Los Angeles is a big city, and with big cities come big guidelines that should be followed to obtain and maintain safety. If left up to the media, one would believe that Los Angeles is a lawless land similar to the old western movies of Hollywood's past. Fortunately, the truth of the matter is, the city is safer than one may think, but there are some areas that are safer than others.
There are a few areas where one should be very alert and cautious at ALL times:
- South Central Los Angeles
- East Los Angeles
- Echo Park
- Hawaiian Gardens
- Bell Gardens
In essence, LA is like every other large city and the best way to avoid trouble is to be alert and careful. Here is some practical advice for staying safe:
- Keep a cell phone close and dial 911 in emergency.
- Always know where you are and how to get back to your home from there. Having a map or Thomas Guide, or even getting to know your area via Google maps are ALL helpful.
- Avoid road rage incidents. Many end in violence.
- Never walk alone at night or go to an ATM machine alone. If you are using an ATM machine, be aware of people around you.
- If you don't have your own car, keep a taxi company saved in your cell phone.
- Never leave your bag or purse in plain sight inside a car. Hide them under the seat or put them in the trunk.
Women should exercise special caution and try to avoid walking alone at night. If you are a woman at a bar and someone unfamiliar wants to buy you a drink, get it directly from the bartender. "Date Drugs" are a big issue, especially among young people, where drugs are put in the drink for the purpose of putting you to sleep to commit an assault.