This is especially important if you are walking around in Los Angeles.
We have been in Los Angeles for a long time and understand it inside and out. This allows us to give a better look into what it means to be safe in Los Angeles including the downtown area.
This article is going to provide a look at how safe downtown LA is and whether or not you are going to want to be there during different times of the day.
How Safe Is Downtown Los Angeles?
Downtown Los Angeles is safe and often gets a bad reputation due to specific references in pop culture. Based on the research that has been done, staying in downtown LA is not a big deal and it’s relatively safe.
Of course, you have to understand big cities do have crime.
It’s simply the nature of being a big city with people from all walks of life. Plus, there are going to be more people within the downtown core, which elevates the chances of crime being visible to you.
We have not noticed this during our time in LA but we do recognize this as being a reality people want to think about. In general, it is seen as being safer than a city like New York City, which illustrates that it is a safe major city in America.
For the most part, you are going to deal with specific crimes based on what you get to hear throughout Los Angeles.
In some areas, you are going to be dealing with things such as stolen vehicles, robberies, drug abuse, petty theft, muggings, and gang violence.
Please note that this is going to happen in various parts of Los Angeles and not just the downtown area.
It’s easy to stay away from those parts as long as you are aware of them.
Natural Disasters In Los Angeles
When people think about safety in Los Angeles, most are going to immediately focus on gang violence or theft.
Yes, those are realities associated with any major city but the real issue has more to do with potential natural disasters that you are going to face. This includes recent issues with wildfires in the area, which have devastated entire neighborhoods depending on where people were situated.
These wildfires are something you have to be prepared for and they do come suddenly during the summer months.
Another natural disaster LA is associated with has to do with earthquakes. It is sitting on a fault line, which means an earthquake can occur.
We always recommend paying attention to the news and weather when you are here. This will help highlight whether or not there is a wildfire to deal with in the summer months.
Crime In Downtown Los Angeles
We know you are still going to be thinking about the crime rate in downtown Los Angeles.
While the crime rate is not as high as in other major cities, it’s still something you do want to be aware of. There is crime and it tends to take place in specific parts of the downtown core.
We have noticed that things such as gang violence and assaults do take place here but it’s rare. You will more likely be dealing with petty theft or pickpocketing when you are in the downtown area of Los Angeles.
For the most part, locals state the crime rate has gone down over the years and it’s relatively safe to stay in downtown Los Angeles without having to fear for your safety.
A common issue people report has to do with pickpockets.
Unfortunately, this is going to happen and it’s a common crime. This can be seen as an unsafe element in the city, but you can handle it as long as you are protecting your valuables. We do not recommend flashing those valuables when you are walking around downtown LA.
Pickpockets will often look for those who are tourists because they are easier targets.
We have also seen people getting robbed when they are in Los Angeles. This is not just reserved for downtown Los Angeles, but other neighborhoods in the region too. It’s essential to be aware of this and make sure you are not flashing those valuables whenever you are walking around because it can lead to this type of attempt.
You are always better off sticking to tourist areas and also ensuring you are not spending too much time in bad neighborhoods at night. We have seen this become an issue in downtown LA because there are fewer people outside and that makes it easier to come after a victim.
This is not a situation where you are going to want to carry a lot of cash as you are walking around. It’s unsafe and not the right way to go about doing things.
Avoiding Bad Areas
Bad areas are a legitimate issue when it comes to Los Angeles and there’s a difference between what you are going to face in one area compared to the next.
Be aware of this and ensure you are not going to those areas.
For example, you don’t want to be going to places such as Watts, Westlake, East LA, South Central, Compton, or Boyle Heights to name a few.
These are areas that are deemed to be unsafe by the locals too.
Is it safe to stay in downtown Los Angeles?
We do find it to be relatively safe as long as you are smart about your essentials and ensure you are not walking into the bad neighborhoods of LA.
If you do this, you are good to go.
Amanda Harper is a travel enthusiast with 10+ years of traveling experience across the planet. Her passion for writing and travel makes her a walking bibliography on modern-day tourism.