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Vancouver Crime Rate: Areas To Avoid

Updated: Jan 25

woman walking through downtown vancouver bc canada

Not all areas of Vancouver are as safe as others. Vancouver has been been voted one of the best cities in the world to live in, but crime statistics clearly indicate that there are some areas where you want to have your wits about you. These areas are often referred to as "hot spots" of crime.

In no particular order, keep reading to find out which areas are deemed sketchy, according to the Vancouver Police Department.

Quick Answers

Most Dangerous Neighbourhoods In Vancouver

1. Downtown Eastside

Downtown Eastside has had a 50% crime rate higher than the Vancouver average. This area - the corridor near Hastings and Main Street - can only be described as an apocalyptic tent city. The area has been plagued with homelessness, vandalism, fires, poverty, drug use, theft and assaults, and other issues that have forced businesses to shut down and locals to stay away.

In 2020, the last time the city conducted a census of homeless people, 2095 residents were homeless. During 2021 and 2022, in-person counts have been canceled each year.

Evidently, homelessness is a significant issue and the high rate of drug-related offenses and addiction-related crimes, such as theft, can be attributed to the high availability of illicit drugs in these areas.

2. Mount Pleasant

On the surface Mount Pleasant is hipster-ville, filled with a vibrant culture and expensive properties. But recently, the neighborhood has had a spike in crime rate due to its proximity to the downtown core, attracting the homeless population, and those involved in drug and gang activity.

The neighborhood's mix of residential and commercial properties also makes it more vulnerable to theft and break-ins.

3. Chinatown

Once, Chinatown was a cultural jewel. Located near Downtown Eastside, the area experiences a 58% crime rate higher than average.

This area is also experiencing a loss of tourism and businesses as it becomes home to crime, homelessness, drug addiction, vandalism and mental illness.

4. Mole Hill, West End

Mole Hill has a population of only 445, with crime rates 55% higher than the Vancouver average. Located in the West End, Mole Hill is a historical neighborhood featuring 30 heritage-listed sites from the 1800s and 1900s.

The Mole Hill Community Housing Society manages the area consisting of 170 social housing units, group homes and other community resources.

5. Strathcona

Strathcona, close to Downtown Eastside and Chinatown, has a crime rate 41% higher than the Vancouver average. This area has a high rate of property-related crimes - think break-ins and theft. The issue of drug and substance abuse has been a long-standing problem in Strathcona as has homelessness.

However, Strathcona is still home to a thriving community of families and singles attracted to the eclectic, industrial surroundings. There's a vibrant art scene and array of breweries and restaurants to enjoy.

6. Hastings-Sunrise

This area has a high rate of violent crimes such as assaults and robberies. Homelessness is a severe issue here. Hastings-Sunrise is located near a major transit hub with major train and bus stations which tends to attract a transient population.

The presence of a transient population has created opportunities for criminal activities, including theft, vandalism and drug trafficking.

7. Kensington-Cedar Cottage

This densely populated neighborhood has a high proportion of rental properties and a diverse population, including many newcomers to Canada.

Its crime rate is higher due to a range of factors including a high poverty rate, a high number of homeless people, and a higher proportion of people with mental health issues. The neighborhood is also located near Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, an area known for its high concentration of drug activity and crime.

8. Renfrew-Collingwood

Renfrew-Collingwood’s higher crime rate is partly due to the high number of rental properties, which can attract a transient population involved in drug activity.

This is a multicultural neighborhood with a high proportion of residents who are very recent immigrants to Canada.

9. Grandview-Woodland

The area's higher crime rate is due in part to its location near downtown, which has escalated in crime in recent years. It has several large public housing complexes, which can be vulnerable to gang activity and criminal behavior.

10. Victoria-Fraserview

This neighborhood is located in the southeastern part of Vancouver, with a mix of residential and commercial properties. The area has a higher crime rate due to its location on the city's eastern border, which makes it more prone to crime from neighboring municipalities.

Most Dangerous Areas In Greater Vancouver


Surrey was ranked as the most dangerous city not just in BC, but in all of Canada, according to the Global Crime Index. They ranked Surrey at #49 with a crime index of 64.34. It is believed that these statistics represent mostly organized crime and gang violence.

In comparison, Vancouver ranked at #295 of the world’s worst cities for crime, with a crime index of 37.16. Numbeo’s Crime Index creates the ranking based on an estimate of the number of crimes occurring over a 36 month period so see how dangerous each area is.


Langley crime rates are 115% higher than the British Columbia average, with parts of downtown becoming more rampant with drugs and crime. This city is in the Lower Mainland, and is one of the busiest industrial and commercial centers in the region.

Vancouver Crime Rates: Is This City Safe?

Crime is a crucial variable when assessing livability. How does the crime rate in Vancouver compare to other cities of its caliber? If we look at Vancouver’s overall statistics from the Vancouver Police Department, in 2022 alone, there were:

  • Assaults: 4789

  • Attempted murder: 20

  • Culpable Homicides: 13

  • Sex Offences: 645

  • Robbery: 673

  • Theft: 11058

Top 5 Safest Places In Vancouver

  • Shaughnessy

  • Arbutus Ridge

  • Kerrisdale

  • West Point Grey

  • South Cambie

1. Shaughnessy

The immaculately maintained Shaughnessy is a very wealthy area with a low crime rate. Residents have an average household income ranging between $700,000 to $1 million, while the average house price is $6.95 million, making it one of Vancouver’s more expensive neighbourhoods.

2. Arbutus Ridge

Arbutus Ridge is a very safe and serene Vancouver neighbourhood on the city’s West Side. This pristine neighborhood boasts a low crime rate and feels very secure.

3. Kerrisdale

Engulfed in greenery, Kerrisdale is another area with a low crime rate, luxury houses and a peaceful neighborhood. It’s typically characterized by retired individuals ready for a slower pace of life. Kerrisdale is experiencing a surge in popularity as more people are attracted to its safe, small-town feel and location to many different amenities.

4. West Point Grey

West Point Grey is located close to Spanish Banks and Jericho Beach. This safe neighbourhood has a low crime rate and has long been one of the wealthiest areas in Vancouver.

5. South Cambie

Another area with a low crime rate is South Cambie located on Vancouver’s west side. South Cambie is a very family-friendly and safe neighborhood consisting of affluent residents, professionals and families.

Essential Safety Products for Vancouver Residents

In light of the various neighborhoods in Vancouver experiencing fluctuating crime rates, it's crucial to prioritize your safety and security. Whether you're navigating the bustling streets or ensuring your home is a safe haven, here's a curated list of must-have safety items to keep handy.

1. Ultra-Loud Personal Safety Alarm: Going through Gastown at night?This alarm fits on your keychain or in your pocket, emitting a loud sound to deter attackers and alert passersby in an emergency. Read our Review buyer guide on personal safety alarms here.

self defense keychain

2. Reliable Dog Spray: A non-lethal, effective self-defense tool, our recommended dog spray provides quick protection, allowing you to escape potential harm.

sabre self defense spray

3. Advanced Home Security System: Are you experiencing a lot of break-ins? A home security system with cameras, sensors, and remote monitoring will give you peace of mind.

4. Interactive Video Doorbell: Strange creepers at your door? Keep an eye on your doorstep with a smart doorbell that offers high-definition video, motion detection, and real-time alerts to your smartphone.

5. Tactical Flashlight: Tactical flashlights, with their intense beam and sturdy construction, serve as a practical tool for self-defense on Vancouver's streets, potentially disorienting would-be attackers in precarious situations.

6. Self Defense Umbrella: Tactical umbrellas looks and function like a normal umbrella, but have a heavy frame and steel tip.

7. Tactical Pens: Tactical self-defense pens, known for their discreet yet durable design, offer a dual-purpose as it can write like a regular pen but also serve as a self defense tool and glass windshield breaker.

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Are there any dangerous parts of Vancouver that you think we missed off the list? Sign up for the Stay Safe Vancouver newsletter for more updates.

1 Comment

Joe Schmoe
Joe Schmoe
Jan 09

seems fairly obvious: why not provide a map?

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