10 Most Dangerous Cities in Rhode Island

Updated On January 24, 2024
Rhode Island

Rhode Island is a small state along the Atlantic Coast in New England whose nickname is the Ocean State.

By land, Rhode Island is the smallest state; however, in terms of population, it is the second most densely-populated state in the country – with New Jersey taking top honors.

Its largest city, Providence, is also the state capital; however, for statistical purposes, the city is included in the greater Boston metropolitan area.

10 Most Dangerous Cities in Rhode Island

Rhode Island is recognized to be one of the safest states in the country; however, there is no place that is not entirely without crime.

These are some of the less safe towns and cities in Rhode Island –

Woonsocket (Providence County)
Woonsocket (Providence County), Rhode Island

1. Woonsocket (Providence County)

  • Population – 43,118 (2021).
  • Violent Crime Rate – 5.36 per 1,000 residents.
  • Property Crime Rate – 17.46 per 1,000 residents.

Woonsocket is the northernmost city in Rhode Island, located along its border with Massachusetts.

Woonsocket is the home of CVS Health’s corporate headquarters but has some of the state’s highest violent crime statistics– more than twice the state average.

The crime per square mile in Rhode Island exceeds the national average; however, Woonsocket’s crime per square mile is more than four times the state average.

Pawtucket (Providence County)
Pawtucket (Providence County), Rhode Island

2. Pawtucket (Providence County)

  • Population – 75,387 (2021).
  • Violent Crime Rate – 4.30 per 1,000 residents.
  • Property Crime Rate – 17.42 per 1,000 residents.

Pawtucket, which means River Fall in Algonquian, is a moderately sized city located in the state’s northeastern corner.

The city’s violent crime rate is more than twice Rhode Island’s average, and property crime stats are 50% higher in Pawtucket than anywhere else in the state.

The crime per square mile in Pawtucket is 185/sq. mile, whereas the state average, is only 32.

Providence (Providence County)
Providence (Providence County), Rhode Island

3. Providence (Providence County)

  • Population – 189,692 (2021).
  • Violent Crime Rate – 3.93 per 1,000 residents.
  • Property Crime Rate – 25.17 per 1,000 residents.

Providence, which was founded in the 1630s, is Rhode Island’s capital city and the most populous place in the state.

Providence is home to Brown University and other higher learning institutions.

However, both property and violent crime exceed national and state averages.

The crime per square mile statistic for Providence (294) is nearly ten times the average for Rhode Island.

Central Falls (Providence County)
Central Falls (Providence County), Rhode Island

4. Central Falls (Providence County)

  • Population – 22,464 (2021).
  • Violent Crime Rate – 2.98 per 1,000 residents.
  • Property Crime Rate – 10.95 per 1,000 residents.

Central Falls is a city in northern Rhode Island.

Of all Rhode Island cities, Central Falls is the smallest, with a total area of 1.27 square miles.

Central Falls’s name comes from the Blackstone River’s waterfall.

While violent crime is only a bit above the state average, the crime per square mile is eight times the state average for Rhode Island.

Newport (Newport County)
Newport (Newport County), Rhode Island

5. Newport (Newport County)

  • Population – 25,156 (2021).
  • Violent Crime Rate – 2.11 per 1,000 residents.
  • Property Crime Rate – 16.62 per 1,000 residents.

Newport is a seaside community that sits along Narragansett Bay.

Newport is about 30 miles south and east of the state capital.

It is known as the New England summer town resort for the rich and famous.

Violent crime in Newport happens at a rate slightly higher than the state average, although property crime is about 40$ higher than in other Rhode Island locations.

West Warwick (Kent County)
West Warwick (Kent County), Rhode Island

6. West Warwick (Kent County)

  • Population – 31,188 (2021).
  • Violent Crime Rate –1.86 per 1,000 residents.
  • Property Crime Rate – 6.70 per 1,000 residents.

West Warwick is the youngest town in Rhode Island, having been founded in 1913 along the Pawtucket River, powering some of the nation’s earliest textile mills.

While violent crime is not a genuine problem in West Warwick, property crime rates are problematic.

The more dangerous sections of West Warwick are where the city borders East Natick and Wescott.

Warren (Bristol County)
Warren (Bristol County), Rhode Island

7. Warren (Bristol County)

  • Population – 11,245 (2021).
  • Violent Crime Rate – 1.69 per 1,000 residents.
  • Property Crime Rate – 8.54 per 1,000 residents.

Warren is a small town located on the Pokanoket peninsula in eastern Rhode Island.

The town’s historic waterfront district is among the sights to see.

Violent crimes in Warren occur at a rate similar to the state average.

The most prevalent crimes in Warren include burglaries, thefts, and assaults.

Fortunately, crime rates in the Warren area have been improving over the past few years.

Cranston (Providence County)
Cranston (Providence County), Rhode Island

8. Cranston (Providence County)

  • Population – 82,566 (2021).
  • Violent Crime Rate – 1.34 per 1,000 residents.
  • Property Crime Rate – 11.85 per 1,000 residents.

Cranston is the state’s second-largest city and was once called Pawtuxet.

Cranston is home to Narragansett Park, which holds the distinction of being the first auto race track in the nation.

The city is also home to one of the largest outdoor swimming pools in the United States.

Cranston’s violent crime rates are below the state average, although property crime is just as prevalent in Cranston as it is anywhere else in the state.

Johnston (Providence County)
Johnston (Providence County), Rhode Island

9. Johnston (Providence County)

  • Population – 29,534 (2021).
  • Violent Crime Rate – .88 per 1,000 residents.
  • Property Crime Rate – 12.66 per 1,000 residents.

Johnston was first founded as a farming community in the seventeenth century.

Like many locations in Rhode Island, the rate of violence and property crimes is below national averages.

However, the closer one gets to Providence – by heading east, the crime rates slowly increase.

North Smithfield (Providence County)
North Smithfield (Providence County), Rhode Island

10. North Smithfield (Providence County)

  • Population – 12,578 (2021).
  • Violent Crime Rate – .32 per 1,000 residents.
  • Property Crime Rate – 9.14 per 1,000 residents.

North Smithfield is a town in northern Rhode Island that was originally settled as a farming community in the 1660s.

While the town’s rate of violence is better than the state average, those in North Smith field still have a 1 in 109 chance of becoming property crime victims.

5 Safety Tips for Traveling to Rhode Island

Whether you are heading to Rhode Island for the first time or are an experienced Rhode Island vacationer, taking precautions to avoid significant but avoidable mishaps always makes sense.

1. Write down emergency contact information, so your vacation is less stressful.

Before you head out on a trip to a Rhode Island destination, jot down the important contact information you would need in the event you face a serious emergency.

When in a panic, your mind loses its ability to think logically and quickly enough.

2. Consider buying appropriate travel insurance for peace of mind.

Traveling can be expensive, so if you can eliminate the need to worry about a travel cancellation or unexpected event, travel insurance is a great option to solve this dilemma.

Most people learn about travel insurance after they experience a loss without having it in place.

Make sure that the insurance coverage includes medical emergencies that may happen when far from home.

3. Send your itinerary to a few friends or family members so someone has an idea of where you will be on a given day.

With a simple click of the mouse, you can let several friends or family know where you are going and how to get in touch with you if they need to.

4. Don’t skimp on your research; know your intended destination when traveling in Rhode Island.

Fortunately, many public and government websites are devoted to updating travelers about various issues, including potential scams, traffic, and other dangers.

This includes staying up to date on current weather conditions when traveling throughout Rhode Island.

Fortunately, the modern digital world makes keeping abreast of this information not only possible but easily accessible.

5. Stick to the posted speed limit; there is no bigger downer on vacation than getting a speeding ticket.

Speeding is against the law and poses a danger to both you and other drivers/passengers.

Follow posted signs and limits to avoid an unnecessary ticket, which may raise your insurance premiums significantly.

Rhode Island Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Rhode Island Safety Review

Safety Index:
Rhode Island

Frequently Asked Questions

Which town in Rhode Island is the oldest?

Wickford Village, which is generally believed to have been founded in 1637, is the state’s oldest town and the country’s oldest colonial village.

Wickford is within the town of North Kingstown and only twenty minutes to Newport – via two bridges.

Every summer, Wickford hosts its Annual Arts Festival, ranked among the leading events along the eastern coast, featuring many prominent, renowned artists from around the world.

What is the most advantageous time of year to visit Rhode Island?

Although some may argue fall is the most amazing time to visit Rhode Island.

The temperatures are comfortable, and the skies are generally sunny.

Sightseeing is comfortable, and if you time the trip correctly, you can catch the famous New England fall foliage.

How many days should you plan when considering a trip to Rhode Island?

Because Rhode Island is so compact – you can visit each of the state’s five counties in one day, the time you take is personal and depends on how you plan to spend your vacation in the Ocean State.

2 Comments on 10 Most Dangerous Cities in Rhode Island

  1. Rhode Island may be small, but it still has its share of crime and safety concerns.

  2. m
    malakai says:

    As a local, I can attest to the fact that Rhode Island is generally a safe state with low crime rates. However, it’s always important to be aware of potential dangers and take precautions while traveling in any location.

Leave a Comment

Facebook Pinterest Comment Comment