Hawaii County, often called the Big Island, is the largest and most varied county in Hawaii. It boasts breathtaking natural wonders like volcanoes, waterfalls, beaches, and rainforests.
Nevertheless, it also faces crime and violence issues, particularly in certain poverty-stricken areas with drug and gang-related problems. In this article, we’ll delve into the top five high-crime neighborhoods in Hawaii County, using data from CrimeGrade.org.
Hilo, the biggest city in Hawaii County, is home to approximately 45,000 people. It serves as the county’s hub for economy and culture, as well as its administrative center. Nevertheless, it faces a significant challenge with the highest rate of violent crime in the county, tallying up to 6.7 incidents per 1,000 residents.
One particular area of concern in Hilo is the prevalence of robberies, making up 40% of all violent crimes in the city. Additionally, property crime is also notably high, reaching 170.5 incidents per 1,000 residents.
Pahoa, a small town in Hawaii County’s Puna district, has roughly 1,000 residents. It’s renowned for its alternative and hippie culture and its closeness to the active Kilauea volcano. However, it faces significant crime issues, notably violent crime, which is at a rate of 5.8 per 1,000 residents.
Drug-related problems, particularly involving methamphetamine, have contributed to violence and gang activity in the area. Additionally, property crime is prevalent, with a rate of 159.8 per 1,000 residents.
Kailua-Kona, located on Hawaii County’s west coast, is a popular tourist destination with around 12,000 residents. It’s known for its coffee farms, historic sites, and water activities.
However, it faces a notable issue with crime, especially property-related offenses, at a rate of 191.9 incidents per 1,000 residents. Kailua-Kona records the highest number of motor vehicle thefts in the county, with 23.9 per 1,000 residents. Additionally, it experiences a moderate level of violent crime, at 3.7 incidents per 1,000 residents.
Ocean View, situated on the southern coast of Hawaii County, is a rural community with roughly 5,000 inhabitants. It holds the distinction of being one of the world’s largest subdivisions, spanning more than 150 square miles. Nevertheless, it grapples with a notable crime rate, notably in property-related offenses, registering at 175.6 incidents per 1,000 residents.
The area experiences a significant number of burglaries and thefts, which may be attributed to its remote location and limited infrastructure. Ocean View also sees a moderate level of violent crime, standing at 3.6 incidents per 1,000 residents.
Waimea, located in the north-central area of Hawaii County, is home to approximately 10,000 people. It’s famous for its rich ranching history, paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) culture, and breathtaking landscapes. Unfortunately, it faces a notable issue with crime, particularly property-related offenses, registering at 174 incidents per 1000 residents.
Burglaries and thefts occur at a relatively high rate in Waimea, which might be linked to its prosperity and attractiveness to tourists. Additionally, the town experiences a moderate level of violent crime, at 3 incidents per 1000 residents.
In summary, the top five dangerous neighborhoods in Hawaii County are Hilo, Pahoa, Kailua-Kona, Ocean View, and Waimea. These areas experience high levels of both violent and property crime, likely influenced by factors such as poverty, drugs, and gangs.
Keep in mind that crime rates vary across Hawaii County. Most neighborhoods in the county have lower crime rates. Nevertheless, the five neighborhoods mentioned above pose the highest risk.
For anyone considering a visit to Hawaii County, it’s crucial to be informed about the safety situation in different neighborhoods.