Crime in Houston is high and the highest in the state, and has a reputation among Texans as a dangerous city. Travelers to Houston should follow common safety procedures such as staying away from deserted areas after dark, keeping purses/wallets in a secure location, and putting valuables out-of-sight in parked vehicles . For emergency assistance, travelers can contact Houston Police Department by dialing 911. In addition, travelers should dial 911 to report most crimes in progress. For non-emergency assistance and for crimes not in progress such as minor assault, car theft, home invasion, property damage, and theft, dial 713-884-3131 and request police assistance. The Houston Police Department also allows citizens to file online reports for minor property damage and theft if they are under $5,000 in damages. Residents of Texas are allowed to carry concealed firearms after completing training and a thorough background check.
As a general rule, the areas of Spring Branch, Alief, and Bellaire should be avoided during the night. Even during the day time, it is best that you keep your guard up in these areas and use your common sense as they have relatively large homeless populations and moderate levels of gang activity. The Third Ward, Fifth Ward, and the Sunnyside area should be avoided during both the day and night as violent
crime including robbery, carjacking, rape, assault, and murder are common in these areas. Houston is a major hub for the illegal trafficking of drugs, weapons, and humans into the United States.