10 Most Dangerous Cities In Massachusetts For 2020


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Bay State for 2020.

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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 2020.

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If you’re from Massachusetts then you know that you have to watch out for more than just Old World ghosts in Boston, scary Witches in Salem, and grumpy New Englanders in Worcester: The Bay State has some pretty dangerous places, too.

It’s not all bougie Harvard graduates and snobby Celtics fans, either. Massachusetts has some pretty scary criminals, and they can be found in the state’s most dangerous cities. Lucky for you, RoadSnacks has created a list of the most dangerous places in Massachusetts for 2020 and we think that you should definitely check it out before you make any major moves.

How’d we determine the most dangerous places in Red Sox country? We consulted the numbers. In total, we analyzed 238 cities. We looked at the FBI’s latest crime report for violent crime and property crime statistics for every place with over 5,000 residents. We discovered that Massachusetts has some pretty interesting statistics when it comes to violent and property crime compared to the national average. The state is winning the arson game, but losing in murder and aggravated assault. And, shockingly, the city with the most assaults and murders in the state only has 13,000 residents.

While Massachusetts was not in the top ten most dangerous states in the country, Springfield is one of the most dangerous cities in the country. And if we were handing out the “Most Dangerous New England State” award, word on the street is that Massachusetts would be number one. Maybe Massachusetts’ just needs a hug? Or, maybe the state’s most dangerous cities need more police presence. We’re not entirely sure; but one thing we do know is that you should check out Massachusetts’ most dangerous places below: there may be some surprises.

Here are the 10 most dangerous cities in Massachusetts for 2020:

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

If you guessed that most of Massachusetts’ problems are centered around many of the state’s biggest cities, you guessed right. Surprisingly, however, the state’s most dangerous city is not one of the state’s most populated.

So, where is the most dangerous place in The Baked Bean State? The most dangerous place in Massachusetts would be Holyoke.

If you want to know where the rest of Massachusetts’ most dangerous cities are located, take a look below. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for there, head to the bottom.

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 2020

Holyoke, MA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 40,470
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 966 (3rd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,052 (1st most dangerous)
More on Holyoke:  Data | Photos

Holyoke comes in as the 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 2017-2018.

That left residents with a 1 in 24.7 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2018, 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.

Springfield, MA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 155,179
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 988 (2nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,635 (5th most dangerous)
More on Springfield:  Data | Photos

Just 8 miles south Holyoke, Springfield is the 3rd biggest city in Massachusetts, and the 2nd 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 101 chance of being the victim of violence in 2018.

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.

North Adams, MA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 12,858
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 777 (6th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,274 (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 over the years, 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 30.5 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.

Pittsfield, MA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 42,298
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 841 (5th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,827 (4th most dangerous)
More on Pittsfield:  Data | Photos

Pittsfield is not the refuge that you might be expecting — it ranks as the 4th most dangerous city in Massachusetts.

It has the 5th highest overall violent crime rate.

On the plus side, property crime ranks 4th in the state, meaning it’s not even in the top 10% of cities in Massachusetts.

Put differently, property crime isn’t a problem to the same extent violent crime is in the city.

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!!!!

Brockton, MA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 95,922
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 904 (4th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,159 (8th 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 2017-2018.

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.

6. Hadley

Hadley, MA

Population: 5,347
Rank Last Year: 24 (Up 18)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 635 (11th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,281 (7th most dangerous)
More on Hadley:

Hadley is the smallest city to make this list.

And this city in Massachusetts has been making great strides to get off this list altogether — the violent crime rate fell between 2017-2018.

That’s means residents have a 1 in 157 chance of being a victim of violence in 2018.

New Bedford, MA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 95,106
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 634 (12th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,549 (6th 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 2018, 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.

Worcester, MA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 186,188
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 682 (9th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,137 (9th 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 9th most violent with the 9th 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.

9. West SpringfieldWest Springfield Location In Massachusetts

West Springfield, MA

Population: 28,802
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 583 (17th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,541 (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 one of the least violent place on this list, and has seen another 11% drop in violence from 2017-2018, the West Side is the 2nd worst place in the state in terms of property crime.

The 1 in 28.2 chance residents faced of being the victim of a property crime did not significantly change between 2017-2018.

Boston, MA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 694,673
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 622 (14th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,016 (10th most dangerous)
More on Boston:  Data | Photos

Boston ranks as the 10th most dangerous city in Massachusetts.

That’s due to it ranking 14th in violent crimes and 10th in property crimes. Residents had about a 1 in 49.6 chance of being a victim of a property crime.

Review Of Boston by HomeSnacks User

I lived in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston for over 20 years. It was overall a very good experience. It was convenient to downtown Boston where I worked by using public transportation. My neighbors were friendly and the street I lived on was very safe.

I liked the diverse restaurants in the area, from Italian to Vietnamese and everything in between. Also I liked living near so many colleges and universities. It was fun to be around young idealistic students, thirsty for knowledge. I am very pro education and like the college atmosphere. In addition, being in Boston is great for medical purposes. Excellent health care is available nearby. Other people travel from far away to come to the hospitals in Boston.

How Is Your Town In ?

How we determined the most dangerous cities in Massachusetts for 2020?

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 2018 data, specifically the 2018 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2020.

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 238 cities in Massachusetts.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 238 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. Any ties went to the smaller city. You can download the data here.

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 2020.

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. Norfolk (Pop. 11,872)
  2. Dover (Pop. 6,104)
  3. Wayland (Pop. 14,088)

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 40,470 966 4,052
2 Springfield 155,179 988 2,635
3 North Adams 12,858 777 3,274
4 Pittsfield 42,298 841 2,827
5 Brockton 95,922 904 2,159
6 Hadley 5,347 635 2,281
7 New Bedford 95,106 634 2,549
8 Worcester 186,188 682 2,137
9 West Springfield 28,802 583 3,541
10 Boston 694,673 622 2,016
Download The Entire Massachusetts Ranking Data

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.

4 thoughts on “10 Most Dangerous Cities In Massachusetts For 2020

  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.

  4. We moved to North Adams, feel completely safe. Although the downtown area is depressed and rife with crime, it is in the majority against each other and not directed toward the average citizen. Your reporting distorts most of the actual facts that most violent crime is perpetrated against someone the individual knows, not some random stranger. North Adams is actually on the rise, lots of new investments and new energy moving into the city. And for every other person being a junkie, I’m pretty sure your making that up!

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