11 Most Dangerous Cities in Florida in 2024

After a chaotic day, you close the main door, dim the lights of the house, and head to the bedroom with hopes of peaceful sleep. However, just as you’re about to lie down, you hear three gunshots followed by the piercing scream of a child!

Now, I wonder how peaceful your night will be!

Most Dangerous Cities in Florida

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Yes, this is an awareness blog that focuses on the most dangerous cities in Florida, USA, which are better to avoid, as news like these are as common as friends coming to your house and saying hi!

However, if you’re a retiree and planning to retire here in Florida, I want you to read my other article for a better perception.

Latest Updates on Florida’s Crime And Danger Situation

If you’re a Floridian, you’re well aware of the crazy stories that pop up in the news every day—drug incidents, shootings, alcohol-related incidents, burglaries, fake police cars, and much more!

In early 2023, did you hear about the tragic incident where a 12-year-old girl was shot and killed while sitting on her home couch

It happened when a man fired into the home in Lake City, Florida, just 60 miles west of Jacksonville. These violent crimes like robbery, assault, sexual battery, and homicide are so rising.

Additionally, four people were shot on Northwest Alma Avenue. And to add to the chaos, two experienced thieves attempted an ATM heist.

The murder-suicide story of a couple in Daytona Beach, stemming from a mere verbal argument, leaves me pondering where communication has gone awry. 

Then the news of a terminally ill 77-year-old woman killing her husband in a hospital at AdventHealth Daytona Beach has shaken the entire area.

Police arresting dozens of young drug dealers from South Beach, Miami, with 2,076 grams of marijuana, 217 grams of cocaine, cash, and guns is another serious news story. 

An open shooting during spring break, resulting in one person dead and four injured in Miami Beach, adds to the alarming trend. The “Spider-Man” burglar is now making headlines in Miami.

The murder of Jorge Diaz Johnston, a gay rights activist, by Yinger in Tallahassee, is shocking news that has surfaced. Gun violence and homicide incidents have surged by 13.6% in 2023.

A fatal shooting in Pompano Beach, resulting in the death of a juvenile, is deeply troubling for every parent sending their children outside the house. 

The news of a woman shot dead in Lauderhill has prompted the police department to launch a thorough investigation.

The news seems endless, my friend! The vibrant beaches and colorful streets are not always a reflection of diamonds but sometimes pure black, like dirt!

I have spent my initial 26 years living in Florida. Hence, if you’re planning to come here to find your home and start a new life, I am here to guide you by letting you know about the areas to avoid in Florida when searching for a home.

 arrest of the suspect
 Arrest of the suspect, Picture- Facebook

Facts About Criminal Activity in Urban Areas Of Florida

  • “In Florida, the 20-39 age group is the most involved in violent crimes, underscoring the need for tailored social programs and policing.” – Safe & Sound Security
  • Florida ranks 25th in violent crime rate, hence, as per the survey, only 4 out of 10 respondents feel safe in
  • The first few months of 2023 witnessed 590 misdemeanor arrests and 810 felonies of juveniles
  • As per data from 2021, Florida’s crime rate clearance has decreased to 24.6 per 100 cases
  • As per data of 2021, prostitution and sex work arrests are 53.6%
  • Black population arrest rate is 7,203.7 per 100,000
READ NEXT:  11 Safe & Most Liberal Cities in Florida

Save Yourself from the Most Dangerous Cities in Florida

1. Riviera Beach

  • County: Palm Beach County
  • Population: 38,748
  • Crime rate: 38.99 (per 1,000 residents)
  • Percentage of poverty: 20%
  • Where can you find a safe home in Riviera Beach: Singer Island

Riviera Beach, an island known for aquatic adventures and plenty of beach relaxation, is, in reality, a place that has witnessed 11 murders, 23 rape cases, 47 robberies, and 264 assaults.  Despite its location on Florida’s Treasure Coast, it experiences a non-peaceful environment. 

The city, situated on the outskirts of the Miami metropolitan area and just a 10-minute drive from North Palm Beach, records a 6.6% unemployment rate, making it natural to rank as one of the worst cities in Florida to build a home. 

However, according to a CBS12 report, the year 2023 marks significant growth for the city as it recorded a total of seven homicides, which is lower compared to the past 10 years, thanks to community engagement initiatives.

Crime Scene Investigation Team
Crime Scene Investigation Team, Picture- Facebook

2. Lauderhill

  • County: Broward County
  • Population: 73,689
  • Crime rate: 28.59 (per 1,000 residents)
  • Percentage of poverty: 21.1 %
  • Where can you find a safe home in Lauderhill: Las Olas, Flagler Village, Coral Ridge, and Tarpon River

The good thing about Lauderhill is its community, which works together to enforce community policing and ensure safety. The papers read that the chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime is 1 in 174 in Lauderdale, South Florida. 

It’s very evident that in areas where the unemployment rate records 8.1% and the cost of renting a two-bedroom apartment is around $1,630, the crime rate will increase. 

In 2023, it recorded 1,909 property crimes, which shows that the chances of you becoming a victim are 1 in 44. Places like Lauderhill, Lauderdale Lakes, and Boulevard Gardens are hotspots for robbery, so it’s better to avoid these areas.

Lauderhill steets
Streets of Lauderhill

3. Homestead

  • County: Miami-Dade County
  • Population: 83,272
  • Crime rate: 31.85 (per 1,000 residents)
  • Percentage of poverty: 25.4 %
  • Where can you find a safe home in Homestead: Silver Palm, Naranja, and Redland

Homestead, a small village famous for agricultural production, Knaus Berry Farm, mangrove preserves, tropical gardens, Monkey Jungle, and more, also falls under the radar of high crime areas in Florida, such as pickpocketing and theft. 

As per 2022 data, the median household income is around $57,739, with a Grocery Cost Index score of 104, which is 4% higher than the US average. The unemployment rate is also higher, ranking at 8.7%. 

Homestead recorded 514 assault cases, 137 motor vehicle theft cases, and 182 burglaries. Additionally, if you visit Everglades National Park, you may encounter alligators roaming around.

Homestead Police Department
Homestead Police Department

4. Cocoa

  • County: Brevard County
  • Population: 20,051
  • Crime rate: 59.00 (per 1,000 residents)
  • Percentage of poverty: 16.8 %

According to BestPlaces.net, violent crime in Cocoa is rated at 84.7, and property crime at 89.2. This suggests that residents have a higher chance of becoming victims of crime compared to those living in other parts of the US. 

In 2018, the National Council for Home Safety and Security published a report stating that Cocoa is America’s most dangerous city. Data reveals the highest homicide rates among Florida cities. 

READ NEXT:  12 Beautiful and Cheapest Places to Visit in Florida

Despite being 2% safer than other US neighborhoods, crimes like assaults (174 incidents) and burglaries (105 cases) are so common that residents are horrified by them. Also, please try to avoid the southern and Downtown of the city which is very dangerous.

Although its location is strategically prominent, as it sits along the Atlantic Coast near Cape Canaveral and southwest of Orlando, the prevalence of such crimes tarnishes its appeal. 

Cocoa Beach
Cocoa Beach

5. Lake Worth

  • County: Palm Beach County
  • Population: 38, 548
  • Crime rate: 27.45 (per 1,000 residents)
  • Percentage of poverty: 19.2 %
  • Where can you find a safe home in Lake Worth: College Park

If you want to know which part of Florida has a higher homeless population and many drug-related issues such as overdoses and opioid abuse, then it’s Lake Worth. However, at first glance, you’ll fall in love with this seven-square-mile city and its beautiful Downtown, but it’s only safer than 13% of US neighborhoods.

The crime rate in the northern district area is very high! It is stated that the crime rate is 2.5 times higher than the national average. However, the unemployment rate is now 3.7%, with a median household income of around $59,830 per year, showing improvement from the previous year.

I wish this picturesque area would record a low crime rate in Florida then not only locals but the residents would have a great life here.

Lake Worth Beach Street Painting Festival
Lake Worth Beach Street Painting Festival

6. Pahokee

  • County: Palm Beach County
  • Population: 5,524
  • Crime rate: (per 1,000 residents)

Pahokee is one of the most scenic yet dangerous neighborhoods near Lake Okeechobee, where the cons outweigh the pros. The area not only records a high crime rate but also a high incidence of property crimes. The unemployment rate is 4.7%

The local economy is driven by fast-food workers and sales services. Recently, news of three men shooting two others near North Coconut Road caused a lot of chaos among the residents. I’ve heard many stories from my friend Soniya, who stayed there for two months but was forced to leave due to disturbances such as vandalism and break-ins.

However, things are moving towards improvement now, as the community and law enforcement are collaboratively working to address the issues with strategic ideas and solutions. If you’re a single professional, you might consider the place, but for family upbringing, I would highly advise against it!

Pahokee City
Pahokee City

7. Gainesville

  • County: Alachua County
  • Population: 147,732
  • Crime rate: 32.48 (per 1,000 residents)
  • Percentage of poverty: 19.5 %

Hub of Education, anchored by the University of Florida, Gainesville has become a fearful place for parents sending their students here, due to issues such as child pornography, online harassment, increasing burglary, and local thefts. 

Despite being considered 9% safer than other US neighborhoods, the city still grapples with safety concerns. With an unemployment rate of 3.3%, Gainesville has recorded 2,220 burglaries and 450 robberies within a year. 

The city is undoubtedly very energetic, with a large student population, but the safety issues are a real concern. I would always recommend avoiding places like Archer, Micanopy, Hawthorne, and Waldo, as these areas record frequent robberies, harassment, and assaults.

Active Streets Alliance
Active Streets Alliance

8. Tallahassee

  • County: Leon County
  • Population: 204,615
  • Crime rate: 30.54 (per 1,000 residents)
  • Percentage of poverty: 18.5 %

Tallahassee, the most dangerous city in the USA recorded 6,161 total crimes in a year. Residents of The Gardens at Westlake, and Falls are getting crazy daily with these incidents. Not only violent crime but the property crime here is too high too!

As per data from Neighbourhood Scout, you have 1 in 39 chances of becoming a property crime whereas, 1 in 193 chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime. However, the Government is taking extra prevention measures to combat crime by ensuring campus safety, active shooter training, and more.

Tallahassee Community College
Tallahassee Community College

9. Lake City

  • County: Columbia County
  • Population: 12,553 
  • Crime rate: 58.32 (per 1,000 residents)
  • Percentage of poverty: 20.7 %
READ NEXT:  12 Cheapest Places to Live in Florida in 2024

Crime Grade reports state that, on average, every 5 hours and 37 minutes, Lake City records crimes such as home robberies, security system breaches, burglaries, car thefts, drug issues, and more. Neighborhoods, on the other hand, state that Lake City is 2% safer than other US neighborhoods. 

The unemployment rate here is 4.9%, which contributes to an increase in the violent crime rate. It is stated that there is a 1 in 96 chance of becoming a victim in Lake City. These days, Lake City has been ranked as the highest in statistics for violent crime and overall worseness.

Christmas celebration in Lake City
Christmas celebration in Lake City

Most Dangerous Places in Florida To Avoid Because of Crime Rate & Tropical Storms

10. Miami and its Neighborhoods

  • County: Miami-Dade County
  • Population: 464,544
  • Crime rate: 29.79 (per 1,000 residents)
  • Percentage of poverty: 14.5 %
  • Where can you find a safe home in Miami: Northeast Florida

Not only Miami and its areas, such as Model City, West Flagler, Little Haiti, Overtown, and Little Havana, have high crime rates, but they’re also among the worst places for hurricanes in Florida. The videos showing water filling the streets of Downtown Miami and entering the lobbies of houses are chilling and frightening!

Around Miami Beach, you will commonly hear stories of thieves breaking into cars, road harassment, and small robberies. Partygoers and tourists are common targets for them! In a year, it registered 893,980 assault cases. Can you imagine that?

Miami's storm
Miami’s storm

11. Deerfield Beach

  • County: Broward County
  • Population: 87,292
  • Crime rate: 18.68 % (per 1,000 residents)
  • Percentage of poverty: 16.2 %

Deerfield Beach got the certification as a “Blue Wave Beach” and it’s to be frank this place is not too bad but an increasing number of jobless rates and robberies presently have resulted the chaos. This place records 220,450 robberies.

The place was recorded as 24% safer than the US neighborhood. A two-bedroom rent is around $1,430 per month. The unemployment rate is 5.3% hence these activities have increased creating huge safety concerns among the people of Florida.

Conclusion

Florida holds a reputation for its clean beaches, coconut trees, sunbathing under the warm sun, mouth-watering seafood, and support for gay rights. However, it’s also a harsh reality check, as it has an ugly side that can send shivers down your spine!

As you reach the end of this blog, you now have a clear understanding of the most dangerous places in Florida to avoid, especially if you’re planning to relocate with your family. I’ve provided you with insights into areas with high crime rates as well as those prone to dangers from tropical storms, emphasizing their equal significance in terms of risk.

Deerfield Beach
Deerfield Beach

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FAQ: Most Dangerous Cities In Florida

1. How do residents in these dangerous areas protect themselves and their property?

A. The residents of these dangerous places in Florida acknowledge the fact and act together to get help from the police, and they have each other’s backs. What I have seen is that the community is strong among themselves.

2. What types of crimes are most common in dangerous Florida cities?

A. Aggravated assaults, shootings, and purse and car robberies are common crimes recorded in Florida cities.

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