Is Binghamton Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On August 24, 2023
Binghamton, United States
Safety Index:
61
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Binghamton is a city in upstate New York, situated at the confluence of the Chenango and Susquehanna Rivers.

With roots as an industrial town in the 19th century, Binghamton is now best known as the home of Binghamton University, a public research university founded in 1946.

The city has a rich history – the settlement of Chenango Point was established in 1786 and later incorporated as the village of Binghamton in 1834.

As industries grew along the Chenango Canal, Binghamton became a manufacturing hub, with factories producing clocks, cigars, and shoes.

Though manufacturing has declined, Binghamton retains an eclectic mix of architectural styles from its industrial heyday.

The carousel in Recreation Park and the restored train station reflect this heritage.

It’s known as the Carousel Capital of the World for its collection throughout the city.

Binghamton has a big connection to pop culture.

The Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling was a Binghamton native, and many episodes were influenced by his small-town upbringing.

Binghamton is a city and a separate town.

Those new to New York should know that many locations have the same name but different leadership.

In this case, Binghamton (the city) is the main section of the region where all the tourist attractions are located.

The town of Binghamton is south of the city and fits in like a puzzle piece.

This is more residential and rural.

Warnings & Dangers in Binghamton

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: MEDIUM

There's a medium risk here due to high crime rates, but not enough of a risk that you should reconsider the trip. We'll take about the places to avoid and best safety practices because there are so many great places to visit here.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW

Broome County Transit (BC Transit) provides public transportation across the county with many stops in Binghampton. Taxis and rideshares are easy to find. Rental cars offer more flexibility but consider the safety risks we'll talk about before deciding which options you want. They can all come with a low risk if you use the right precautions.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: MEDIUM

The theft rate here is really high, twice the national average, but no specifics are given by police about what gets stolen. I would be more aware that people are capable of theft around you than worrying about those numbers anyway. Treat it as a medium risk to limit what you bring and keep personal items out of your car. It's more likely your car would be broken into.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM

Binghamton can get a lot of snow in winter, up to 100", so prepare for that. Check weather conditions to see if roads or closed or winds accompanying a storm could cause power outages. Be extra careful when there's an ice storm. That could close down the city. Spring brings risks of severe thunderstorms and occasional tornados. Tropical storms that move inland in late summer and fall can also cause problems. There's a medium risk since dangerous weather can happen any time of year, but you can lower it by being informed and aware.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: MEDIUM

Two of the three crime hot spots have the highest robbery rates, and only one of them is where tourists would likely be. The robbery rate is about 20% higher than the national average, and half of those are highway robberies (meaning they happen in public streets, sidewalks, parking lots, etc.) Treat it as a medium risk.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: LOW

While the risk is low, you always want to stay aware of potentially suspicious situations. Domestic terrorism and mass shootings can happen anywhere, so the more people paying attention, the lower the risk can be.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: LOW

Scams here are mostly residential. You can check the police department's website and social m media pages for trending scams closer to your visit. Just be sure to avoid giving personal information to anyone, even if they are threatening arrest - that's a common law enforcement scam.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: MEDIUM

Women have the same medium risk as anyone else. Try to travel with someone else or in a group. If you're traveling alone, take group tours when you can and spend as much time touring as you can during daylight hours.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

The 2022 Water Quality Report shows full compliance and no violations. More importantly, issues like flooding or frozen pipes can cause water issues during a visit. The risk is low, but stay aware through the city website and local news stations.

Safest Places to Visit in Binghamton

Visit Binghamton is the name of the official tourism website for the town and village.

I know I make this mistake a lot when typing, but be sure you’re looking at “Binghamton” and not “Binghampton.”

I love when tourism bureaus do this with travel guides – the brochures section of the page breaks down different interest groups.

You can get the full guide or choose golf packages, carousel guides, a Twilight Zone tour, an outdoor guide, etc.

Despite all the not-so-good crime stuff we have to talk about, there’s really a lot to see here.

The Susquehanna River and Chenango River meet near downtown, with Confluence Park offering great views of both right where the rivers meet.

Downtown is just north of the park.

You’ll find a selection of shops, restaurants, and theaters to explore.

Be sure to try the Binghamton classic sandwich called the Spiedie (pronounced “Speedy”).

Meat is cooked on a skewer and then slid into a long roll.

The sandwich is so popular there’s a Spiedie Festival each year.

This is also the Carousel Capital of the World, with a map offering a self-guided tour of each unique carousel.

All the rides are free, and each one has its own story.

One of those carousels is in another popular attraction – Ross Park.

It’s the fifth-oldest zoo in the United States, opening in 1875.

The zoo is open seasonally from April through December, featuring birds of prey, big cats, and panda bears.

Though, if I’m allowed to choose favorites, the African penguin steals the show.

TRAVEL TIP:

Remember in 2017 when the world was mesmerized by a pregnant giraffe?

That was at the Animal Adventure Park, just 20 minutes from Binghamton.

Rod Serling, the creator of The Twilight Zone, is from Binghamton, and several places around town celebrate his legacy and even inspired some of the most popular episodes.

If you’re familiar with “Walking Distance,” don’t miss Recreation Park.

The Bundy Museum also has an “In the Zone” archive of Sterling’s work while providing access to a diverse art collection and exhibition programming in the Binghamton region.

It’s a valuable cultural institution and attraction on the campus of Binghamton University.

Several tours, some self-guided and others led by guides, include:

  • Binghamton Mosaic Tours
  • Historic Walking Tours
  • Woman’s Suffrage Trail (throughout two counties)
  • Sculpture Trail
  • Haunted History Trail

More fun awaits at Robot City Games and Arcade featuring more than 100 games and pinball machines, including vintage arcade cabinets and pinball machines from 1974 to the present.

Places to Avoid in Binghamton

One of the highest crime locations for property crimes, like thefts and car break-ins, is downtown.

It’s not too dangerous to visit, but it’s more crime-ridden than you’d expect a small New York town to be.

Most car thefts happen downtown too.

The First Ward, west of the Chenango River, is another crime hot spot.

The biggest crimes here are burglaries and aggravated assaults.

The Southside, south of the Susquehanna River, is another hot pocket of crime along and west of Pennsylvania Avenue.

It’s known for robberies and aggravated assaults.

Even within some of those communities, you’ll have one street or block that is safe and another that is more prone to crime.

This is why staying on a main road or interstate is a better way to get around.

I would definitely use those crime maps for decisions on where to get gas, grocery shop, or grab food.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Binghamton

  1. Binghamton has its own police department. The department keeps safety updates on its Facebook page @BinghamtonPD. You can also call (607) 723-5321 with specific safety questions.
  2. The police department uses crime mapping uniquely. Instead of being able to search for crimes, you can look at crime maps with color-coded hot spots to see where crimes are happening. Reports are issued annually or every six months. They show yellow as the highest number of crimes, with red being the next level. The maps are broken down into things like robberies and aggravated assaults. This is a great tool when you’re planning where to stay.
  3. Sign up for NY Alerts to get updated severe weather and safety information. You can choose which county or city you need information from and then choose if you want phone calls, texts, or emails when alerts are issued.
  4. Check the alternate side parking rules, as the numbers on the street determine where you can park from December 1 through March 15. For example, on the 4th day of a month, you can only park on the even side of the street.
  5. Use the Submit a Tip form on the department’s website to report any suspicious activity, even if you aren’t sure what happened. This could be things like vandalism, a broken window in front of a business, or a suspected drug deal happening.
  6. You can also report problems like potholes and malfunctioning traffic lights through the city’s website. Click on the link for the Binghamton City App to access the reporting form.
  7. Anglers need a fishing license from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. You can purchase that online, and be sure to use the link provided from the DEC site. Scams have been reported using fraudulent links.
  8. NY 511 provides live traffic information throughout the state 24/7. You can set preferred routes and get traffic, construction, or weather alerts for that route.
  9. If there’s heavy rainfall while you’re visiting, watch for flooding on the roads. Don’t try to drive through flooded streets. As the connecting point of two rivers, Binghamton is prone to flooding in low-lying areas.
  10. The city upgraded pedestrian crossings in 2022, but it’s still imperative for pedestrians and drivers to stay alert near these crossings. Pedestrians need to make sure cars see them before crossing. Cars need to give pedestrians the right of way.

So... How Safe Is Binghamton Really?

Statistically, the city looks very unsafe.

Crime mapping hot spots make the downtown look very unsafe.

The theft rate is so high you want to check your wallet now.

The police department doesn’t offer how many of these crimes happen among people who know each other or are random acts of violence.

Binghamton is also a working-class city with a poverty rate of 32%.

The average annual income isn’t much higher than the poverty rate for a family of four.

Communities that have been subject to economic downturns, disenfranchised communities, and high poverty rates struggle to dig out of that cycle.

All that said, several locations in town where crime is the highest are places where visitors wouldn’t be going anyway.

All but a handful of hotels in the area are in safer parts of the region.

Theft rates are high downtown, but consistent safety practices like locking your car doors and leaving valuables inside your locked hotel room will minimize that risk.

Theft has also gone down 40% in the past decade.

Violent crime is up 20% over the past decade.

Car thefts nearly doubled since 2019, with an average of two a week.

That’s a common trend in New York.

Depending on where you are from, you might feel that Binghamton is just like any other city crime that won’t impact you unless you go looking for trouble or feel it’s a little too statistically risky to visit.

It’s definitely not a community too safe to visit if you know the risks and rewards, plus use common sense and basic safety practices.

It’s a somewhat small town facing big-city problems, but it’s moving in the right direction in many ways.

How Does Binghamton Compare?

CitySafety Index
Binghamton61
St. Louis58
Los Angeles56
Oakland57
New Orleans57
Baltimore56
Boston67
Sofia (Bulgaria)73
Siem Reap (Cambodia)63
Phnom Penh (Cambodia)61
Niagara Falls (Canada)87
Calgary (Canada)82
Buenos Aires (Argentina)60

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

Visas come with designated travel purposes, such as a student visa, tourist visa, or work visa. Each one has a different process. The U.S. State Department website offers a Visa Wizard tool to help you find the right one. Be sure you have a valid passport too.

Currency

Currency

Credit cards are widely accepted here, but whether you use cash or credit, only the U.S. Dollar currency will be accepted. Most international airports have currency exchange options. Any branch of a bank where you have an account will also charge lower exchange fees.

Weather

Weather

Winters can be snowy, with anywhere from six to eight feet falling in a season and not a lot of warm weather to melt it away. Bring snow boots and winter accessories from November through March. For warmer months, you'll need bug spray, sunscreen, and comfortable walking shoes.

Airports

Airports

Binghamton Greater Airport does offer limited commercial flights to Newark and Orlando. Syracuse Hancock International is an hour north if you need a larger option. To get to the New York City metro area airports, you're looking at a three-and-a-half-hour drive.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Winters are too risky to travel without some kind of protection against storm delays and cancelations. Comprehensive travel insurance takes so many worries about expensive problems that can happen.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Binghamton Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan -4° C
Feb -3° C
Mar 3° C
Apr 9° C
May 16° C
Jun 20° C
Jul 23° C
Aug 22° C
Sep 17° C
Oct 11° C
Nov 5° C
Dec -1° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
1271421252827221693
Low
°C
-8-7-24101417161261-4
High
°F
343645577077828172614837
Low
°F
181928395057636154433425

New York - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Albany77
Binghamton61
Brooklyn74
Buffalo58
Cooperstown78
Elmira64
Fair Haven75
Greenport Village78
Ithaca62
Jamestown54
Lake George78
Lake Placid82
Lewisboro88
Long Island83
Manhattan82
Mt Vernon62
New Paltz79
New Rochelle77
New York City67
Niagara Falls63
Oswego75
Poughkeepsie79
Queens73
Rochester67
Rye76
Saranac Lake77
Saratoga Springs74
Schenectady52
Seneca Falls79
Shelter Island85
Sleepy Hollow77
Syracuse71
Utica57
Watertown63
Watkins Glen81
White Plains77
Yonkers59

Where to Next?

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