Stories of Crime in Hartford, CT
“I lived in Hartford for many years, once in an apartment near Hartford Hospital, also an apartment just off of Park Street. My advice to anyone wanting to travel here is to stay away. 37 years ago when I used to work in downtown Hartford I was robbed while waiting to take the bus home from just in front of the Old State House which is downtown Hartford. I was followed home by a robber when I went to the drug store on Farmington Ave. but I managed to get away, get into the condo building before he could rob me. I lived off of Farmington Avenue in a building called The Willoughby. Back then it was apartments, but now it is condominiums. The area was bad back then but is much worse now, drug dealers breaking into the condominium building, hookers doing tricks on the steps inside the building. It’s such a shame. I don’t understand why the police are not out in full force cleaning up these areas. I’m sure years ago Hartford was a very nice place to live. Years ago I would drive to the North end with my husband to go to a Jamaican bakery but no longer. That area was dangerous back then, but with all the crack heads now, much much worse. My advice to you, if you do decide to visit any part of Hartford, take pepper spray with you. The Mark Twain house is worth a visit, also the Wadsworth Atheneum art gallery. But if you are a woman, do not carry a pocketbook, keep your money hidden.”–Woman, Resident of Hartford for 37 years, Age 58, May 15, 2012
“Don’t walk anywhere alone after dark in Hartford. Everyone who lives in Hartford has been or knows somebody who has been robbed, stabbed, raped or killed in the city.
I stopped at a gas station on Albany Ave near downtown one night to use an ATM. I was robbed immediatley upon leaving the gas station by a woman who appeared to be a crackhead.
I was able to flag down a cop who drove by the gas station mere seconds after the incident occured, however the officer made no attempt to find the woman or recover my stolen purse. Instead he asked me: “What is a white girl like you doing here? You better get out of here before this robbery becomes a homicide”. The Hartford police just seem so jaded, robberies are nothing to them apparently.
Also my boyfriend was jumped on Capital Ave by two guys in a car. They stole the earrings out of his ears and broke his nose and mouth open.”–Man, Resident of Hartford for 17 years, Age 25, December 9, 2006.
“Hartford is known for many things. Unfortunately, one of these things is Crime. Hartford has been ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in the Country, peaking at #7 in 2004. Most of this violence is contained in the Frog Hollow, Upper Clay Hill/Arsenal, Northeast, and the Upper Albany areas.
Generally, most attractions are outside of these areas anyways, but a few myths should be cleared up about some of these areas.
Park street, the main street in Frog Hollow has copious shops and resturaunts. Park street is vibrant and does not need to be avoided, as it is literally one of the most vibrant areas of the city. The side streets should be avoided, however.
Albany Avenue, which runs through Clay Hill/Arsenal, Upper Albany, and a bit of Blue Hills is another tough one. Several crimes are committed in this area, but generally not on the actual Avenue. There are alot of shops/resturaunts here too, as well as a larger police presence because a large station is located somewhere around the midsection of the avenue. Generally, I would avoid the part nearest to downtown, which is the least vibrant, and most dangerous (located in the highest crime/poverty zone). This is unfortunate because the rest of Albany Avenue has merit, and acts as Hartford’s 125th street, but it can only be accessed by car, as all the hotels are seperated from the midsection by the slums.
That being said, the Northeast and Clay Hill/Arsenal sections do not have any merit and are especially dangerous. Some census blocks have been ranked as more dangerous than the most dangerous areas of the South Bronx. But again, you’d have to go out of your way to go here – there is nothing to see.
Also, be careful around the webster. This serves as the non-huge name concert venue for Greater Hartford, but is unfortunately also in an area of crime. People have been mugged, beat up, or had their cars stolen. But, all one has to do is stay on the main rd within a few blocks of the venue, and preferably pay to park the cars.”–Man, Retired Sergeant Hartford Police Department, February 3, 2007
“Hartford really doesn’t have a single non intimidating area minus the area when you get into West Hartford. Hartford’s north end is scary even during noon. At night there are crack heads everywhere, drug dealing, prostitution, and gang activity. There is a shooting or stabbing that happens in this area every night. If you drive through there at night it is very possible people will try to sell you drugs, people in the streets will shout something at you, and crack heads will come up to your car. So lock your doors, DON’T LEAVE YOUR CAR, and better yet just avoid this neighborhood overall.
The Park St. area (known as Frog Hollow section of town) is also another ghetto. The Frog Hollow Section has a problem with homeless, gang violence, and drug dealing. Again, do the same as you would do when your traveling the north end.
While these are the two bad sections, they make up around 75% of the city. The only nice part of Hartford is the West End which is filled with beautiful mansions and some nice restaurants. But even the West End has its bad areas (the areas where the West End goes into the Frog Hollow area). And as for downtown, it is extremely shady at night. Nights when I would walk from the downtown bars to my car, me and my friends would always run into shady characters asking for money or threatening us.”–Woman, Age 48, March 26, 2006.