Massachusetts : Safety by City
- Cape Cod
- Fall River
- Martha’s Vineyard
- New Bedford
Brockton, Massachusetts, is a Boston suburb near the South Shore communities and is known as the City of Champions for its rich boxing history.
The location is ideal for those that want to explore the region, being just 45 minutes to downtown Boston and South Shore while just an hour to the gateway to Cape Cod.
Brockton is a multicultural community, with Caucasians making up less than 30% of the population.
It sits along the Fall River Expressway, which is where you’ll find the hotels in the city.
The city is split into two villages – Montello and Campello.
What it lacks in tourist attractions, it gains in cuisine, with a robust restaurant scene encouraging people to “Live Locally, Eat Globally.”
The city’s foundation is built on innovation, from the development of stitching tactics that impact the shoes we wear today to the first place where the first electric streetlights were installed citywide.
It’s easy to miss Brockton if you aren’t looking for it, so let’s dive into the details of this city that brought up some of the greatest boxers ever.
Warnings & Dangers in Brockton
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There's a mixed bag of crime rates in Brockton, and the risk is more what you are used to and where you are in the city as opposed to the city as a whole. Treat it with a medium risk to err on the side of caution.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Brockton has its own public bus system and two stations to hop on the MTBA train to Boston. Taxis and rideshares are available and rental cars are easy to find. During summer, the CapeFLYER train stops in Brockton on the way to and from Buzzards Bay near Cape Cod. Having your own vehicle is preferable here, as the local bus system stops in some less-than-desirable neighborhoods.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
33 pickpockets don't sound like much, but it's much higher than other suburban Boston cities. You'll need extra caution when visiting downtown or at a local festival, but it's not a risk basic safety steps can't overcome.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
A well-placed tropical storm or hurricane can cause damage in Brockton from June through November, and Nor'easters can impact the whole region from October through May. Winter weather, from blizzards to ice storms, happens each year, and severe thunderstorms are possible during warmer months. Treat it with a medium risk if a storm is approaching and review the emergency plans for each type of weather.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
The robbery rate is slightly higher than the national average, but only 22% of those are highway robberies. Over the past five years, robberies have been cut in half. Certain areas are medium risk, while other parts of the city are low-risk. We'll talk through the different neighborhoods a little later on.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
There's no reason for Brockton itself to be a terror target, but the greater Boston area will always be a potentially hard target with plenty of Homeland Security protection. Lone wolf acts are the biggest concern into 2023, and you can review terror alert bulletins on the Homeland Security website.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
Tourists have a low risk of being scammed. The fraud reports here are widely associated with the major national scams, which can be found on the Better Business Bureau website.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
There are some parts of the city you might have a range of uncomfortable to unsafe walking through, depending on where you are from and the urban or rural nature. It's important to be confident and calm, especially downtown, where you might get panhandled or approached by drug dealers.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
Each American city is required to publish a Consumer Confidence Water Quality Report annually. These are generally available by June for the previous year. The latest report we have from Brockton is for 2021. Two violations were reported, and the document wasn't fully uploaded to the website, leaving more questions than answers. Call to check the water quality before you arrive if you'd like. That number is (508)895-8758.
Safest Places to Visit in Brockton
Since Brockton isn’t a tourist destination, there isn’t an official tourism guide for the city.
The city’s government website does have a whole section for visitors, complete with a Brockton Restaurant Guide.
This website does cover the most popular places to visit, so you won’t be left wondering what else there is to see.
The Brockton Historical Society offers some of the safest and most educational places to visit, rooted in the innovative history and celebration that made it the City of Champions.
The actual Brockton Historical Society website looks like something made in 1998, but it does have a safe link to view and basic information.
Places to see here include:
- Edison Exhibit: Brockton has an important history in the advent of electric-powered cities, and Thomas Edison himself use the city as a place to test central power systems.
- Fire Museum: The Victorian-era museum holds thousands of artifacts about firefighting history in the region. 13 firefighters were killed in the Strand Theater fire in 1941, and a memorial stands in their honor.
- The Homestead: This museum provides a walkthrough of life dating back to 1767 when the original Homestead was built here.
- Shoe Museum: Long before Christian Louboutin became synonymous with elite footwear, Brockton was innovating the shoe industry. This museum takes you through “The Rise and Fall of the American Shoe Industry.”
- Fuller Craft Museum: If there’s a must-see location in Brockton, this is it. The museum is funded by a trust, with the requirement that it benefits all community members by celebrating arts and culture. It’s now an official Contemporary Craft museum with unique glass, ceramics, metal, and wood artwork.
Rocky Marciano is a local boxing legend, having held the Heavyweight Champion title from 1952 through 1956.
A bronze statue stands in his honor outside the Rocky Marciano stadium.
Brockton also has its own symphony orchestra and cultural center.
Don’t let the symphony’s location at the middle school or high school fool you – even the Boston Globe regularly touts the fabulousness of these performances.
To get a look at the coastal cities nearby, you can choose the more outdoor-activity-based Duxbury or the tourist hot spot of Plymouth.
Fall River, home of Lizzie Borden, is another city to visit just 40 minutes away.
It’s a bit macabre but interesting nonetheless.
Places to Avoid in Brockton
You’ll notice that most of the attractions I listed aren’t in the downtown area.
While I’d recommend you avoid the downtown area anyway, none of the aforementioned places are there.
The closer you are to downtown, the higher your risk of seeing poverty, crime, or blight.
Brockton is a city where the lines between sketchy and safe are very visible.
Staying west of the expressway and the outer boundaries of the city limits will offer the safest neighborhoods.
Visting Brockton falls into the category of “If you don’t have any business being in a certain place, don’t go there.”
You won’t be able to drive around and run across something fun to do.
This is a working-class to a middle-class community that’s more residential, as the lack of affordable housing has pushed people to Boston’s outer limits.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Brockton
- Brockton Police Department (BPD) has its own app available for download in the app stores. You’ll get direct contact information, news release updates, and an option to submit crime tips.
- You can check the weekly crime report under the Police Log section tab of the website. The information includes the call, the time of the call, the reason for the call, and the action taken.
- Follow BPD on Twitter and Facebook @BrocktonPolice to get updated information about crimes, alerts, safety tips, and community events. The city’s Facebook page is @CityBrockton. This is a resource to find information about additional community events and important issues like water main breaks or water quality issues.
- Brockton has a speeding problem, and new signs were installed in 2022 that will make you acutely aware of how fast you are going. Speeding is the #1 complaint to the police department, and many social forums speak of this region’s incredibly poor driving skills. Stick to the speed limit, be polite, and don’t get involved in road rage.
- I’ve seen many reports of people at convenience stores being approached by drug dealers here offering their product or asking, “What do you need?” Stick to the gas stations and convenience stores on the outer periphery of the city, and don’t engage with anyone asking for money or offering drugs.
- Brockton has its own Neighborhood and Business Watch officer, who might be a good contact if you have specific safety questions before your visit. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (508)897-5282.
- The City of Brockton offers an app/web module called See. Click. Fix. This is where you’d report issues like potholes, dead animals in the street, or storm damage. You can also see reports from other people to know what areas are having issues.
- Use the Passport Parking app to find and pay for parking in Brockton. While meters are still an option, it’s much safer to use the app from the privacy of your car than to pull out a credit card or cash on a public street. You’ll also get an alert when your parking limit is about to expire.
- During winter weather, a snow emergency might be declared. While it sounds foreboding, it’s really just an order that impacts where you can park. No street parking is allowed during this time, so snow plows and salt trucks can get through. Even if you don’t get towed, you could get a ticket or be sideswiped by a snow plow at your own expense. Use a parking garage during snow emergencies.
- If you’ll be using MTBA trains and buses to get around Greater Boston, it’s most feasible and cost-effective to get a Charlie Card. MTBA.com has a list of Charlie Card options and transportation options covered.
So... How Safe Is Brockton Really?
Brockton’s violent crime rate is 60% lower than it was a decade ago, but there’s still work to be done.
The dominant community safety issues are illegal guns, gangs, and drugs.
During the pandemic, American cities as a whole saw increased violent crime, gun crimes, and drug use.
Brockton managed to keep crime trending down during that time, but it also had a lot of room for improvement.
City leaders and law enforcement credit the improvement in crime reduction with targeting the kingpins of each crime area and hoping to dismantle the operation.
“The right people are in jail.
You focus your resources on the small majority of people doing the majority of the crime.
When you focus on them, and you remove them from the equation, you will see the numbers go down,” Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz said in April 2022 about the steady drop in crime rates.
Brockton’s drug problem is still large enough to warrant it being included in a $350 million federal project called HEALing Communities.
The mission is ambitious, with a three-year goal to cut opioid deaths by 40%.
As a visitor, it’s just important to know that guns, drugs, and gangs potentially lead to younger and more aggressive criminals on the streets.
Mental health issues and drug use or withdrawal can make people act abnormally or more threatening than they would otherwise.
That’s why it’s important to avoid the areas you don’t need to be in and to limit interactions with people in the more sketchy neighborhoods.
While just 22% of thefts involved car burglaries, that number is likely higher downtown.
Lock your car doors and leave the vehicle as empty as if it just came off the factory line.
Even a GPS stand can encourage thieves to look for a GPS unit.
If you are casually researching different cities, you might want to look at Braintree or Dedham instead for more things to do, more hotel options, and a safer environment overall.
How Does Brockton Compare?
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- Visas - The U.S. State Department oversees the visa process, and all international travelers must have a visa or a waiver if their home country is on the waiver program list. The post-pandemic travel surge and staffing issues created a backlog for tourist visas. The department promised to improve the process in 2023 and beyond, but don't delay in researching the visa steps because it can take months.
- Currency - You can only use the U.S. Dollar here, and currency exchange should be done in your home country to get the best value and lowest fees. If you choose to wait until you get to Brockton, don't use a public ATM, especially at night. Go to a bank and let a teller help you during business hours.
- Weather - Brockton gets all four seasons, sometimes to the extreme. Fall and spring can also have roller coaster weather days, with snow falling one day and spring-like temperatures the next. Pack layers of clothing, so you can peel them off or add them on as needed. Winter will likely require snow boots, a thick coat, and cold-weather accessories.
- Airports - Boston Logan International Airport is 30 miles away, but it's all highway driving. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to get there, depending on traffic. For those who use MTBA to get to the airport, plan for at least 90 minutes on the train.
- Travel Insurance - Travel insurance is a smart investment that goes into effect as soon as you purchase it. Review the policy to see how hurricane or winter weather cancelation or delays are covered. Since the drivers here are aggressive, you might also want to consider supplemental rental car insurance.
Brockton Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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