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10 Most Dangerous Cities in NJ

10 most dangerous cities in nj

New Jersey is one of the most populous states in the United States of America. While it has some beautiful and safe cities, some areas are also notorious for their high crime rates. So, I decided to take a closer look at the 10 Most Dangerous Cities in NJ.

Based on the latest available statistics and data, I will examine crime rates, trends, and the types of crime prevalent in each city. My aim is to provide information to help you make informed decisions about living, visiting, or doing business in these cities.

So, let’s get started with…


The first on my list of the 10 Most Dangerous Cities in NJ is Camden. Located in New Jersey, the city has struggled with high crime rates for decades. Along with a violent crime rate of 1,306 per 100,000 residents in 2020, the city also had a property crime rate of 3,699 per 100,000 residents, almost twice the national average. The city’s crime rate is more than double that of nearby cities such as Trenton and Philadelphia.

Drug-related crimes are a primary concern for Camden’s law enforcement agencies. In 2020, the city had 1,295 drug-related arrests, with drug possession accounting for 60% of those arrests. 

Drugs and gang violence related…

According to the Camden County Police Department, fentanyl and heroin remain the most commonly seized drugs in the city. The prevalence of drugs has also contributed to an increase in drug overdoses. In 2020, it had 119 opioid-related deaths, an increase from 77 opioid-related deaths in 2019.

Gang violence is also an issue. According to a report by the New Jersey State Police, Camden has 13 active gangs and over 3,000 gang members. Many shootings and homicides are directly related to this.

Shocking shooting numbers!

Shootings are a prevalent problem, with the city having one of the highest rates of gun violence in the country. In 2020, 367 shooting incidents in Camden resulted in 444 people being shoot. Additionally, there were 66 homicides in the city in 2020, the highest number in the past decade.


Newark is the largest city in the state and has a reputation for having one of the highest crime rates in the country. In 2020, the city had a violent crime rate of 1,120 per 100,000 residents, much higher than the national average. 

Here’s why…

One of the primary factors contributing to Newark’s high crime rate is its history of gang violence and drug-related crimes. The city has a large gang presence. These gangs are involved in drug trafficking and other criminal activities such as robbery, assault, and homicide. The city is a major transit hub for drugs coming into the Northeast.

Poverty is a major cause…

Robberies are also prevalent, with a rate of 547 per 100,000 residents in 2020. This is more than twice the national average. The high poverty rate in the city is a contributing factor, as individuals may resort to theft to make ends meet.

Assaults are another common crime in Newark, with a rate of 334 per 100,000 residents in 2020. It is also higher than the national average. The high gang activity and drug-related crimes in the city contribute to this. Homicides are a significant problem, with a rate of 37 per 100,000 residents in 2020. It is much higher than the national average. This is because of the high poverty rate, gang violence, and drug-related crimes in the city. 

Atlantic City

Atlantic City’s tourism industry boosts the city’s economy. In 2019, over 27 million visitors generated $3.5 billion in tourism-related spending. The industry also supports approximately 27,000 jobs in the city.

Despite this, Atlantic City has been struggling with a high crime rate for years. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, the city had a violent crime rate of 1,099.5 per 100,000 residents in 2019. This rate is significantly higher than in other cities of similar size in the United States.

Highest drug-related arrests…

Gang violence is a big problem, with multiple gangs operating, including the Bloods, Crips, and MS-13. In addition to gang violence, drug-related crimes are also prevalent. In 2019, the city had the highest drug-related arrests per capita in New Jersey.

Atlantic City

Asbury Park

According to data from the FBI, Asbury Park’s violent crime rate in 2020 was higher than the state average of 269.8 per 100,000 residents. The city’s property crime rate of 4,578 per 100,000 residents was also significantly higher than the state average of 1,438.7 per 100,000 residents.

The issue of gang violence has been a longstanding problem, with several gangs operating in the city, including the Bloods, Crips, and Latin Kings. These gangs control drug trafficking, prostitution, and other criminal activities.

Drug treatment initiatives…

Drug-related crimes have risen, with the opioid epidemic contributing to the increase in drug-related deaths in the city. In 2020, Monmouth County had 265 suspected overdose deaths, with Asbury Park being one of the cities with the highest number of overdose deaths in the county.

Asbury Park Police have implemented community policing initiatives as well as technology such as surveillance cameras and license plate readers. The department has also established a drug treatment program for individuals struggling with addiction. It has partnered with local businesses and community organizations to improve safety in the city.


In addition to the high violent crime rate, other crime statistics show the extent of the problem in Trenton. For example, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, there were 1,124 property crimes per 100,000 residents in 2020. These include 619 burglaries, 445 larceny thefts, and 60 motor vehicle thefts.

Furthermore, data from the New Jersey State Police shows that in 2020, there were 332 robberies and 556 aggravated assaults. Robberies that use force or the threat of force to steal property can occur anywhere and at any time. On the other hand, aggravated assaults cause serious bodily injury and often result from disputes or altercations between individuals.


Unemployment causes chaos!

The economic struggles of the city are reflected in its poverty and high unemployment rates. In 2020, the poverty rate in Trenton was 27.6%, almost double the national average. The unemployment rate is 16.7%, much higher than the national average.


Next on my rundown of the 10 Most Dangerous Cities in NJ is Bridgeton. In addition to the high violent crime rate, it has a property crime rate of 3,482 per 100,000 residents, much higher than the national average. Burglary is the most common property crime, with a rate of 1,314 per 100,000 residents. Vandalism and theft are also significant property crime concerns in the city.

Bridgeton’s poverty rate is 26.9%, higher than the national average of 10.5%. The unemployment rate in the city is also higher than the state average, making it difficult for many residents to make ends meet. 

The community is getting involved!

To address the issue of gang violence, the Bridgeton Police Department has partnered with the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office to establish a gang task force. The task force’s goal is to identify and dismantle the city’s criminal street gangs.  

Community organizations are also working to address the root causes of crime, such as poverty and lack of opportunity. They offer education, training, and other amenities to help the locals improve their economic situation and reduce their likelihood of criminal activity.


Irvington’s violent crime rate of 670 per 100,000 residents is much higher than the national average. The city’s crime rate has been consistently higher than the state average and even higher than cities of similar size in New Jersey.

Gang violence has been a significant contributor to the high crime rate, with the city having more than 20 gangs operating within its limits. According to law enforcement officials, more than 80% of homicides in the city are gang-related.

A gun buyback program…

Drug-related crimes have also been a major problem in the city, with it being a transit point for drug dealers. In 2020, there were over 100 drug-related arrests in Irvington, with many arrests for drug possession and distribution.

A high property crime rate has been linked to a lack of job opportunities and educational resources. This is higher than the state average, with burglary being the most common property crime in the city. The city has implemented several measures to combat crime, including a gang violence task force, increased surveillance in high-crime areas, and a gun buyback program. 



Pleasantville’s high crime rate is a significant concern for residents and city officials. According to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, the city’s overall crime rate is 82% higher than the national average. 

In 2020, there were 202 violent crimes reported in the city, including two homicides, 35 robberies, and 165 aggravated assaults. The property crime rate is also high, with 901 reported incidents in 2020, including 145 burglaries, 665 larcenies, and 91 motor vehicle thefts.

The base of operations for drugs!

Pleasantville also has its share of gang violence, with several active gangs operating in the city. According to the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, there were 29 documented gang-related incidents in 2020, including three homicides and six shootings.  

Drug-related crimes are also a significant contributor. According to the New Jersey State Police, the city is a hub for drug trafficking, with many drug dealers using Pleasantville as a base of operations for distribution throughout the state.

Keep your doors locked!

In 2020, the city had 196 drug-related arrests, including 39 for drug possession and 71 for drug distribution. It has launched numerous programs to prevent and treat drug use, such as the Operation Helping Hand initiative, which provides resources and support to individuals struggling with addiction.

Pleasantville property crime is exacerbated by poverty, with many residents unable to afford proper security measures for their homes and businesses. According to the United States Census Bureau, the poverty rate is 23.4%, compared to the national average of 10.5%. 


According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, in 2020, the violent crime rate in Orange was 157% higher than the national average. In all, 310 violent crimes were committed in the city, including eight homicides, 120 aggravated assaults, and 180 robberies. 

The property crime rate was 25% higher than the national average, with a total of 1,161 reported property crimes, including 251 burglaries, 862 larcenies, and 48 motor vehicle thefts.

So many opioid deaths reported!

The prevalence of gangs is an issue, as the city has identified over 20 gangs operating in the area. The city has implemented a gang task force that collaborates with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.

Drug-related crimes are linked to the opioid epidemic, with the city experiencing increases in opioid-related deaths in recent years. The city has been working with healthcare providers and community organizations to increase awareness.

A crime center and community to beat!

The Orange real-time crime center is equipped with cutting-edge technology such as license plate readers, gunshot detection systems, and surveillance cameras, which allows the police department to respond to criminal activity as quickly as possible. In 2020, the center recorded over 1,500 incidents and assisted with over 80 arrests.

Community involvement has been crucial in reducing crime rates. The municipality has introduced community-based policing, emphasizing the importance of building relationships between law enforcement and community members.


According to FBI data, the violent crime rate in Lindenwold increased by 6.5% from 2019 to 2020, and the town’s crime rate is 88% higher than that of similarly sized cities in the United States. Gang violence has long been a problem, with the police department reporting that gangs are responsible for most violent crimes in the area.

Drug-related crimes are also a problem. In 2020, there were 28 drug-related arrests in the town for drug possession, drug distribution, and drug trafficking. Drug addiction is also a big issue, with many residents struggling with substance abuse.


Vandalism all over the city!

Property crime rates have also been high, with the town experiencing a 17% increase in burglaries in 2020 compared to the previous year. Theft and vandalism are ongoing issues, with many residents reporting incidents of property crime.

The city has implemented community policing programs to improve relationships between law enforcement and the community.

Which Other Places To Avoid?

If you might not have decided yet and would like to find out more information, check out our top 10 Most Dangerous States In The US, followed by our guide to the Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Los Angeles and the top 10 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Chicago, as well as the Most Dangerous Cities In Florida, and the Most Dangerous Cities In Ohio in 2023.

Relocating can be very expensive! So, for those of you on a budget, take a look at the Cheapest Places To Live In Georgia, as well as the Cheapest Beach Towns In California and the Cheapest Places to Live in California; we’ve also included the Cheapest Places To Live In Texas, and the Cheapest Beach Towns In Florida.

Lastly, for your safety concerns, we’ve covered the Safest Places To Live In Florida, the Safest Neighborhoods In Atlanta, and the Best Neighborhoods In Long Island, along with the Best Neighborhoods In Brooklyn and the Safest Neighborhoods In Philadelphia.

Final Thoughts

New Jersey is generally a safe state to live in, but like any other place, it has dangerous areas. The ten cities I have listed are the most dangerous in the state of New Jersey, with high crime rates that include murder, assault, and robbery. It’s vital to take precautions and stay vigilant when living in or visiting these cities. 

They are working to reduce crime and create safer communities through initiatives like community policing, increased police presence, and community engagement. Working together, they hope to create a better future for their residents.

Happy home hunting, and stay safe!

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