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So you want to visit Las Vegas? This city never sleeps, and you can meander around its casinos 24/7! But before you pack your bags, be prepared because you may want to avoid some areas in Las Vegas.Las Vegas has crime just like any other city. And, property crime is high. You don't have to change your travel plans. Rather, learn to distinguish between the safest and most dangerous places in town, so you can plan ahead and remain safe.

First some clarification. You may be surprised to learn that some of the most well known casinos on the "Strip" are not actually in Las Vegas. Such well-known casino/hotels like the MGM Grand and Caesar's Palace are located in an unincorporated section of town called "Paradise." Metro Las Vegas includes both unincorporated areas as well as the city of Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department provides law enforcement for both the City of Las Vegas and the County of Clark, Nevada.

Because the Strip ranks as one of top tourist destinations in the world, the local sheriff partners with Homeland Security to make the Strip safe for its residents and tourists alike. The world famous "Strip," lined with casinos on each side, seeps amusement and entertainment through its pores. Beginning at the Silverton Casino on Las Vegas Boulevard south as you travel north on the Strip to Sahara Avenue, its flashing high-tech signage lures you inside to spend time and money. When walking about, keep a tight hold on your purse and belongings. Thieves will find you an easy target if you are distracted by the lights and attractions that constantly dance around you.

Safest Areas in Las Vegas

Given that most tourists hang out on the Strip, you should not be surprised to learn that Las Vegas' safest neighborhoods are situated far away from the Strip.

With a crime index of 84 (from a possible 100), the safest neighborhood is the area which borders West Lone Mountain Road on the north and West Charleston Boulevard on the south. It also intersects Clark County Highway 215 on the west, and rests on North Buffalo Road on the south. Nearby outdoor attractions include Majestic Park and Bruce Trent Park. If you're planning a round of golf, Durango Hills Golf Club and the Tournament Players Club in Summerlin are nearby. Or, you can visit Lone Mountain Park, W. Wayne Family Park or Children's Memorial Park for fun with the entire family.

Blue Diamond/Goodsprings district ranks as the second safest area. If you go there, it is not hard to discover why. This wide-spread rambling district encompasses the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and the Spring Mountains, including the great hiking trails of Mt. Charleston. At a crime index of 82, it is far removed from the metropolitan area and recalls the simple days of the Old West. As you travel through Red Rock towards Blue Diamond, you will find a quaint replica of an 1880's western town called Bonnie Spring. Its petting zoo, gunfight re-enactments, and restaurant which offers some real "down home" cooking are sure to delight the senses. The Spring Mountain Ranch State Park (Spring Mountain Ranch State Park) facility, formerly owned by Howard Hughes, neighbors Bonnie Springs. It has a visitor's center, historical sites, and picnic areas with picturesque views.

With a crime index of 80, Spring Valley is Las Vegas' third safest community. Located slightly southwest of the famous Strip, its northern border begins at West Flamingo Road and crosses over Interstate 215 to its southern border at Blue Diamond Road. S. Durango Road borders the community on the west, while South Rainbow Boulevard frames its eastern border. If you are a member of or know a member of the Spanish Trail Golf and Country Club, you can have access to one of the oldest and most luxurious golf facilities in the region. You and your children can also enjoy a fine picnic at Paul Meyer Park or Ravenwood Park located at the northeast section of the neighborhood.

The fourth safest area in greater Las Vegas starts at its northern border at West Charleston Boulevard, then south to West Flamingo Road. It also extends from its western border at South Durango Drive to its eastern border at South Rainbow Boulevard. With a crime index of 78, there are many nice places to spend a leisurely afternoon. Just a short ride due west in the car will find you at Lake Sahara. If you want some scholarly diversion, the Community College of Southern Nevada Charleston Campus is due east. Or, just enjoy a leisurely afternoon watching the clouds from Prosperity Park, Spring Valley Park, or Desert Breeze Park.

The fifth safest community in Las Vegas is the Route 147/Lake Mead Boulevard district. With a crime index of 77 out of 100, its northern border starts at Interstate 15 as you travel north, to its southern border which traverses from just north of the Sam Boyd Stadium and Silver Bowl Park to north of Pabco Road by Lake Las Vegas. North Hollywood Boulevard is on its western border, while Lake Mead Boulevard frames its eastern border. It is likely that crime may be low due to the fact that the neighborhood abuts the Nellis Air Force Base.

Areas to Avoid in Las Vegas

Be particularly aware of your environment when you travel throughout the south, center and north sections of the Strip, the old Downtown area on Fremont, or when you travel down Fremont on Boulder Highway as you exit town, as these are high crime areas. North Las Vegas should also be traveled with caution. If you need a police officer on the Strip or Downtown, the police department maintains a Bicycle Squad which can be readily seen throughout those areas.

Sources report that Las Vegas' violent-crimes average exceeds the national average by 1.10 times: Murder (1.55 times), Forcible Rape (1.18 times), Robbery ( 1.52 times), and Aggravated Assault (1.29 times). Although property crimes average 1.10 times the national average, beware that car theft in Las Vegas is 2.06 times the national average. 2008 crime statistics reflect 13,324 violent crimes versus 53,160 property crimes, theft being the largest segment of property crimes.

Overall, you should feel safe in Las Vegas. As of 2008, law enforcement employed 2,530 officers and 1,520 civilians. Their staff is on alert at all times, ready to respond to your inquiries. When in Las Vegas, dial 3-1-1 for non-emergency police calls, or 9-1-1 for immediate police assistance. To make a police report, call (702) 828-3111, or call (702) 385-5555 to report a crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers of Nevada.

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