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Methodology: Portland’s Most Dangerous Neighborhoods

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


GoLocalPDX took data from three different sources to determine our rankings for Portland’s Most Dangerous Neighborhoods.

The data used:

  • The last five years of publicly available crime stats on the most serious and violent (part one) crimes*, released from the Portland Police Bureau.
  • The last five years of publicly available data on fire incidents, compiled by the Portland Fire Bureau. These incidents are fire emergencies only and do not include medical responses.
  • The Oregon Department of Transportation’s List of Top 60 Crash Locations, released to us by the Portland Bureau of Transportation. This list was composed of data from 2008 to 2011.


Any assessment of this kind is highly subjective, especially when laying out the claim of “most dangerous.”  Many of the people GoLocalPDX spoke with didn’t particularly feel like they lived in a dangerous community.

“It’s not what I would call a dangerous neighborhood,” said East Portland Neighborhood Office Director Richard Bixby of our ranking Hazelwood as the most dangerous neighborhood in Portland.

Hazelwood resident Linda Robinson agreed that the neighborhood didn’t pose a real physical threat to anyone in her opinion.

“One of the reason the crime rates is high, is because we have a lot of auto breakins,” Robinson said. “We have a lot of huge parking lots at Mall 205, at 122nd and Burnside, at the Gateway Shopping Center and Gateway Transit Center.”

That factor of auto breakins at big parking lots was also a factor in the crime stats from Eliot and Lloyd Center neighborhoods, which abut or encompass the Rose Garden, Oregon Convention Center and Lloyd Mall parking facilities.

Lastly, fire incidents in east Portland have been on the rise for a years, though the fire bureau could not offer a specific cause.

"Over approximately the past 16 years, need for fire and rescue services citywide increased 18%, however need increased over 50% in east Portland,” said Portland Fire & Rescue Chief Erin Janssens.

Chief Janssens said the bureau’s fire data prompted them to shift resources east and that they’ve recently added four rescue vehicles to address the demand for service.

*Part one crime is a category of crime that includes, assault, arson, burglary, homicide, larceny, rape, robbery, theft from vehicle, and vehicle theft.


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