Is Los Angeles Safe? - All the Important Information to Stay Safe in the City

Los Angeles is the largest city in California. It is the city of celebrities with Hollywood as one of the highlights. The city is gifted with eternal sunshine, amusement parks, beaches and even mountain ranges. LA is a city full of life and people from all over the world contribute to making it a diverse and must explore the city. Just like any other big city in the world, there are certain things to keep in mind while travelling in order to maintain your personal safety.

Things to Keep in Mind to Maintain Your Safety in Los Angeles

1. Cars and transport

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Taxis and other modes of public transport are very safe in Los Angeles when compared to a lot of other big cities in America. Although if you are planning to travel by bus or metro or train at night, it is suggested that you travel with company or keep someone updated.

LA is infamously obsessed with cars. LA is almost five hundred square miles of land with freeways as well and getting around the city is impossible on foot. Taking shared rides with Uber and Lyft are a great option when you want to explore the city. They are cheaper and stress-free too when compared to booking a taxi or renting a vehicle. With this option, you do not have to worry about navigating your way through the complex freeways of the city and of terrible traffic. Parking tension and worry about fuel prices also go out of the door with ridesharing options. 

The parking signs can be quite difficult to locate and comprehend and the fines are quite a large amount as well, so make sure to keep your eyes open while parking. The drivers in the city can seem to be quite aggressive as well but they are just trying to get to locations on time in this busy city. The rush hours in the city more or less span all through the day and especially if you are planning to get somewhere around 6 am-10 am or 3 pm-7 pm, it is suggestible that you take some extra time at hand before starting your journey as traffic is at peak around these times!

2. Emergency numbers

Accidents don’t happen with a warning and so maintaining certain precautionary measures can go a long way. Here are some of the emergency numbers to keep in mind when you are in LA are as follows:
Call: 9-1-1 if you need emergency help with respect to police, paramedics or fire.
Non-emergency police: 877-275-5273
Waterworks and services: 800-342-5397
Electricity and power: 800-342-5397


3. Women's safety in LA

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It is unrealistic to suggest that women should not explore the city on their own at night but maintaining certain precautions can go a long way in your own safety. Carrying a pepper spray can be an asset in emergency situations and it is legal to buy it in California too, but at times chances are the pepper spray might be used against the victim and so be sure to know how to work and handle the spray. Catcalling is quite a frequent phenomenon but situations very rarely escalate out of hand if attention is not given. Taking a mode of public transport at night can be a little risky so it is suggested that you keep a friend posted about your status and wellbeing. The same can also be suggested if you are taking an Uber. By using general rules of safety and staying away from dangerous areas and dingy lit lanes, LA is very safe for women to travel. 

4. Nightlife safety in LA

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LA is known for its nightlife and most of the celebrations take place Downtown. Here you will find many bars, clubs and pubs within walking distance. Some of the other alternatives are Silverlake and Korea town but you need to have your way around to fit into that crowd and have a good time. There are a lot of pop-up speakeasies in the city which is a huge hit among the youngsters in the city. The city has an edge for secrets and one such speakeasy is Lock and Key, located in Koreatown. But you would have to figure your way into the place as there are multiple doorknobs at the door and only turning the right one will let you in. 

5. Common Scams in LA

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Cons and scamsters often see tourists as a great target in Los Angeles. One of the most common scams is posing to be a talent agent from Hollywood who sees ‘something special’ in you or your child. If someone seems like they are extremely serious about casting you or pose as a professional, ask them for their business credentials or look them up on IMDB.com. If you are planning to pursue such agents, make sure you do not visit their offices unaccompanied and do not pay them upfront.

6. Pick-pocketing in LA

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The most common form of crime is purse snatching and pick-pocketing. Make sure to be alert about your belongings and your surroundings. Especially around areas like the Hollywood walk of fame and on public transport. Hold onto your precious belongings tightly and try and keep your wallets in the front pocket to avoid such cases. It can be very tempting to text someone or to use your phone while waiting for your cab or bus but beware and try not to put yourself in a vulnerable position to make yourself an easy target for phone snatchers. Pick-pocketers often use distraction techniques like bumping into you or dropping stuff. It is good to help but your safety comes first. You could also use a money belt to keep your precious belongings out of reach.


7. How open is LA to the LGBTQ community?

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LA is home to one of the largest LGBTQ communities in the world. The city has some of the best LGBTQ safe wedding venues, hotels, clubs and events. The city is also home to multiple galleries, restaurants, boutiques and nightspots owned by individuals from the LGBTQ community. Same-sex marriage is legal in California as well. The Los Angeles police department is driven towards making the city safe for the community and any crime against them is dealt with severely. 

Tips to stay safe in LA

1. Choose your neighbourhood wisely: While choosing to book your hotel in LA look into areas with low crime rates like La Canada, Palos Verdes, Brentwood and century city. It is advised to avoid an overnight stay in areas like Hollywood and Chinatown.

2. Areas to avoid at night: Areas like Southcentral, Boyle heights, Westlake and Pico-Union are suggested to be avoided after sundown. Places like Venice beach is also suggested to be visited during the day time for safety reasons.

3. Blend in: When you are in a public space or decide to go around exploring the city, it is suggestible that you dress down and not wear too many attention-grabbing expensive items. Try to travel in groups, stay aware of your surroundings and know where you’re headed to and you are good to go!

4. Be prepared for disasters: Even though natural disasters are rare, it is better to be prepared. It is suggested that you carry a small torchlight and whistle may be attached to your key bunch. It will definitely come handy in times of crisis. Dangerous offshore currents can be deadly as well but try not to panic and do not swim against the current

5. Understand the city: Try and understand the area you are in. Los Angeles is filled with tourists and immigrants which makes the population extremely diverse. Try not to look like a tourist as it might attract scamsters and pick-pocketers. Even if you are lost, do not panic as it is likely to attract crime. Stay calm and try to analyze the situation and use resources like google maps effectively

6. Try to stay on well-lit lanes at night instead of shady streets and if someone is messing with you, shout and make a fuss to attract the attention of the people around, that ought to scare them away.

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Every big city has its pros and cons when it comes to safety and it is the same with Los Angeles but you would have to take precautionary measures to keep yourself and your belongings safe. The above article will guide you to stay secure and most importantly your awareness is key!

This post was published by Devarchita Sen

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