Is Oakland Safe in 2023? | Travel Tips & Safety Concerns

The same holds true for Oakland, particularly considering the city possesses a somewhat negative image. Prior to embarking on a visit to any location, it is advisable to acquaint yourself with any potential safety issues in order to appropriately plan your trip.

Our travel guide has everything you need to know about visiting this historic city. We have sifted through the facts and rumors to ensure that your visit to Oakland is safe.

It is not safe to visit Oakland as the crime rate is higher than the national average. To avoid being affected by crime, it is advisable for both tourists and locals to stick to touristy areas and be cautious about avoiding bad neighborhoods.

It is true that the crime rate in Oakland is higher than average. Oakland has had a reputation as a crime-ridden place for a long time, but it is also an up-and-coming city.

Additionally, it possesses an elevated rate of property crime and a substantial rate of violent crime. With a crime rate surpassing 98.8% of cities in the United States, Oakland stands out as one of the most perilous urban areas, as reported by City Data.

If you look at local-run blogs, posts, and forums, you will hear from proud locals who bristle against the dangerous stereotype of their city. However, statistics alone are not enough to convey the true experience on the ground in Oakland.

By taking necessary precautions, numerous instances of property crime can be easily prevented. Specific areas have a high concentration of violent crime incidents. Despite the occurrence of crime, numerous tourists and even locals spend a significant amount of time in Oakland without encountering any criminal incidents.

Oakland, a large African American community, was built nearly 200 years ago. Many residents of the city point out that the city has a reputation as a dangerous city, partly due to racial stereotypes.

Oakland, plagued by long-standing de facto segregation and discrimination, gave rise to a highly divided and unequal city. Notably, it served as the birthplace of significant activists, including the Black Panthers.

The crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s further impoverished already troubled communities.

The rate of criminal activity does not provide a comprehensive account. Oakland has experienced a tumultuous past that influences its present challenges, including crime rate and gentrification, yet the local community is actively striving to establish a lively city that embraces everyone.

Earthquakes prone it making, Fault Hayward the on lies Oakland. Disasters natural to words few a dedicate to important it’s crime, besides.

Before visiting Oakland, it is very common to brush up on your preparedness for earthquakes by checking evacuation routes and obtaining information. Minor tremors are more frequent in Oakland and can occur at any time. Although it has been many years since Oakland had a destructive earthquake.

Criminal Activity in Oakland

There are numerous crime incidents that happen every year in Oakland — Oakland indeed possesses a significant crime rate. The primary reason why people hesitate to visit Oakland is due to its high crime rate. The statistics do not deceive.

According to Best Places, Oakland receives an astounding score of 75.5 for violent crime and 81.2 for property crime, as it ranks cities in the United States based on a crime index that ranges from 1 to 100.

According to Neighborhood Scout, a distinct crime tracking website, property offenses accounted for 82.3% of Oakland’s overall criminal activity. The nationwide rate of property crimes is twice as high as the rate of violent crimes, and it is more than three times higher.

According to data from the Oakland police, common violent crimes include murder, theft, domestic abuse, and serious physical attacks. Violent crimes accounted for almost 18% of all reported offenses.

As a visitor, your encounter won’t impact this, albeit smaller instances of criminal activity, like vandalism and drug ownership, take place. Moreover, car theft, car break-ins, and burglaries encompass prevalent property offenses.

Violent criminal activity in Oakland experienced a decline in 2022. In fact, the crime rates in Oakland are on a downward trend. It is crucial to view the statistical data on criminal incidents from a broader standpoint, although they are undeniably worrisome.

Oakland hopes to improve the situation by giving better statistics, but the numbers of violent crimes are still high. In 2022, Oakland saw 113 homicides, which is a decline of 12%, and shootings declined by 23%.

According to local law enforcement, a significant portion of violent crime incidents, around 30%, are a result of gang violence.

This is a problem that many locals have had to deal with for their entire lives. Oakland has had a big problem with gangs for the past few decades, which was made even worse by the influx of crack cocaine in the 1980s.

However, gangs rarely involve tourists in disputes unless you do something to put yourself on their radar, such as venturing into neighborhoods that are under gang control or engaging in illegal activities like buying or selling drugs.


The most likely impact that tourists have is that robbery is a common and violent crime. Robbery is the most worrying crime trend in Oakland.

Oakland, which has a significant prevalence of firearms, including ghost guns, unfortunately experiences a high number of guns present in public spaces. Regrettably, residents of Oakland often lack the necessary vigilance due to their assumption that non-locals possess greater wealth, making them more vulnerable targets. Consequently, criminals tend to focus their attention on individuals who are not from the area.

It is highly likely that if you don’t try to resist, even as a martial arts expert, you can’t have knowledge against fighting. Unfortunately, it is fairly easy for criminals to have access to weapons, which means that there is a high possibility that a robber will be armed.

Firstly, make sure to prevent yourself from being in a situation where you can be robbed. Without delay, cooperate and concentrate on escaping, as your life holds greater significance than your possessions. The perfect scenario, of course, is to steer clear of situations where you are vulnerable to robbery.

When in Oakland, make sure to stick to safe neighborhoods that you know are well-trafficked and well-lit, especially at night. Before exploring unfamiliar areas, it’s advisable to ask a local for guidance and avoid going down deserted streets, side streets, or alleyways where robbers rarely operate.

In Oakland, thefts of various kinds are also common. Instead of purposelessly staring at your smartphone, make sure to walk and keep your valuables concealed.

Always remember to either bring your valuables with you or securely store them in the glove compartment or trunk of your car; it is crucial to never leave them exposed in plain sight. Vehicle break-ins and motor vehicle thefts are among the rapidly growing crimes, just like in other parts of the country.

When parking, ensure that your vehicle’s doors are securely locked and the windows are tightly shut. Given the constant surveillance provided, numerous hotels in Oakland offer parking garages, therefore it is advisable to park in a safe location.

If you don’t even need a car, Oakland has excellent public transportation connections, including BART and the rest of the Bay Area, including Berkeley and San Francisco. Of course, if you don’t have a car, you won’t have to worry about break-ins or motor vehicle theft.

Firearm-related Violence

Gun brutality in Oakland, as in numerous American urban areas, is astounding. Oakland law enforcement pledged to clamp down on gun brutality following a nine-day period with daily gun-related murders in September 2022.

Guns are frequently involved in violent crimes, including assaults, robberies, attempted murders, and homicides. These events not only impact the victims but also pose a threat to even bystanders or passers-by. Intervening to prevent these incidents can help to reduce the escalation and potential for further robberies.

Oakland residents predominantly impact the distressing levels of firearm-related violence, despite the fact that unresolved incidents of local gun violence contribute to increasing frustration within the community towards law enforcement.

In Oakland, it is likely that you will have a secure experience if you remain in popular tourist areas. Although unpredictable shootings can happen in any part of Oakland, the majority of gun violence cases are focused in specific neighborhoods, particularly those incidents that are associated with gangs.

Prior to its occurrence, community activists are endeavoring to mitigate gun violence by engaging in local efforts such as early intervention and interrupting acts of violence. The Oakland government and community are diligently striving to prevent gun violence, as well.

Steer Clear of Unsafe Locations

Crime occurs most frequently in certain neighborhoods in Oakland, with the overall driving rate in the city being above average. The crime rate in Oakland varies drastically from one place to another, as mentioned before.

The neighborhoods closer to the harbor usually have a more disreputable reputation, whereas those further up in the hills are generally considered safer. It is crucial to prioritize your safety, and having knowledge about which neighborhoods to avoid as a visitor can greatly assist in this regard.

The area around the West Oakland BART in West Oakland remains even more run-down, so caution is advised. Downtown and the more central regions experience lower rates of crime, whereas East and West Oakland have higher rates of crime.

Fruitvale experiences a comparatively elevated level of criminal behavior, notwithstanding the fact that it is also a popular destination for tourists because of its plentiful cultural landmarks.

Car theft and shootings from moving vehicles are common crimes committed by criminals during the night, particularly on the hazardous International Boulevard. It is advisable to exercise caution in the immediate vicinity of the Fruitvale BART Station.

Other areas to steer clear of in Oakland include:

  • Coliseum.
  • Eastmont.
  • Acorn Industrial.
  • Fitchburg.
  • Webster.
  • Factors to Take into Account

    Here are a couple of points to consider before going to Oakland:

  • People from Oakland take great pride in their city and do not appreciate visitors insinuating that it is a haven for criminals. However, it is advisable not to begin every conversation by expressing your worries about the level of crime. It is acceptable to seek safety advice from the locals.
  • Avoid displaying your valuable items, as you do not want to make yourself a potential victim.
  • On the other side of the bay, it won’t be as cold, but remember to dress in layers. The climate in Los Angeles is not as warm, but it is less rainy and milder compared to the weather in San Francisco and Oakland.
  • There is often a strong sense of community and tensions between the police force and residents in Oakland. If you feel that you have been discriminated against by a police officer, you can report that to the city government.
  • Commonly Asked Questions

    Here are a few additional inquiries individuals were curious about regarding Oakland:

    Therefore, Is Oakland Secure to Explore?

    By steering clear of the familiar areas, you can enjoy a wonderful experience in Oakland. However, this doesn’t imply that you should completely avoid visiting. It’s important to note that Oakland has a significant crime rate and a history of unrest. Have a pleasant journey!