Is Honolulu Safe?

Is Honolulu Safe Following Amputation Attack at 7-Eleven

Honolulu, aka “The Big Pineapple,” is a culturally rich, complex city that is Hawaii’s equivalent to Manhattan island. In addition, it boasts beautiful beaches, fine dining not found elsewhere in Hawaii, and fascinating history that includes the only royal palace in the United States. Following this week’s strange attack at a 7-Eleven on Kalakaua Avenue, the main drag in Waikiki, we’ve had people ask us if Honolulu is still safe.

The suspect in the case, a 46-year-old man, has been charged with attempted murder after allegedly cutting off a man’s hand in the convenience store just after midnight on Friday using a sword. He is being held on $400,000 bail pending a court appearance this coming week.

Bystanders said a minor verbal disagreement occurred, after which a sword appeared that was used to sever the other person’s hand. It’s not been released if either the victim or the person arrested were ever employees of 7-Eleven and what connection if any, the two men had. This does not, however, appear to be an attack against a visitor, which is important to note.

Is Honolulu a safe city to visit?

In a Forbes article a few months ago, Honolulu was rated as the second safest city (of over 300k population) in the U.S. The first was Virginia Beach. Because there is very little in the way of violent crime in Honolulu, when something like this does happen, it makes the news quickly.

Your editors have, in total, spent a great deal of time in Honolulu over decades. Both of us said to one another that we rarely have, if ever, personally felt unsafe there. Mind you, there are sketchy places we probably wouldn’t walk at night, just like in any major city. That might include Downtown Honolulu, among others. There were also two occasions of questionable safety we recalled, one in a hotel parking lot in Laie where there was a brawl and another at a parking lot at a low-class Honolulu airport hotel. But other than that, nothing. You may have different stories to recount, and we welcome your input.

Crime in Honolulu is low, which is why it has been rated among the safest major cities in the U.S for years.

Tips to improve your safety in Honolulu.

Be wary of places where there aren’t a lot of other visitors. That could include less-trafficked beaches after dark, deserted side streets, and parking lots, to name a few. In general, most crime happens after dark, so it’s a crucial time to be cautious and not walk alone on streets where there are few people. If you are concerned about safety, have your phone on to stay in touch with family and friends, so they know your location.

Remain aware of your surroundings. The biggest problems in Hawaii tend to revolve around alcohol, and drugs, so watch for people who are intoxicated. These dealings can occur around isolated beaches, for example.

Waikiki at night is one of its charms. So we aren’t suggesting not going out at night. Waikiki is an enjoyable place to walk on your own with others around and in groups. Generally, we stick to areas with many other people everywhere to avoid even the remote possibility of getting into trouble.

Realize that petty theft is a common occurrence in Honolulu and throughout Hawaii. So do keep an eye on your belongings at all times. That includes not keeping valuables in your car.

The biggest dangers in Honolulu.

These aren’t crimes but rather a sunburn, injuries from hiking, snorkeling, jellyfish stings, car accidents, and jaywalking.

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46 thoughts on “Is Honolulu Safe Following Amputation Attack at 7-Eleven”

  1. I was mugged once by a couple of “local” boys in Waikiki while walking down the main drag one late evening (around 10PM) near International Marketplace. Moral, dont walk alone late at night. I still do consider it a relatively safe place.

  2. Spent a week in Waikiki this past May, felt safe the whole visit, I mean, with the crowds everywhere it would be hard for anyone to try anything, granted, there are homeless there, but name a city in the U.S. that doesn’t have them,just be aware of your surroundings and you’ll be fine.

  3. Well said, guys! The place Not to go at night (especially alone) would be Hotel Street area, mauka of Kuhio in Waikiki, and the furthest beaches in Makaha, not to mention when you are trespassing to get to waterfalls. Some bad guys know these places and you make good prey!

    I must agree that in general there’s no other place for night life that I’d rather be than in Waikiki. I think when this story fully develops it may turn out to be “just” a local issue, with the weapon of choice being a sword in this case.

  4. Thank you for the update BOH! It does seem that certain crimes have been occurring more this year than in prior years. In February 2022 I remember hearing of gun violence, beatings and petty theft on the rise but it wasn’t that much. Summertime often brings increases in statistics, many have paired it with the increasing temperature. Whatever the case, being self aware and being in areas of people make a difference. Heed the words contained within, Thanks BOH!

  5. BoH,

    “Generally, we stick to areas with many other people everywhere to avoid even the remote possibility of getting into trouble.”

    Yeah, where all those troublesome tourists gather (kidding).

  6. Several years ago there were some problems with theft on elevators in the HHV towers that made me very careful about when and with whom I get on an elevator. I am older, so I generally don’t get on one alone anymore. I don’t recall incidents like that recently, perhaps because of the COVID situation, but I think it’s always better to be vigilant–no matter where you travel. We live across the river from Portland, OR, and it’s far more dangerous than Honolulu, in my opinion. Hopefully you’ll keep us informed if more attacks of this kind happen.

    1. Absolutely correct. I’ve lived in Portland for 32 years and it’s not at all the same city as it was. It’s the wild west all over again. Laws are not enforced.

    2. Being in Hawaii should Definitely be much safer than traveling across the river to Portland Oregon, I am very satisfied that I don’t live or visit your area, the Police would probably lock me up for defending myself from Thugs. With them causing wildfires away from downtown Portland, hopefully none of them effected You. Can’t Imagine that type of thing happening in any Hawaiian City or Town and Pray that I never do. Enjoy Hawaii as much and often as you can, escaping your area must be a reward unto itself for you and your family.

  7. There is a difference between walking down the street and being attacked and being attacked by someone you know or have a relationship with. One of the issues that I have mentioned to crimemapping that hasn’t been addressed is identifying if the crime is a violent street crime between unrelated persons or itit a violent crime that took place in a building or between people who have some type of relationship with each other.

    I believe this was not a attack committed when a perosn was walking down the street

    1. Yes, it is and has Relevancy and needs to be addressed to the public as soon as possible. The 1st reason being that it was some kind of dispute that caused this, not a Robbery gone bad. 2nd is it puts Tourists more at ease and knowing that they are not endangered. Disseminating this kind of information is Imperative.

    1. It is a High Profile Job that brings with it an Immediate Story in all of the News Types. In my area there have been a few incidents, 2 come to mind where it was a retired CIA Agent and a Police Officer clashing over the Agent’s committing minor crimes. Almost came down to a fist fight but the Agent knew better. The other was an FBI Agent that wasn’t too bright, imagine that! High Profile encounters like these occur more than most people ever know, it’s avoided by most because it can jeopardize their future careers, sometimes it’s unavoidable though.

  8. It’s a shame but inevitable even in Honolulu. I have been to the islands many times and rarely find myself anything but relaxed. The Country as a whole has emboldened criminal behavior with cashless bails, the type of catch and release bail. We can only hope this letting violent criminals out on their own recognizance only to never to be seen again until they commit another drive.

    1. Aloha Rob+Jeff. Wow that’s very sad for the victim. Over here in California the bail would be much higher for attempted murder. Hopefully there will be justice for the victim and the suspect will get a lengthy sentence. You’d think we’re living in medieval times with the violence that is happening in the world today. I pray for us all.

      1. Medieval times were not nearly as violent as the 20th and 21st centuries. The world has been plunging into chaos far far faster than ever before.

  9. The safest thing is to Not worry. Seriously we are afraid of our shadows. PTSD to the 10th power. It’s not only unhealthy, every bit of joy is gone before you live it. 😎🐾

    1. Not worrying isn’t the appropriate response, worrying may be what keeps someone safe. Intuition and Awareness is necessary to hopefully avoid situations, Situational Awareness is Imperative. To the point, or extent, of PTSD isn’t necessary. Safety and Security is!

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