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The new most dangerous city in Europe is now in Italy

In which European cities do residents feel most insecure? Where is the apprehension of mugging the highest? And in which cities are people hesitant to venture out after dark? The “Numbeo” database delves into these queries through a comprehensive survey, culminating in a periodic crime index highlighting Europe’s most dangerous cities. Here’s a quick overview of the ranking.

Numbeo, a global database fueled by user-contributed data, has recently released its semi-annual crime index results. To compile this, individuals are consistently polled about their personal feelings of safety. The ranking is formulated using various criteria, relying exclusively on the subjective experiences of those surveyed. As such, the results should be interpreted with a degree of caution — more on this later. For instance, Numbeo inquires about worries related to muggings, break-ins, drug-related issues, and racial discrimination in cities. Concerns over corruption and bribery also factor into the results. Participants were further questioned about fears of physical assault due to their skin colour, ethnicity, gender, or religion. The company states that only cities with sufficient respondents are featured in the ranking.

The global index identified Caracas as the most perilous city in the world. The Venezuelan capital surpasses all others with a crime index score of 83.2. But how does Europe fare? Which cities are seen as especially hazardous there? SPLENDIFICA presents the top ten most dangerous European cities based on Numbeo’s ranking.

Europe’s Most Dangerous Cities by Crime Index

Catania, a port city on the renowned Italian vacation isle of Sicily, tops the list as the most dangerous city in Europe, according to Numbeo’s semi-annual report. Catania’s rating is notably high, with a crime index score of 64.6. Of particular concern is the perceived rampant corruption and bribery. Respondents expressed significant fears of muggings, robberies, car thefts, and drug-related activities. A substantial number of those surveyed also indicated hesitancy to traverse Catania’s streets alone at night. Furthermore, the feeling of safety during daytime strolls in the city was only deemed “moderate”.

The findings from Numbeo align with a report from the Italian daily newspaper “La Sicilia“, which states that, based on official data from the Ministry of the Interior, Catania has the highest crime rate in all of Sicily. However, in a national comparison, Catania ranks 26th out of 107 cities, with Milan, unfortunately, taking the top spot.

Marseille is the city following Catania on the list and is also a favourite among vacationers. According to Numbeo, this French port city has a crime index of 64.4, closely trailing Catania’s score. Drug-related offences and gang activity notably plague Marseille. Just in the previous year, organised gang murders linked to drug trafficking claimed 32 lives, as the French weekly Le Point reported.

In the subsequent placements of Numbeo’s ranking: The English cities of Birmingham, Coventry and Manchester take the 3rd, 4th and 15th spot in Numbeo’s semi-annual Crime Index. Predominant issues here encompass vandalism, theft, drug-related offences, and robberies.

10 most dangerous cities in Europe

Catania, Italy

Catania, a captivating port city located on the famed island of Sicily, has recently garnered attention for its elevated crime rates. Although the city boasts a rich history, architectural marvels, and a vibrant culture, its standing in safety rankings, like Numbeo’s, has raised eyebrows among travellers and locals alike. With a crime index notably higher than in many other European cities, concerns have been raised about corruption, bribery, and muggings. Moreover, some residents have expressed hesitation about walking alone at night in certain parts of the city. However, while statistics and surveys point to specific challenges, it’s essential to remember that many areas of Catania remain safe and inviting, with countless visitors enjoying their stay without incident each year.

Marseilles, France

Marseille, the iconic port city on France’s Mediterranean coast, offers a blend of diverse cultures, historical richness, and breathtaking landscapes. However, recent safety assessments, such as those from Numbeo, have drawn attention to its concerning crime rates. This bustling metropolis has faced challenges with drug-related offences and gang activities, which have sometimes overshadowed its charm and vibrant street life. Over the past year, incidents linked to organised gang rivalries and drug trafficking have been particularly alarming. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to emphasise that many neighbourhoods in Marseille remain peaceful and welcoming, with numerous tourists and residents experiencing the city’s beauty and vitality without facing any security concerns.

Birmingham, England

brick buildings alongside a water channel in central Birmingham

Birmingham, the industrious heart of England’s West Midlands, is a city celebrated for its rich industrial history, cultural diversity, and burgeoning arts scene. However, recent evaluations indicate a rising concern about crime in the city. Challenges like vandalism, theft, drug-related offences, and robberies have been especially highlighted, casting a shadow over the city’s many positive attributes. Despite these issues, it’s worth noting that a vast majority of Birmingham remains inviting and energetic, with numerous districts exuding a strong community spirit. While caution, as in any major city, is always advised, countless residents and visitors engage with Birmingham’s offerings daily without encountering significant safety issues.

Coventry, England

Coventry, a city of resilience and innovation in England’s West Midlands, is renowned for its storied history and contributions to the automotive industry. Its old and new cathedrals stand as poignant symbols of rebirth after the devastations of World War II. However, like many urban areas, Coventry has yet to be immune to the challenges of modern life. While not as prominently featured in crime discussions as in some other UK cities, safety concerns have emerged in various quarters, particularly regarding theft and minor street crimes. Nevertheless, the essence of Coventry remains defined by its spirit of community and innovation. Many neighbourhoods exhibit a warm, welcoming atmosphere, and countless residents and visitors enjoy the city’s rich tapestry without any untoward incidents.

Charleroi, Belgium

Charleroi, nestled in Belgium’s Walloon region, has a rich industrial heritage and has been a vital hub during Belgium’s coal and steel heydays. Its history is etched in its urban landscapes, with relics of past industries juxtaposed against modern endeavours. However, Charleroi has garnered attention in recent years for its transformation and culture and safety concerns. Some rankings and reports have pointed towards issues like theft, vandalism, and occasional street crimes. This has occasionally clouded its genuine efforts at urban renewal and its vibrant cultural festivals. However, it’s imperative to recognise that many parts of Charleroi continue to thrive, with local initiatives working towards rejuvenation and community building. Like any city, many residents and visitors experience Charleroi’s charm without facing significant safety threats.

Naples, Italy

Naples, cradled by the azure waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, is a city of immense historical depth, iconic cuisine, and a spirit that is quintessentially Italian. It’s a place where the past melds seamlessly with the present; every corner has a story, and the aroma of freshly baked pizza fills the air. However, alongside its UNESCO World Heritage sites and world-famous culinary offerings, Naples has contended with safety concerns over the years. Notably, issues related to petty crimes, pickpocketing in tourist-heavy areas, and the historical presence of organised crime groups have been points of discussion. Yet, it’s vital to underscore that the Neapolitan spirit is resilient and vibrant. Most of the city pulsates with life, warmth, and genuine hospitality. While caution is always advisable, especially in busy areas, countless visitors are captivated by Naples’ allure and depart with fond memories.

Montpellier, France

Montpellier, a jewel in southern France, boasts a unique blend of medieval charm and modern dynamism. As a university city, it vibrates with youthful energy, blending its rich architectural heritage with contemporary designs. Renowned for its pleasant Mediterranean climate and close proximity to the sea, Montpellier attracts visitors with its lively squares, tree-lined boulevards, and vibrant arts scene. However, as with many urban centres, Montpellier has faced safety-related challenges. Issues like petty theft, especially in tourist-centric zones, and occasional disturbances have been highlighted in some discussions. Yet, framing these concerns within the broader context of the city’s ambience is crucial. Most of Montpellier remains a haven of culture and conviviality, with local residents and numerous visitors cherishing its sun-kissed terraces and historic alleyways without facing notable security issues.

Liege, Belgium

Liege, often called the ‘Fiery City’ due to its passionate inhabitants, is one of Belgium’s oldest and most culturally vibrant cities. Nestled along the banks of the Meuse River, it boasts an impressive architectural heritage, from medieval structures to cutting-edge modern designs. The city is known for its rich history, its festivals, and a unique Walloon spirit that infuses life into its bustling streets and squares. However, as is the case with many urban centres, Liege has grappled with certain safety concerns over the years. Issues like petty theft, particularly in crowded areas, and occasional urban disturbances have surfaced in discussions. Nevertheless, the broader narrative of Liege remains one of resilience, community, and cultural pride. The majority of the city offers a welcoming atmosphere, with many locals and visitors delighting in its charm, gastronomic delights, and festive spirit without significant security hindrances.

Grenoble, France

Grenoble, ensconced within the French Alps, offers a picturesque blend of mountainous landscapes and urban sophistication. Often referred to as the ‘Capital of the Alps,’ this city is as much a haven for winter sports enthusiasts as it is for scholars, given its prestigious universities and research centres. Beyond its panoramic vistas, Grenoble stands as a testament to innovation, with a rich history in the sciences and a vibrant arts scene. However, like several urban locales, Grenoble has not been immune to safety challenges. Reports have occasionally highlighted issues such as petty thefts, especially in bustling areas, and sporadic urban disturbances. Yet, it’s essential to juxtapose these concerns against the vast, positive expanse of Grenoble’s offerings. The overwhelming majority of the city exudes an air of tranquillity and intellectual fervour, with both residents and visitors frequently navigating its streets and alpine surroundings without significant safety concerns.”

Nantes, France

Gracefully poised along the Loire River in western France, Nantes is a city that seamlessly weaves its maritime history with a burgeoning contemporary scene. Once a powerful port and a hub of the shipbuilding industry, Nantes today is celebrated for its robust arts culture, eclectic festivals, and commitment to sustainability. The city’s iconic Château des Ducs de Bretagne and its verdant Isle of Machines are just a few testimonies to its diverse offerings. However, as is the case with many metropolitan areas, Nantes has had its share of safety concerns. Instances of petty theft in crowded zones and occasional urban altercations have been noted in reports. Yet, these challenges occupy a small facet of the Nantes experience. The city’s overarching narrative is one of innovation, community, and cultural vibrancy. Most of Nantes radiates warmth and inclusivity, with residents and travellers often enjoying its riverside charm and dynamic streetscapes without notable security issues.

Concerns Surrounding Numbeo’s Methodology

The data from Numbeo warrants a discerning approach. The database is open to contributions from anyone globally. While Numbeo asserts that they filter responses to counter potential misuse—like entries that deviate significantly from the norm—the entirety of the data remains unverifiable.

Furthermore, questions arise regarding the exclusion of official crime statistics from the respective cities in the crime index. 

Numbeo explains, In certain nations, government data offer detailed statistics based on reported crimes per capita. Such statistics are valuable for contrasting crime rates between two cities within the same country but fall short for inter-country comparisons due to reasons such as varied likelihoods of crime reporting across countries. There’s also the potential for data manipulation by governmental entities and a significant lack of data accessibility globally.

Have you visited any of these cities? If so, did you ever feel threatened or witness any criminal activity

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