Las Vegas didn’t get the moniker “Sin City” for nothing. As a national hub for gambling, nightlife, and alcohol consumption, the Las Vegas Strip is renowned for its vices. It’s not the activities of tourists putting the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department on edge, however, it’s the out-of-control crime. While nobody who’s been to the Strip would exactly vouch for its safety, many don’t realize just how rampant Las Vegas crime has become. Before you hit the Strip for a weekend of fun, consider these sobering facts.
Las Vegas Crime Rate Compared to National Average
Valley residents may be used to reading about heinous crimes in the local newspaper, but it takes cold, hard numbers to drive the point home. Already in 2016, Las Vegas has reported 31 homicides – more than two per week. In 2013, there were 97 murders, 705 reported rapes, and 4,072 robberies in Las Vegas. To put these statistics in perspective, compare them to Laguna Beach for the same year: zero murders, three reported rapes, and five robberies.
The crime rate in Las Vegas is about 27% higher than the national average. Las Vegas’ crime rates place it as the ninth most dangerous city in America. With this much crime in the streets, Las Vegas citizens and visitors to the Strip run a high risk of becoming victims. One recent example of the mayhem taking place on the Strip is last year’s news story of the 24-year-old woman, Lakeisha Holloway, who plowed her vehicle into a crowd of pedestrians. This random act of violence cost one woman her life and injured at least 34 others.
While this type of high-profile Las Vegas crime doesn’t happen on the Strip every day, it highlights the current crime-ridden condition of Las Vegas. The Strip has made national news on several occasions in the past year for carjackings, other pedestrian crashes, and deaths. Norm Jahn, who served with the Metro Police Department for 21 years, says there’s nothing new about the violent crimes on the Strip and points to the Metro administration as part of the problem. He mentions a corrupted policing system and the need for more crime fighters than “secretaries with a badge.” No matter what the cause of the consistently high rates of crime, citizens and tourists are wondering how to stay safe.
Protection in a Crime-Ridden City
Random acts of violence, such as assaults and robberies, can happen to anyone, at any time. However, a level of preparedness may help citizens prevent a criminal attack on the Las Vegas Strip. On top of the high levels of Las Vegas crime, visitors also need to practice proper pedestrian safety. As a city that sees millions of visitors every year, Las Vegas and the Strip are prone to injurious pedestrian accidents. Here are a few tips for staying safe:
- Keep your money safely hidden. Don’t count money while walking down the Strip. Keep money hidden in a purse, pocket, or better yet – a strap-on wallet concealed beneath your clothing.
- Avoid walking alone at night. Don’t risk a criminal taking the opportunity of your being alone to mug, rob, or assault you.
- Look twice before crossing. Only cross the road at designated crosswalks, and only when safe to do so. Don’t assume a car will stop or yield right-of-way. Look both ways before crossing.
In a large metropolitan area like Las Vegas, crime rates will always be relatively high compared to other locations. However, the Strip does pose certain threats you may not encounter as often in other tourist destinations. Protect yourself against negligent drivers and criminals by traveling safely in this dangerous part of the city.