The sad truth is that most of Birmingham is dodgy. The least dodgy areas are as stated in other posts - parts of Edgbaston, Moseley, Sutton C, Harborne, Selly Oak, Hall Green. The most dangerous areas really depend on you ethnicity. White people list predominantly Asian/Black Areas (mainly areas bordering the centre), but if you are not white you would probably list the areas further afield - particularly S.W. Birmingham - Frankley, Bartley Green, etc. Chelmsley Wood and its environs is also very white and very racist (though it's technically in Solihull Borough). The city centre is generally ok apart from Digbeth. I would have said the Custard Factory area of Digbeth was ok but there have been 2 fatal shootings there in the last couple of years. That said, the Old Crown is a decent boozer. Broad Street is full of drunken dickheads, but Brindley Place (just off it) is quite civilised. Hurst Street/Arcadian area is also ok, as is the area near Snow Hill.
The lists people have submitted really do show that "nice" areas are few and far between. South Solihull is mainly ok though the town centre can get a bit lairy. That said you are unlikely to get mugged, stabbed, shot or randomly beaten up there. It is also pretty tolerant these days - i'm mixed race and haven't experienced any problems there for years
I've lived in Brum for around 12 years now (doesn't time fly!) and it has many different aspects to it. Sometimes it can be really inclusive and friendly, but at others I've thought, 'What the hell am I doing here?!'
It's tempting to suggest that I have these views because I live in Ladywood which, according to popular prejudice, is a bit dodgy. It certainly has its problems, but rent is relatively cheap around there - and, as others have suggested here, as long as you're fairly streetwise (don't wander around at night, keep your bling out of sight and keep your wits about you), you should be okay.
The trouble is, it's easy to stumble into a bad situation quite quickly. I was mugged several years ago, and I could quite easily have been killed: especially as the muggers seemed to quite enjoy (literally) kicking my head in.
Having said this, Birmingham has a hidden side to it: beautiful old buildings, good 'salt of the Earth' people, a gloriously diverse population, fine pubs (with real ale), some half decent bars and everything you need really.
The canal basin is one of my favourite places to walk. I think the city has faults: people can be a bit too pessimistic, and I've met a few too many urban crazies. You know the kind? They've been in the SAS, or they're novelists, etc. I love it, in a weary kind of way...
I am 14 years old and in the past 3 years I have had a phone stolen from me in kingshurst, a bike stolen from me and a knife pulled out at me in chelmsley wood by a gang. Also I got chased by a gang on bikes through smiths wood last year and a couple of years ago someone chased me through kingshurst with a knife. Take all of these into your head and remember them when going to these places.
As a resident of Birmingham I believe I am fairly qualified to express my opinion on the city and it's safety. I have frequently travelled to other countries, some of those include destinations with high crime rate. Of course I take the necessary precautions to keep myself safe. Birmingham is one of the least threatening places you can visit. I am not being bias when I say this, as previously said I travel worldly and know danger when it's knocking on my door. With the economy being in a bad state, granted crime has increased but it's nothing compared to some places in the states, East Timor or Mexico. Like most places there are places where one needs to be mindful, these are social deprived wards such as Shard End, Chelmsley Wood, Kingshurst, Newton, Handsworth, Lady Wood, Northfield, Kingstanding, Aston. The places which I have listed are just few of the low socioeconomical areas, which explains why it wouldn't be surprising to find crime in these areas. Race is not a factor, crime and deprivation is NOT racially specific. If you want to keep safe just avoid impoverish neighbourhoods, stay on the main road and don't go wondering off into unknown territory especially after dark. As I said earlier I don't think Birmingham has a serious crime problem, sure it exists, but as a resident I've never felt threatened and I don't put myself in harms way. If you exercise common sense you will be fine.
i have lived in Birmingham for 48 of my 52 years of life. and it is a beautiful city I have lived in multicultural areas like handsworth (24 yrs) and visit small heath alum rock, winson green, regularily because i love the diversity of these communities. i am well travelled and have been to countries which have reputations for violence, gangs drugs etc. please remember drugs Gangs are not a ethnic problem it is a community problem So going back to dangerous areas. do not walk the streets at night in areas you are unfamiliar with. if you are feeling vulnerable keep yr head. you do not have on show your jewellery bling ,latest phones, ipads etc. crime like anywhere is about opportunity and those in that game will take the opportunity wherever you are in the country. or world Birmingham people are very friendly they just come in different colours and dependant on what area you are frequenting there will be a majority of the one colour. don't steriotype come and experience it yourself. if you get to know about a community then by default you feel less threatened. A smile goes a very long way
Birmingham is my home town, saying that i have lived in a fair few other places including London.
The history of Birmingham is fascinating and there are some fantastic buildings all around, There are some good places to look around in the city centre,
including Aston Hall, Blakesley Hall, in the suburbs. I love the Birmingham that i grew up in.
I am deeply saddenend at how the 'multicultural side of Birmingham is changing it beyond recognition.
Unfortunately there are places that you shouldnt go to, Handsworth, Lozells, Aston, Winson Green, ( DRUG GANGS, violence, shooting etc,) Sparkhill, Sparkbrook, Alum Rock, Ward End,Small Heath, THERE ARE SHARIA COURTS OPERATING IN SMALL HEATH!! ( drugs, and almost 4 in 5 ethnic and it seems to me that they have no respect or regard for women,or the laws of the land, I would NOT travel in these areas by myself.
Other parts of Birmingham are the same but i do not know the areas very well.
Good Places to eat are everywhere, be careful in back street restaurants especially in areas mentioned above!!. WATCH OUT FOR THE HYGIENE.
i WOULD RECOMMEND BIRMINGHAM THOUGH, as with all city's just take care.
I say that because if people have lived country life or outskirts of birmzzz, they cum in to our inner city areas and see how multi cultural it is, if they see a black person they automatically think im gonna get robbed, or its a bad area!!! where i live in the city!!! its not like that its a close neighbourhood, every1 gets on with every1, youve got your ghettos everywhere, im sure sutton coldfield northfield and edgbaston have got there kind of ghetto up there, dont be afraid to cum in to the inner city areas, just smile at we smile back :) T o be honest we lived south birmzzz few years ago, nr northfield we got more problems up there than down here.
there is no serious problems in birmingham its just what people always think but times have changed i have lived in all over uk because of my job i lived in london,cardiff,manchester,swindon,and i think birmingham is not half bad as people thinks you can get mugged outside buckingham palace it did happen to my friend my point is every towns and cities have there good bad and ugly side to it one city might have high level of robbery and another for assault there is no hiding from it after travling all over uk i settled in barnt green on the edge of birmingham the reason i chose this city is simple not too big not too small plus bang in middle of uk shopping is excellent wide range of people from all over the world yes it sometimes feel bit odd when driving/walking in some areas ethnic minority areas but you get that in all towns and cities and you do get used to it in all i think birmingham is a very good city take it from a guy who travels alot.
Nearly everyone has mentioned, Handsworth, Aston and Lozells etc., in fact some taxi drivers won't drop you off on Lozells Road, as they say it's too dangerous, and they have a point.
But there are lots of nice places as well. Erdington is quite rough, but there are some nice areas (near Pype Hayes Park), also Edgbaston, Moseley and Harborne are nice.
Sutton Coldfield is a nice area, especially in Four Oaks and Mere Green. However, there are places in Sutton you need to stay away from, like Falcon Lodge
As somebody born and bred in Birmingham, my view of the city is probably more accurate than most. Whilst not politically correct to say so, the city is very much divided on wealth and class lines and is less 'mixed' than London.
Edgbaston and the private estates in Sutton Coldfield are the wealthiest areas of the city; here you will find sprawling houses with tennis courts and swimming pools. Next in the hierachy are the leafy and interesting suburbs of Harborne, Moseley, Selly Park and Bournville - all concentrated in the professionals' haunt of south Birmingham. Aside from Sutton Coldfield, parts of Erdington (i.e. around Orphanage Road/Grange Road and Pype Hayes Park); Great Barr (Red House Park/St Margarets); and Castle Bromwich (village) are very pleasant areas in north Birmingham.
Further afield, other nice areas include King's Heath, parts of King's Norton, parts of Hall Green and the leafier fringes of Solihull (technically not in Birmingham but another very affluent area).
The rest of suburban Birmingham is rather a hotchpotch of good and bad; working class residential areas intertwined with council estates.
Don't go anywhere near the inner city areas. Unfortunately, Birmingham's inner city is now frighteningly ghettorised. These areas include Newtown and Lozells, Handsworth (and sadly now Handsworth Wood), Winson Green, Highgate, Ladywood, Sparkbrook, Small Heath, Saltley and Aston.
Whilst in all other respects, Birmingham is generally a safe city, do take care if using the buses at night. These have always been bad for crime and you should avoid sitting on the top deck. A cab is always preferable if you're willing to spare a little extra money.
It's difficult to pigeon-hole the different parts of Brum, particularly as there are pockets of nice areas all over the place, but where these are surrounded by rough-ends, then you're only a walking distance away from crime - Erdington, A-G, Edgbaston, Hodge Hill, Selly Oak etc., are all examples of this.
There are 40 wards in Birmingham (A map can be found on the Council's website). I'd break these 40 down as follows:-
Dodgy = Aston, Bordesley Green, Washwood Heath, Kings Norton, Kingstanding, Ladywood, Longbridge, Lozells and East Handsworth, Nechells, Perry Barr, Soho, Sparkbrook, Stockland Green.
Not as Dodgy = Northfield, Shard End, Springfield, Stechford and Yardley North, Weoley.
Some ok bits = Acocks Green, Brandwood, Erdington, Handsworth Wood, Hodge Hill, Quinton, Sheldon.
More ok bits = Billesley, Bournville, Edgbaston, Moseley and Kings Heath, Oscott, Selly Oak, South Yardley, Tyburn.
Mostly ok (some Dodgy bits) = Hall Green, Harborne.
Ok = Sutton Four Oaks, Sutton New Hall, Sutton Trinity, Sutton Vesey.
I've read the reviews on here and as a brummie born and bred it is not just places like Handsworth, Aston, Nechells and Newton you need to watch out for. You may get mugged in these areas, but I feel safer in these areas than the ones I'm about to mention.
I think people need to be more careful in the dodgy 'indigenous' areas like Kingstanding, Chemsley Wood, Smiths Wood, Castle Vale, Castle Bromwich, Northfield, parts of Sutton Coldfield, Falcon Lodge and places like these. In these areas you are more likely to become a victim of mindless violent crime, you'll be walking down the street in broad daylight minding your own business when jobless drunken louts will chase you and beat you to a pulp for a 'laugh'. If I get my watch or money stolen, I can replace them, but if I am beaten to death.............
Birmingham does have a low crime rate compared to alot of the other major cities in England, but don't let this fool you. I have lived in and around the city most of my life and have seen and heard my fair share of violence and crime. The majority of the city is made up of ethnic minorities, but they are not the sole cause of crime and shouldn't be avoided. There are a lot of areas that I would recommend are avoided, but as a lot of people have said there isn't really any reason to visit these areas anyway. The worst of these areas would be Alum Rock, Small Heath, Ladywood, parts of Handsworth and Lozzels. I would definitely avoid these areas but also I wouldn't go out of my way to visit areas such as Maypole, Edgbaston (believe it or not, not as nice as it used to be), Erdington, Nechells, Balsall Heath, parts of Chelmsleywood, Bordesley Green, Kings Norton and Northfield. As for the city centre its a brilliant place to visit in the day and at night. I have never felt threatened there, just don't stray into back streets and alleyways and you will be fine. There are a lot more shootings and stabbings than "only a couple a year" but they are usually in the areas in mention, although in recent years the gang violence has been leaking into the city centre but it is directed at specific groups and I've never heard of innocent people being gunned down in the city centre. Just be sensible and follow the same rules you would in any major city and Birmingham is brilliant place to visit.
By the way for the food lovers, Birmingham has some of the finest restaurants in the country.
As long as you dont wander round acting like a hardman, or as a woman by yourself in virtually no clothing you will be absolutely fine in the main areas of birmingham. there are a couple of rougher areas further out such as aston or lozelles, but 1. as a tourist a doubt you'll encounter them and 2. they arent half as bad as people make out, its not like as soon as you set foot there you get shot! birmingham actually has an extremely low crime rate for a major city.
if you are going on a night out as long as you make sure if someone does start on you (which is rare in my experience) you are polite, nice and avoid conflictnothing will come of it. As long as you respect people and are nice they respect you! and dont listen to all the rubbish about the minority areas being really rough, places like spark hill are a brilliant place to visit and i have never encountered any problems!
have lived in birmingham for 20 years and never got into any trouble, im female and walk round mosely and kings heath after dark loads, and even the city centre, its no big deal and ive never had a problem. as long as you take the same precautions you would in any large city and arent stupid you will be fine.
I live in birmingham and have my whole life! when your in birmingham i suggest you dont go out by yourself at night! i've been on the recieving end of a knife attack and i am a true born brummie so imagine what they would do to an outsider! i suggest that you keep out of these areas for your own safety: Any where in north birmingham, bordesely green, stechford, chelmsley wood, castle bromwich ( between shard end and smithswood),alum rock, small heath, erdington and a few more!