10 Most Dangerous Cities In Massachusetts


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Bay State for 2019.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. It is our fifth time ranking the most dangerous places to live in Massachusetts and is updated for 2019.

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Do you live in one of the most dangerous cities in Massachusetts?

We all watch the news and see reports on Facebook of the latest crimes that happen in our hometowns. But it can be hard to tell at a big picture level how dangerous our town actually is.

No one wants to feel unsafe, and statistically speaking, odds are that where you live is most likely relatively safe. In order to help the good people of Massachusetts — and anyone looking to move to Massachusetts — know just how close they are to danger, we took data from the annual FBI report and did some serious analysis.

Here are the 10 most dangerous cities in Massachusetts for 2019:

  1. Holyoke (Photos)
  2. North Adams (Photos)
  3. Springfield (Photos)
  4. Pittsfield (Photos)
  5. New Bedford (Photos)
  6. West Springfield
  7. Brockton (Photos)
  8. Worcester (Photos)
  9. Boston (Photos)
  10. Chicopee (Photos)

So what is the most dangerous city in Massachusetts? After analyzing 237 cities in Massachusetts, Holyoke takes the top spot as the most dangerous city in Massachusetts based on the most recent FBI data.

For a detailed explanation of the data and analysis we used in creating this ranking, read on.

Or learn more about the safest places in Massachusetts.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the most dangerous cities in America or the most dangerous states in America.

For more Massachusetts reading, check out:

Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Massachusetts

Most Dangerous Cities In Massachusetts Graph

Click To Enlarge

The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Massachusetts For 2019

Holyoke, MA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 40,451
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,082 (2nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,810 (1st most dangerous)
More on Holyoke:  Data | Photos

Holyoke comes in as the 1st most dangerous city in Massachusetts.

Part of the Springfield Metro area in western Mass., Holyoke experienced a small 4% rise in violent crime and 10% rise in property crime between 2015-17.

That left residents with a 1 in 20.8 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2017, and a greater than 1% shot of being the victim of violence.

Review Of Holyoke by HomeSnacks User

Years ago Holyoke was bad, but tor the past 10 years the ghetto n the crime has extremely decreased!! Last 2 years there were no deaths on crime at all and this year 2 and the ones that did the crime were already caught.

North Adams, MA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 12,948
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,490 (1st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,081 (3rd most dangerous)
More on North Adams:  Data | Photos

The smallest city to make this list and the home of the largest contemporary art museum in the country, North Adams may seem out of place on a list about dangerous cities.

Yet this center for tourism in Berkshire County has experienced a wicked 37% rise in violent crime between 2016, bringing the likelihood residents face of being the victim of violence to nearly 1%.

Property crime, meanwhile, has remained stagnant at roughly a 1 in 32.5 chance of being the victim of theft or arson each year.

North Adams was also ranked as the most stoned city in Massachusetts, according to our research.

Review Of North Adams by HomeSnacks User

The economy of North Adams is based on drug trafficking, abetted by proudly corrupt city administrators and a few bad apples among the State Police commanders of Berkshire County. At least half the people walking the streets are junkies, and most of the North Adams police officers above patrol rank are in the business of protecting organized crime.

Soon after a multiagency bust in November 2015 disrupted the Latin Kings leadership around Springfield, MA, hordes of Latin Kings from Springfield began pouring into North Adams to establish a lucrative new base for their narcotics trade. Around the same time, the police director issued a taxi license to two business partners who had been previously convicted of operating a taxi service to distribute narcotics in the Philadelphia area. This taxi service – whose employees range from shady to scary – keeps busy 24/7 ferrying customers, dealers, and bag men to and from drug houses all over the city, with no fear of police intervention.

Meanwhile, the NAPD and Berkshire Narcotics Task Force make headlines for their drug busts – chiefly targeting the UNPROTECTED players in the local drug scene who dare compete with the Latin Kings. This serves the purpose of making local law enforcement look proactive against narcotics even while protecting a major faction of criminals.

The Latin Kings have a history of corrupting public officials in several states, and even of infiltrating police departments. Presto, in late 2017 the North Adams police director was bold enough to appoint a full-time police officer whose shoddy personal history would disqualify him even from civilian duties with any police department upholding minimal standards. This person’s pattern of bad driving, failing to pay bills, defaulting on court appearances, falsifying job applications, obtaining Taser training under false pretenses, and being dismissed from previous part-time police positions, makes a mockery of every respectable police officer on the force.

Woe to any citizens who complain about this state of affairs. If you don’t like the network of Latin Kings drug operators colonizing entire apartment buildings near your home, or the noise and menace emanating from one of their crack dens, forget about seeking assistance from the police. They will ignore all demands for investigation or intervention. If the thugs start to burglarize and vandalize your home in retaliation, the police will ignore it, all the while denying the existence of any crimes, failing to take reports even of felonies, and filing false reports to support their crooked agenda. If you complain too persistently, the police may target you, trying to silence you with name-calling and threats, gaslighting you as crazy, and even encouraging the criminals to lay siege to your home.

Don’t expect help from the mayor, either. Although the City Charter mandates oversight of the police department as one of his duties, Thomas Bernard has no intention of changing the status quo of corruption and abuse. His concerns don’t include crime victims, or the more abstract notion of justice as a crucial underpinning of civilized society. As a petty bureaucrat, his instinct is not to lead, but to dodge responsibility while groveling to appease his masters higher up in the Berkshire County political food chain. Which brings us to the former mayor Richard Alcombright, the former district attorney David Capeless. and the recently retired police director Michael Cozzaglio. It was on their watch that the Latin Kings swarmed into North Adams,and it was those crooked officials who stood by for years, refusing to intervene as an 86-year-old woman and her middle-aged daughter suffered hundreds of crimes ranging from prowling to felony burglaries, home invasions, and relentless vandalism of their home.

Per the City Charter, the City Council’s role is to represent the people of North Adams in matters concerning the municipality. In reality, most of the councilors ignore their constituents and care little about many serious problems in the city. During my 6+ years here, I have observed that they take their cues from the mayor to ignore major criminal problems and marginalize people whom Alcombright and Cozzaglio wanted to silence.

All the city councilors have enough intelligence to do their job, but they are self-serving and complacent, displaying no curiosity about matters outside their own areas of concern. As long as they feel safe and comfortable, they see no problem with fellow North Adams residents being victimized to the point of ruin. They refuse to hold the mayor accountable for the quality of the police department or to stand up for vulnerable people who are being victimized. The mayor, in his turn, lacks the integrity and brainpower to do his job. Despite an elite academic pedigree and an advanced degree in public administration, he appears unfamiliar with a concept most 12-year-olds encounter in middle school civics class: that ensuring that a justice system that fails to serve everyone fairly ends up serving nobody at all. Here in North Adams, the vacuum of civic leadership has resulted in the police department subverted to serve organized crime, at the expense of all the rest of us.

What stands out in North Adams- Drugs, drugs, and more drugs! The mayor who refuses to do his job of overseeing the police department, and the city councilors who turn their backs on crime victims, can’t wait to bring legalized marijuana into town. Farms! Retail stores! Accessories! Edibles! POT POT POT! Medical! Recreational! Warehouses full of it!

Note also: The Porches, an upscale hotel catering to the needs of MassMOCA, is located square in the middle of a major corridor of police-sanctioned Latin Kings activity, with unsavory characters strollingbiking past the hotel day and night. It seems likely that the officials who welcome Springfield gangsters to the neighborhood have worked out some agreement that the criminals are to refrain from menacing The Porches’ guests. However, the Porches itself apparently doesn’t bother to conduct even rudimentary background checks of its employees. Several young women on the housekeeping staff and at the front desk are local junkies/dealers who work closely with the Latin Kings. They are criminals, with criminal boyfriends who may specialize in home invasions, cat burglaries, identity theft, etc. These are the people who handle your credit card and driver’s license when you check in. Then you must trust them to clean your room, with your luggage and expensive possessions sitting there unguarded when you go out to lunch.

Springfield, MA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 154,562
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 874 (6th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,972 (4th most dangerous)
More on Springfield:  Data | Photos

Just 8 miles south Holyoke, Springfield is the 3rd biggest city in Massachusetts, and the 3rd most dangerous overall.

Springfield is famous for being the headquarters of Smith & Wesson, the largest producer of handguns in the world, which may help explain Springfield’s violent streak.

While property crime is 44% less common in Springfield than some other cities on the list, residents still faced a 1 in 114 chance of being the victim of violence in 2017.

Review Of Springfield by HomeSnacks User

It was a fun experience, with some great local colleges as well. The city had a lot of life and was fun for me on the whole.

The city will welcome most people and represents a great slice of life for the North East area of the United States.

Pittsfield, MA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 42,546
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 881 (5th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,566 (6th most dangerous)
More on Pittsfield:  Data | Photos

Pittsfield ranks 5th and 6th for violent and property crime.

And while the city is about half a violent as some other cities, its below average score still earns it the title of 4th most dangerous city in Massachusetts.

The good news is that violent crime was reduced by about 10% from 2015-17, but the bad news is that property crime rose by 21% in that period.

Review Of Pittsfield by HomeSnacks User

Pittsfield used to be a booming place at one point in time! That was before General Electric closed its doors and put thousands of people without jobs. Then KB Toys closed their headquarters in Pittsfield again putting thousands of people without a job, Rices Silk Mill again the same thing!!! Now Pittsfield has turned into a Drug Dealers Paradise.. Pittsfield has become the centerpiece for Gangs and Drug Dealers!! They built all those Low income Housing buildings instead of bringing in job and companies to build the city up they built low income housing, 3 suboxone clinics, 2 Methadone clinics, and who can forget about the fact that there is a Bars and/or Bank pretty much on every single corner!! Got to have those kinds of places for people to deposit their welfare checks, SSI checks and Drug money right.. Got to have a bar on every corner so that the dealers have a place to deal!! Gee even One of Zen Pubs Bartenders will even sniff coke with you in the bathroom!!! Pittsfield has gone down hill so bad it is not a place to raise a family anymore and that is to bad because it used to be a beautiful place to live! Now its like the Walking Dead at night, people overdosing on H****n every single day!! Drunks, Hookers and Drug Dealers up and down North St and First St it is a crying shame how bad that have let Pittsfield go.. and very sad!! WAKE UP CITY OFFICIALS CLEAN THE CITY UP IT IS TURNING IN TO A C**P HOLE!!!!!

There is a bar or a bank on every corner!! Drunks, hookers, and Drug Dealers everywhere! Looking to score walk up and down North St, First St. Cumberland Farms Parking like, All Town Parking Lot ect. Go on Tyler St to Zens Pub! There a bartender or two in there that will even do a line of coke or two in the bathroom with you.. If youre a guy you might even get more than that.. It is sad and disgusting how bad Pittsfield has gotten! Definitely getting out of here SOON!!!!

New Bedford, MA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 95,107
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 665 (16th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,856 (5th most dangerous)
More on New Bedford:  Data | Photos

One of the largest cities on the south cost of Massachusetts, New Bedford ranks as the fourth most dangerous place in the state.

In 2017, residents faced a 1 in 92 chance of being the victim of violence, reflective of a very modest 5% drop from 2011.

Meanwhile, property crime has remained pretty much stagnant.

Review Of New Bedford by HomeSnacks User

I would rather live in New Bedford or Fall River any day.

Oh and by the way New Bedford has 8% unemployment, yeah I know 92% employment s***s.

6. West SpringfieldWest Springfield Location In Massachusetts

West Springfield, MA

Population: 28,635
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 607 (19th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,858 (2nd most dangerous)
More on West Springfield:

Located on the western side of the Connecticut River across from Springfield, West Springfield has its own crime problems.

While it is the least violent place on this list, and has seen another 11% drop in violence from 2015-17, the West Side is the 2nd worst place in the state in terms of property crime.

The 1 in 25.9 chance residents faced of being the victim of a property crime did not significantly change between 2015-17.

Brockton, MA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 96,016
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 955 (4th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,042 (17th most dangerous)
More on Brockton:  Data | Photos

Located on the eastern part of the state, Brockton is second only to Chelsea in terms of violent cities in Massachusetts.

Yet while Chelsea has experienced an impressive drop in violent crime in recent years, Brockton’s numbers in both property and violent crime have been more or less the same from 2015-17.

And with residents facing a 1 in 81 chance of being the victim of violence each year, Brockton could easily pass out Chelsea for most violent city in Mass in just a few years.

Review Of Brockton by HomeSnacks User

Brockton gets a bad rep. There are large portions of the city that are beautiful and despite the school system being overpopulated, there are plenty of opportunities for students that want to succeed.

Favorite places: Westside Pizza Shop, Fuller Craft Museum, Rocky Marciano Stadium.

Worcester, MA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 185,107
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 726 (11th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,186 (12th most dangerous)
More on Worcester:  Data | Photos

The second biggest city in New England and Massachusetts (behind Boston), Worcester is among the most dangerous cities in the state.

The “Heart of the Commonwealth” (so named for its central location) has experienced no recent change in crime for better or for worse.

And that’s not a good thing for a city in the 11th most violent with the 12th most property crime in the state.

Review Of Worcester by HomeSnacks User

Depending on where you live in Worcester, there’s not a lot of crime. Compared to other cities bigger or the same size as Worcester, the murder rate is pretty low based on published data. As any other city that is surrounded by a major city, Worcester is pretty much swallowed up by Boston. To have a great time out, one needs to step out of Worcester. Most of the schools in worcester are bad with a couple good ones in the best areas of Worcester.

Rent and housing prices are not too high compared to Boston and Cambridge.

Boston, MA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 682,903
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 669 (15th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,089 (14th most dangerous)
More on Boston:  Data | Photos

Boston has the 15th highest rate of violent crime, giving it a 9th place danger ranking overall.

Folks in Boston had a 1 in 149 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2017, a 5% increase from 2016.

Property crime went up during this interval, giving a Boston resident a 1 in 47.9 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2017.

Review Of Boston by HomeSnacks User

My aunt and I like visiting the city due to a crime envionment and there’s many fun places to visit like restaurants, health food restaurant I enjoy trying out, museums, candy, gifts and health foods shops. Nice for a short vacation spot.

The crime rate is very low in this city and many fun places to visit like restaurants, museums and shops. Farmers and flea markets.

Chicopee, MA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 56,255
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 513 (24th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,454 (8th most dangerous)
More on Chicopee:  Data | Photos

Chicopee ranks relatively poorly in both categories of crime in Massachusetts.

That left Chicopee’s residents with a 1 in 194 shot of being the victim of violence in 2017. Additionally, it ranked 8th for property crime.

Review Of Chicopee by HomeSnacks User

This was an extremely unwelcoming town that was difficult to navigate and had a disgusting hotel.

The hotel we stayed at was filthy, and when we called to ask for more pillows, they said they didn’t have any.

How Is Your Town In ?

How we determined the most dangerous cities in Massachusetts for 2019?

Every year the FBI release two crime datasets, a preliminary dataset limited to the biggest cities in the country, followed by a more detailed release at the end of the year.

For our analysis, we focused on the JUST released 2017 data, specifically the 2017 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2019.

So what criteria did we use? Have a look:

  • Violent Crimes Per Capita
  • Property Crimes Per Capita

In order to make the analysis as apples to apples as possible, we only considered cities over 5,000 in population. That left us with 237 cities in Massachusetts.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 237 for the two criteria with a #1 ranking being the most dangerous for the particular criteria.

Next, we averaged the two rankings into one “Dangerous Index”.

Finally, we ranked every city on the “Dangerous Index” with the lowest index being the most dangerous in Massachusetts — Holyoke.

Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Massachusetts.

Locking It All Up In Massachusetts

The latest FBI crime data shows that Holyoke ranks as the most dangerous city in Massachusetts for 2019.

We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Holyoke and that this isn’t a comment on the people that live there. So please don’t beat us up.

If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in Massachusetts:

  1. Boxford (Pop. 8,333)
  2. Wayland (Pop. 13,976)
  3. Norton (Pop. 19,654)

For more Massachusetts reading, check out:

Where Are The Most Dangerous Cities In Massachusetts?

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Holyoke 40,451 1,082 4,810
2 North Adams 12,948 1,490 3,081
3 Springfield 154,562 874 2,972
4 Pittsfield 42,546 881 2,566
5 New Bedford 95,107 665 2,856
6 West Springfield 28,635 607 3,858
7 Brockton 96,016 955 2,042
8 Worcester 185,107 726 2,186
9 Boston 682,903 669 2,089
10 Chicopee 56,255 513 2,454

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

3 thoughts on “10 Most Dangerous Cities In Massachusetts

  1. Springfield is horrible my girls grew up learning how to fight to defend themselves while trying to get a education drugs yes everyone has them o wait guns these kids have more firepower than the gun store it’s crazy and as my sons grow I want out before they get shot or something cause these kids don’t fight they shoot I mean I walk around here like fuck you but it’s just sad

  2. Pittsfield and north Adams?? You obviously have never been to Massachusetts I can ten more cities that are worse than those two cities.. and Brockton should be higher on that list definitely top three worst cities in MA… where is Fall River? Chelsea? Lynn? I doubt you’ve been to MA seeing how you made this list..

  3. “Holyoke comes in as the 1st most dangerous city in Massachusetts, losing the top position it has held in past years.”

    I’m pretty sure this sentence makes zero sense.

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