiatives aimed at addressing crime and fostering a safer environment.

4. Wolf Point (Roosevelt County)

  • Stats: Wolf Point, a small town in northeastern Montana, has a surprisingly high violent crime rate of 577 per 100,000 residents sources on Montana crime rates. Property crime rates are also concerning, at 3,218 per 100,000.
  • Facts: The reasons behind Wolf Point’s crime rates are complex and likely involve a combination of factors like poverty, lack of opportunity, and substance abuse.

Safety Tips in Wolf Point:

  • Be aware of your surroundings, especially at night.
  • Get to know your neighbors and build a sense of community.
  • Report suspicious activity to the police promptly.
  • Advocate for increased resources and opportunities within the community to address the root causes of crime.

5. Billings (Yellowstone County)

  • Stats: As Montana’s most populous city, Billings has the highest number of total crimes reported. While its violent crime rate (342 per 100,000) isn’t the highest on this list, its property crime rate is a significant concern at 4,021 per 100,000 residents sources on Montana crime rates.
  • Facts: Billings faces challenges common to larger cities, including drug trafficking, gang activity, and poverty. These factors contribute to property crimes like theft, burglary, and vandalism.

Safety Tips in Billings:

  • Be extra vigilant in areas with a higher crime reputation.
  • Avoid walking alone at night, especially in poorly lit areas.
  • Secure your belongings and property.
  • Park your car in well-lit areas and avoid leaving valuables inside.
  • Be a responsible neighbor and report suspicious activity to the police.
  • Support community programs and initiatives focused on crime prevention and rehabilitation.

Beyond Statistics: A Look at Contributing Factors

It’s important to acknowledge that crime statistics paint an incomplete picture. Socioeconomic factors like poverty, unemployment, and lack of opportunities can contribute to criminal activity. Substance abuse is another significant factor, often linked to violent crime. Additionally, a lack of resources for mental health services can leave individuals vulnerable and contribute to criminal behavior.

Community Engagement and Prevention

While the focus of this article is on the most dangerous neighborhoods, it’s crucial to emphasize the importance of community engagement and prevention efforts.

  • Neighborhood Watch Programs: These programs empower residents to look out for each other and report suspicious activity.
  • Community Policing: Building positive relationships between law enforcement and the community fosters trust and cooperation in tackling crime.
  • Social Programs: Programs that address poverty, unemployment, and substance abuse can create a more stable and secure environment for all residents.

Living Safely in Montana

Despite the information presented, Montana remains a relatively safe state. By being aware of your surroundings, taking precautions, and supporting community initiatives, you can significantly reduce your risk of encountering crime.


Montana’s beauty and charm shouldn’t be overshadowed by crime concerns. This article serves as a starting point for informed decision-making. By understanding the areas with higher crime rates and the contributing factors, residents and visitors can take proactive steps to ensure their safety. Remember, community engagement and a focus on prevention are key elements in creating a safer Montana for everyone.

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MBS Staff
Articles: 7480

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