Missouri : Safety by City
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- Ste. Genevieve
Chesterfield is an expansive suburb of St. Louis, Missouri.
It’s in a region known as West County, and the northern edge lines the Missouri River.
The city offers a wide range of amenities, including great schools, parks, shopping centers, and restaurants.
Many industries were threatened by the Great Flood of 1993.
As a St. Louis native, I can assure you the visit to the vast shopping districts in Chesterfield Valley will be that much more impressive if you see the video when this entire area was under eight feet of water.
Two of the best (ok, my favorite) parts in the St. Louis area are in or near Chesterfield, with wonderful attractions such as the Butterfly House and the Faust Park Historic Village.
Chesterfield is also home to several large shopping centers, including the Chesterfield Mall and the Taubman Prestige Outlets.
This community is wealthy, with an average income of $124,000 and a low poverty rate.
It’s the kind of place where a crime spree will face the brunt force of families defending their quality of life.
It’s also close to the many things to do in St. Charles County, which is just across the river.
Warnings & Dangers in Chesterfield
OVERALL RISK: LOW
There's a low risk in this conservative, family-friendly town, but there's also not a lot of excitement. That might be just what you're looking for, but it's also not a ghost town at night. Chesterfield offers a nice, safe balance of fun.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
Look at the Metro Transit website of St. Louis to see what routes are serving Chesterfield at the time of your visit. You'll easily be able to get a taxi or rideshare. Rental cars offer the most flexibility for your travel.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
Without a lot of crowded spaces, there's little room for a pickpocket or purse snatching problem. Fewer than four a year have happened over the past five years. There's also a likely extra effort by citizens to protect their stuff, even when sitting down to eat at a restaurant.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
The St. Louis County Emergency Management website has an easy-to-read section called Local Hazards. There you'll see all the risks, from tornadoes to earthquakes to flooding to extreme heat. You have to treat anywhere in the Midwest as a medium risk, but the risk gets lower the more prepared you become.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
This is a low risk, with five robberies in 2022, and just one was against a person. The city also hasn't had a year with more than 13 robberies since 2000.
TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM
St. Louis, in general, should be considered a medium risk, but you should also know that comes with a lot of security and law enforcement. Major icons like the Arch will always be under extra security. There is no reason Chesterfield should be considered a hard target.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
Chesterfield has seen a surge in scams and fraud attempts since 2020, to the extent that the police department posted a series of videos called "Don't Be a Victim of Scam." You can watch those on the department's website. The city also dealt with a rash of mail theft at the Swingley Ridge Road location.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Chesterfield is a city where women will feel safe and have a lot of great things to do, especially if traveling with children. That sense of safety doesn't mean you can let your guard down.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
St. Louis County provides the water here, and the 2021 Water Quality Report shows full compliance and no violations.
Safest Places to Visit in Chesterfield
Explore St. Louis is the official tourism website for the region, and you can find information about Chesterfield attractions on the city’s website.
There isn’t a Chesterfield tourism site.
Faust Park is a historic park located in the heart of Chesterfield.
The park is home to the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Butterfly House, which features a variety of butterfly species and interactive exhibits.
Faust Park also includes a historic village, which showcases life in the 19th century with restored buildings, a carousel, and a playground.
I would also recommend nearby Queeny Park, with great playgrounds, hiking trails, an ice rink, a pool, and picnic areas.
The Katy Trail State Park covers more than 240 miles of Missouri landscape, and it goes along the Missouri River near Chesterfield.
One idea is to ride bikes to St. Charles to see that historic district.
You can also get away from the crowds by adventuring through River’s Edge Park, covering almost 200 acres and offers boating, fishing, kayaking, and hiking.
If that’s not far enough away, head west to Babler State Park through the iconic stone gates.
The Taubman Prestige Outlets is a shopping center located in Chesterfield.
It features a variety of high-end and designer stores, such as Coach, Michael Kors, and Polo Ralph Lauren.
On your way to the outlet mall, you’ll pass large strip malls with popular brands and plenty of restaurant options.
There’s more to come in Chesterfield, as the current Chesterfield Mall location is being turned into the Downtown Chesterfield entertainment district.
The $350 million funding was approved in late 2022.
Places to Avoid in Chesterfield
There aren’t dangerous neighborhoods or bad parts of town here.
Even the nearby cities are very safe to explore.
The only caution is to avoid going into a gated community if you don’t know a resident, even if the gate is open.
With a lot of families, there will be children playing in yards or crossing the street, so pay attention to your surroundings and stick to the speed limit.
The families here are also very engaged in the community and will speak up if you litter, drive fast, or violate an ordinance.
Chesterfield is a conservative area, as noted in December 2022 when a Drag Queen Christmas was coming to town as part of a national tour.
Some religious leaders in the community were involved with handing out flyers asking people to “say no to the homosexual plan to normalize the transsexual and homosexual agenda.”
A legal battle ensued, and the show was eventually limited to those 18 and older at the risk it being shut down by local police.
“It’s really disappointing that the mayor feels that drag is not family-friendly,” Shira Berkowitz with the LGBTQ activist group PROMO Missouri said.
“Don’t go if it bothers you, and find another way to celebrate Christmas.”
The above explanation is nothing more than an example of the values in this community, and you might agree with the decision or be outraged.
We just provide the information so you can make the best choice for your travels.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Chesterfield
- Chesterfield Police encourage you to follow them on Twitter to get the latest information about events, safety, and criminal activity. Find them @chesterfieldpd.
- The police department does offer an interactive crime mapping program, but as of this publication, it is under construction for updates. Check the website under Crime Reports to see if it works for you. When it’s working, it allows you to search the most up-to-date crimes in your own radius, time frame, and type of crime concern.
- Since this is a family community, the police department also offers a Crime Prevention section for parents, as well as information for individuals. You can find that under the “Crime Prevention” tab on the website.
- Chesterfield has a lot of deer, and residents have made a lot of complaints. As a visitor, you should just be aware that there’s a risk of a deer running across a road or being in a park or public space. Usually, the deer will go out of their way to avoid you. Do not feed, lure, or pet a deer.
- If you’re a senior citizen visiting Chesterfield, there is a wealth of assistance and information waiting for you. The city’s website has a tab called “Information for Older Adults.”
- When it snows, there are three government entities that work to clear the roads. None of them can work on the other’s legally-designated road, which is why one major street might not be plowed, but some surface streets are. Since you’re just visiting for a short time, how about you just plan to not drive in the snow until the roads are all cleared? Given the extensive “When it Snows” section of the police department’s website, it appears they have a lot of explaining to do to concerned residents.
- The humidity in this region makes it necessary to spray for mosquitos, and that is done from late spring until the first hard freeze of the winter. If you have questions about spraying in the neighborhood where you are staying, call the health department at 314-615-4284 (615-4BUG).
- Missouri has a “Steer It, Clear It” law that requires people involved in a car accident to move off the street if they can safely do so and aren’t seriously injured. Your insurance will still cover the accident if you move the vehicle. This law is to keep minor accidents from blocking roadways, and Chesterfield already has a lot of traffic. Need more information? Read the brochure on the MoDOT website.
- You might hear about the Great Flood of 1993, and I lived through it in St. Louis. Photos and videos from that time will no doubt make you concerned about flooding in the Chesterfield Valley. At the time, the failed levee flooded a major interstate, hundreds of businesses, and too many homes. Since then, a 100-year and backup 500-year levee have been installed to prevent such a disaster again. Will it still sometimes flood here? Yes. It just shouldn’t even be at that catastrophic level it was in the 90s.
- Sign up for email alerts through the city’s website to get updates on the community crime watch, park events, and any other category in the list that fits your needs. You can unsubscribe easily after your visit.
So... How Safe Is Chesterfield Really?
Chesterfield’s violent crime rate is more than 5.5 times lower than the national average for two years in a row now, according to 2022 crime data.
The city has only had two homicides since 2010, and those were domestic situations.
Theft was down in 2022, but shoplifting still accounts for 41% of those thefts, with car break-ins coming in at 27%.
Chesterfield has managed to dodge the increase in car thefts around West County, but even going to nearby Maryland Heights sends that risk soaring.
The city council is also working to stop crime trends before they start, with an alternative court that assists criminals dealing with addiction or mental health issues to get support instead of sitting in jail.
Under strict parameters, the treatment offers a chance to be held accountable while also getting much-needed help.
The goal is to stop the cycle of crime and lower recidivism rates.
“We don’t often get solution-oriented items on here that can have the effect like this on crime in the city of Chesterfield,” Public Health and Safety Committee Aaron Wahl said.
Overall, Chesterfield is the largest city in West County, but still a tight-knit affluent community with space places and plenty of options.
It might feel a little too suburban for those wanting a more authentic St. Louis experience, but it is a safe community.
How Does Chesterfield Compare?
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A passport and visa or visa waiver will be required for any international travelers to get through Customs at the airport. You'll be asked a series of questions when you arrive, and just answer directly and without additional conversation. Don't make jokes or try to sneak items in. For a list of items banned from coming into the U.S., review the Border Patrol website.
Only the U.S. Dollar can be used here, and most banks will only exchange currency for customers but will offer to buy back currency from anyone (for a fee).
You should plan for all four seasons here, with the understanding that spring and fall can have dramatic differences in temperatures within a day or two. Bring a coat in winter with accessories, but there's a chance you might not need them if you get lucky. Summers will be hot and humid. You'll need bug spray and sunscreen.
Chesterfield is 20 miles from St. Louis Lambert International Airport, and that trip can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic.
Travel insurance is recommended to protect against any accidents, emergencies, or major storms, plus offering you peace of mind during your trip.
Chesterfield Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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Missouri - Safety by City