Dallas, TX has one of the highest violent crime rates in the nation, as well as the largest share of residents living in poverty than any other city in Texas. In fact, from early 2015 to early 2016, there was an astounding 86 percent increase in the city’s murder rate and over 250 more reported cases of aggravated assault during the same period. Unfortunately, the combination of crime and poverty can easily create dangerous situations. When it comes to Dallas, this danger is much more prevalent in certain neighborhoods than it is in other parts of the large city.
To better track drug activity and crime in the city, Dallas has been divided into Targeted Action Area Grids (TAAGs) by the Dallas Police Department. Here is a quick look at the 10 most dangerous neighborhoods or TAAGs in Dallas based primarily on crime, drug, and poverty statistics.
Five Points, one of Dallas’s highest populated neighborhoods, has consistently been named one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Dallas, according to statistics released by the Dallas Police Department and information obtained through an FBI Crime Study. In addition to crime, Five Points is home to an especially dangerous intersection where Route 352 and Scyene Rd. meet, which has led to multiple pedestrian deaths. Five Points is considered to be so dangerous that the police department has created a new task force to increase the number of officers patrolling the area. The task force will also concentrate on three other Dallas neighborhoods.
Also identified by the Dallas Police Department as one of the city’s most violent neighborhoods, the Ross-Bennett Grid experienced a 20 percent increase in crime over a 3-month period in 2016. According to a 20-year resident of the neighborhood, the area has long been a magnet for robberies and street drug sales.
Constantly referred to as “troubled” by the DPD, small businesses in the Forest-Audalia Grid are frequently the target of robberies. From March 2015 to March 2016, the neighborhood saw 5 percent increase in property crime, including residential burglaries, which surged by 11 percent. Additionally, violent crime, such as the armed robberies of pedestrians, has increased by 27 percent, leaving many residents afraid to walk the streets regardless of whether it is the middle of the day or the middle of the night.
Sandbranch or Sand Branch
Often referred to in the media as the “forgotten neighborhood,” Sandbranch is the poorest neighborhood in Dallas with most residents living on Social Security or disability. Although crime is a significant problem in most parts of the city, a lack of clean water is the most dangerous aspect of living here. Located in a flood plain, the city decided it wasn’t cost effective to build a levee around the community, allowing drinking water to become contaminated by runoff. Unfortunately, their limited income makes it almost impossible for residents to afford bottled water.
In a neighborhood where tension and unemployment rates run high, a new problem has made things even worse. Packs of stray dogs have flocked to this area, making a simple walk down the street extremely dangerous. In May of this year, a homeless woman who was staying in one of the neighborhood’s multiple abandoned homes was mauled to death after a pack of dogs were able to get inside. The neighborhood is also home to failing schools.
West Oak Cliff
Well-known among Dallas residents for being a high crime area, West Oak Cliff gained national notoriety in October 2016 when there were three police-involved shootings in the area within a three-week period. It also happens to the be the site of the city’s infamous West Dallas housing projects, though some are now in the process of being torn down since the courts ruled it was against the law to place the majority of the housing projects in one area. Despite this, the neighborhood has experienced a 14 increase in crime over the last year.
Loop 12- Jim Miller Grid
Considered by some locals to be a “black eye on the city” due to the tons of trash and debris that litter the roads of the Loop 12-Jim Miller Grid, this is also one of the most dangerous places to walk in Dallas. This is largely due to the incredibly congested roads and intersections. In just a single year, six people were killed while walking along the roadway. Additionally, the area is prone to flooding, potentially leaving residents stranded in their homes or on the road when trying to evacuate.
From January to October 2016, at least 20 people were murdered in Oak Cliff, a neighborhood with just 20,000 residents. Sadly, 70 percent of children under 5 years old in the area live in poverty. There is a known link between poverty and violence that is prone to leaving people desensitized to it, which means that this area could become even more dangerous over the next few years.
In recent years, Dixon Circle has developed a reputation for being a good place to find drugs, as well as an area where people illegally dump their garbage after dodging the countless pot holes in the road. According to neighborhood residents, it is also well known that the police don’t like to patrol the area, nor do they stick around for very long when answering a 911 call. Additionally, Dixon Circle is home to numerous gang members. In 2014, it was reported that there were at least 357 members of the Dixon Circle Crips, a notoriously violent gang.
In 2016, East Dallas’s Ross Bennett Neighborhood has seen a mother killed in a drive-by shooting, an increase in domestic violence arrests, and a spike in overall violent crimes. According to a longtime resident, the area is a magnet for street drug sales, robberies, and violence. In just a three month period, the Ross Bennett neighborhood experienced a 20 percent increase in crime, making it an increasingly dangerous area of Dallas.