Is Chicago’S Near West Side Safe? Examining Crime Rates And Safety Tips

Chicago’s Near West Side, centered around the bustling West Loop and Greektown areas, boasts trendy restaurants, nightlife, and proximity to downtown. But is this appealing neighborhood actually safe for residents and visitors? Crime rates vary across the Near West Side, with safer pockets and rougher patches interspersed throughout the area. Understanding the crime statistics, safety precautions, and which parts of the neighborhood to avoid or be vigilant in can help ensure you stay secure.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: While parts of the Near West Side are very safe, other areas see higher crime rates so it’s important to be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Overview of Crime Rates in Near West Side

The Near West Side neighborhood in Chicago is a vibrant and diverse area that has seen significant development and revitalization in recent years. As with any urban area, safety is a concern for residents and visitors alike.

Understanding the crime rates in the Near West Side can help provide a better perspective on the overall safety of the neighborhood.

Total crime compared to other Chicago neighborhoods

When comparing the Near West Side to other neighborhoods in Chicago, it’s important to consider the total crime rate. According to the Chicago Police Department’s official website, the Near West Side has a lower crime rate compared to some other neighborhoods in the city.

However, it’s worth noting that crime can still occur in any area, and it’s essential to take precautions to ensure personal safety.

Trends in violent crime vs. property crime

Examining the trends in violent crime versus property crime can provide further insights into the safety of the Near West Side. Violent crimes, such as homicides and assaults, receive significant attention due to their impact on public safety.

However, property crimes, such as thefts and burglaries, can also affect individuals and their sense of security.

According to recent data from the Chicago Police Department, the Near West Side has seen a decrease in both violent and property crimes over the past few years. This trend is encouraging and indicates that efforts to improve safety and reduce criminal activity in the neighborhood have been effective.

Variation in safety across Near West Side

It’s important to note that safety can vary within the Near West Side neighborhood. Certain areas may have higher crime rates than others. To get a better understanding of safety in specific locations within the neighborhood, it’s recommended to consult local crime maps and speak with residents or community organizations.

Additionally, taking proactive measures to enhance personal safety is always a good idea. This can include familiarizing oneself with the neighborhood, avoiding walking alone at night, and staying aware of one’s surroundings.

By staying informed and taking precautions, residents and visitors can help contribute to a safer Near West Side.

For more information on crime statistics and safety tips in Chicago’s Near West Side, you can visit the official website of the Chicago Police Department.

Safest Areas in the Near West Side

West Loop during daytime

The West Loop neighborhood in the Near West Side is known for its vibrant atmosphere and thriving culinary scene. During the daytime, it is generally considered to be one of the safest areas in the Near West Side.

With its bustling streets, trendy shops, and popular restaurants, the West Loop attracts both locals and tourists alike. The neighborhood has seen significant development in recent years, with new businesses and residential buildings popping up all the time.

The West Loop is also home to several parks and green spaces, providing a pleasant environment for residents and visitors to enjoy.


Greektown, located on the Near West Side, is another safe area to explore. With its rich Greek heritage, this neighborhood offers a unique cultural experience. During the day, the streets are filled with the aromas of delicious Greek cuisine, and the vibrant atmosphere creates a sense of community.

Greektown is known for its authentic Greek restaurants, lively taverns, and charming cafes. Whether you’re dining at a traditional Greek restaurant or strolling along the streets lined with shops, Greektown is a safe and enjoyable place to visit.

East of UIC campus

The area east of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) campus is considered to be one of the safest parts of the Near West Side. With the presence of a major university, this area benefits from increased security measures and a well-lit environment.

UIC itself has its own police force, providing an additional level of safety for students and residents in the surrounding area. The neighborhood east of UIC campus is home to a variety of amenities, including restaurants, cafes, and shops, making it a convenient and safe place to live or visit.

When exploring these safe areas in the Near West Side, it’s always important to exercise basic safety precautions. This includes being aware of your surroundings, avoiding walking alone late at night, and securing your belongings.

By following these simple safety measures, you can fully enjoy all that the Near West Side has to offer.

Areas to Avoid or Be Vigilant In

While the Near West Side of Chicago has seen significant improvements in safety over the years, there are still a few areas that residents and visitors should be cautious of. By being aware of these specific locations, individuals can take necessary precautions to ensure their safety.

West side of United Center

The area to the west of the United Center, where the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks play, has historically had higher crime rates compared to other areas on the Near West Side. It’s important to exercise caution when walking alone at night in this vicinity.

However, it’s worth noting that there have been efforts by local law enforcement and community organizations to improve safety in this area. By staying aware of your surroundings and avoiding isolated areas, you can minimize potential risks.

South of I-290 highway

The area south of the I-290 highway has also been known to have higher crime rates. This includes parts of the Garfield Park and East Garfield Park neighborhoods. While there have been ongoing initiatives to address crime and improve safety in these areas, it is recommended to exercise caution when visiting or residing in this part of the Near West Side.

By staying vigilant and avoiding walking alone at night, you can reduce the chances of encountering any safety concerns.

Pockets west of Ashland Ave

There are certain pockets west of Ashland Ave that have experienced higher crime rates in the past. Areas such as West Haven and parts of the Illinois Medical District have had incidents of crime. It is advisable to be cautious when navigating these areas, especially after dark.

By taking extra precautions, such as walking in well-lit areas and avoiding unfamiliar streets, you can help ensure your safety.

It’s important to note that while these areas have had higher crime rates, the overall safety of the Near West Side has significantly improved in recent years. Local law enforcement and community organizations continue to work together to make the neighborhood safer for residents and visitors alike.

Crime Prevention Tips

Keep aware of surroundings in public

One of the most important things you can do to stay safe on Chicago’s Near West Side is to stay aware of your surroundings, especially in public areas. This means avoiding distractions like staring at your phone or wearing headphones that may prevent you from hearing what’s going on around you.

By staying alert, you can quickly spot any potential threats and take appropriate action to protect yourself.

Avoid poorly lit streets at night

Walking alone on poorly lit streets at night can increase your vulnerability to crime. It’s always a good idea to stick to well-lit areas where there are more people around. If possible, try to walk with a friend or use public transportation or a rideshare service to avoid walking alone in dimly lit areas.

By taking these precautions, you can greatly reduce the risk of becoming a target.

Report suspicious activity

If you see something that doesn’t seem quite right, don’t hesitate to report it. Whether it’s a suspicious person loitering in your neighborhood or a vehicle that seems out of place, reporting it to the authorities can help prevent potential crimes from occurring.

Remember, you are an important part of the community, and by reporting suspicious activity, you are helping to keep your neighborhood safe.

For more information on crime prevention tips and resources, you can visit the Chicago Police Department website. They provide valuable information on crime prevention strategies specific to Chicago and can help you stay informed and prepared.

Maintaining Safety at Home and Work

When it comes to ensuring safety at both home and work, there are several measures that can be taken to minimize the risks of crime. By implementing these safety tips, individuals can create a secure environment for themselves and their loved ones.

Secure doors and windows

One of the first steps in maintaining safety is to secure doors and windows. This can be done by installing sturdy locks and deadbolts that are difficult to tamper with. Additionally, reinforcing doors with a door frame reinforcement kit can provide an extra layer of protection against forced entry.

It’s also important to keep windows locked when they are not in use and consider installing window security film to prevent break-ins.

Install security systems

Investing in a reliable security system is a great way to deter potential criminals. There are various options available, including alarm systems, surveillance cameras, and motion sensor lighting. These systems can be customized to meet specific needs and provide peace of mind knowing that the premises are being monitored and protected.

It is recommended to consult with security professionals to determine the most suitable system for your home or workplace.

Request police patrols

Another effective way to maintain safety is by requesting police patrols in the area. Many police departments offer community policing programs where officers regularly patrol neighborhoods and commercial areas.

These patrols not only act as a deterrent to potential criminals but also provide a sense of security to residents and employees. Contacting the local police department and expressing concerns about safety can help initiate such patrols in your vicinity.

By implementing these safety measures, individuals can significantly reduce the risks of crime at both home and work. It’s important to remember that safety is a collective effort, and by taking proactive steps, we can create a safer community for everyone.


The Near West Side of Chicago has solid neighborhoods but also areas of concern when it comes to crime rates. By understanding the safest and least safe pockets, taking basic precautions, and remaining alert in public, residents and visitors can help protect themselves. Being proactive about safety at home and requesting police presence when needed also improves security in the Near West Side.

With proper vigilance and avoidance of high crime spots, people can safely live, work, and enjoy all the Near West Side has to offer.

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