Erie County, located in the western part of the state of New York, encompasses Buffalo city and its suburban regions. With a population of around 919,000 individuals, it covers an area of 1,043 square miles.
While generally considered safe, Erie County does have certain pockets with higher crime and violence rates. Based on crime statistics and maps from various sources, the following are the top five riskiest neighborhoods within Erie County:
As the second-largest city in New York and the county seat of Erie County, Buffalo houses about 255,000 residents and carries a crime rate of 42.8 per 1,000 inhabitants. Buffalo registers the highest count of violent crimes within the county, recording 10,855 incidents in 2019.
Predominant violent crimes include assault, robbery, and rape. Property-related crimes, like burglary, theft, and arson, are also prevalent. The more dangerous sections of Buffalo are situated on the city’s eastern and western sides, characterized by higher poverty rates, unemployment, and gang involvement.
Cheektowaga, located centrally in Erie County and neighboring Buffalo, has approximately 86,000 residents and a crime rate of 28.9 per 1,000 residents. The town experienced a moderate number of violent crimes, amounting to 1,050 incidents in 2019.
Common violent crimes include assault and robbery. Property-related offenses, such as theft, fraud, and vandalism, are also noteworthy. The riskier zones in Cheektowaga are primarily found in the northern and southern parts of the town, where commercial and industrial establishments contribute to higher traffic.
Lackawanna, positioned in the southwestern part of Erie County along Lake Erie, holds around 17,000 inhabitants and a crime rate of 31.8 per 1,000 residents. While having a low count of violent crimes, with 215 incidents in 2019, Lackawanna faces a higher number of property crimes, like burglary, theft, and motor vehicle theft.
Moreover, the city contends with a notable rate of drug-related crimes and subsequent arrests. The less secure areas in Lackawanna are situated in the eastern and western regions, marked by higher poverty rates and social challenges.
In the northern reaches of Erie County, bordering Niagara County and the Niagara River, lies the town of Tonawanda, home to roughly 58,000 individuals. With a crime rate of 23 per 1,000 residents, Tonawanda experiences a limited count of violent crimes, totaling 534 incidents in 2019.
Primary violent crimes involve assault and robbery. There is a moderate number of property-related offenses, like theft and burglary. The more precarious parts of Tonawanda are concentrated in its southern region, where increased commercial and entertainment activities attract larger crowds during the day.
Found in the northeastern part of Erie County, bordering Niagara County and Canada, Amherst accommodates about 126,000 residents and holds a crime rate of 16 per 1,000 inhabitants. Amherst exhibits a very low count of violent crimes, recording 808 incidents in 2019.
Prominent violent crimes include assault and robbery. Additionally, Amherst contends with fewer property-related offenses, such as theft and fraud. However, certain areas in Amherst experience higher crime rates, particularly those near the University at Buffalo campus and along Niagara Falls Boulevard.
The outlined neighborhoods represent the five most precarious regions in Erie County based on available data and information. It is important to recognize that crime rates can fluctuate due to various factors and data sources. Consequently, these rankings are not definitive or absolute.
Furthermore, crime rates do not solely reflect the quality of life or the overall safety of a community or neighborhood. Other factors may also play a role in attracting people to reside or visit these areas.