Is Cranston Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On January 26, 2022
Cranston, United States
Safety Index:
* Based on Research & Crime Data
User Sentiment:
* Rated 40 / 100 based on 1 user reviews.

When you start digging into the finer points of a city as a travel writer and the public library keeps coming up as a “top destination,” you get a little worried.

However, the investigative edge of mine has found some wonderful spots to visit and dug up all the safety data you need for a trip to Cranston, Rhode Island.

This is the second-largest city in Rhode Island and is centrally located to anywhere in the state you want to go.

It’s part of the larger Providence, Rhode Island, metropolitan area.

At one time, it was rated by Money magazine as one of the best places to live.

This isn’t the typical tourist town brimming with trinkets and signs for excursions.

This is a middle- to upper-class working neighborhood conveniently nestled on the water and near major interstates.

The shining spot of this area is Pawtxet Village, and while the village address is in Warwick, this village spans across both cities.

It’s a place foodies will want to visit.

Garden City Center offers shopping, dining, and outdoor spaces for families.

This city goes quickly from a bustling city on the east side to suburban life spread out on the west side.

The city also immediately borders the Roger Williams Park Zoo.

Warnings & Dangers in Cranston

Overall Risk


For a suburb of a major metropolitan area in New England, there's a surprisingly low overall risk. Crime rates are low and most are trending down from the previous year. The city of 83,000 does have its police force.

Transport & Taxis Risk


All taxi drivers must be 21 years old and have a license to drive a cab, a laborious process that makes sure they are providing a safe environment. There's low risk because of that. Cranston is a bike-friendly community and many people opt to get around that way and leave the car parked. There are busses through the Rhode Island Transit Authority that can take you around the state as well.

Pickpockets Risk


There's a one in 118 chance of being a victim of theft, so that's a low risk. It's lower than some of the other Providence-area cities.

Natural Disasters Risk


Pick your poison in Cranston; the city gets a little bit of everything, giving it a medium risk. You get all four seasons here, so you also get the weather that comes with it. Winters are snowy. More than three feet of snow falls each year and a blizzard can shut down the region. Spring brings rain and possible severe thunderstorms. Summer brings hurricane seasons and the potential for flooding, storm surge, and wind damage. The occasional earthquake can be felt here, but it's not a big concern.

Mugging Risk


There were just 13 robberies in Cranston in 2020. That's low-risk if I've ever seen one.

Terrorism Risk


There's a medium risk for terrorism in the larger metropolitan area. The eastern seaboard is always going to be a target for terrorists since there's such a large population and major industries.

Scams Risk


There were 100 financial fraud cases reported in 2021 in Cranston. Most of the scams are against people who live there, but just to keep you on your toes, we'll call it a medium risk. Common scams involve threatening calls to buy gift cards to get someone out of legal trouble, or a scammer pretending to be with law enforcement and asking for money to pay for an offense (that never happened).

Women Travelers Risk


There's a low risk for women traveling here. It's a suburban area with strip malls and typical restaurants. This is nowhere near the apex of crime. As with any larger city, don't go walking or biking at night without being extra vigilant.

Tap Water Risk


The Rhode Island Health Department says the tap water is safe and offers this comfort, "Rhode Island tap water undergoes rigorous and frequent testing to maintain the high standards required by the Safe Drinking Water Act." That's a low risk.

Safest Places to Visit in Cranston

There aren’t a whole lot of places to visit in Cranston as a vacation destination, but the city has some neighborhood specialties.

Garden City Center is your typical outdoor mall with Rhode Island flair.

This was the first open-air mall in the country, setting the footprint for hundreds of others.

Pawtuxet Village is the quintessential New England experience.

Set right on the Pawtuxet River, this idyllic village offers a soothing shopping and dining experience where the pace of life slows down so you can take in the views.

Golfers will love Cranston Country Club, an escape on the west side of town through winding roads of beautiful homes.

Places to Avoid in Cranston

There are no real danger zones in Cranston, Rhode Island.

I tried my hardest to find something to write here.

When you look at crime maps of the area, the northern and eastern parts of the city have the highest crime rates, but in full disclosure, they also have the highest population.

If you choose to join the other Rhode Islanders who love to ride their bikes, you’ll want to use caution when crossing intersections and when riding alone.

Also, if you are walking around, be careful of cars.

186 pedestrian safety violations were reported in 2020.

Only cross at crosswalks and wait for the signal to turn in your favor before crossing.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Cranston

  1. This area gets a lot of rain and snow each year. The days can be rather gloomy at times. Bring rain gear with you so you don’t get stuck in a storm. When it comes to snow, the city is used to handling large amounts of it, but it could still delay or close businesses and tourist attractions.
  2. It’s illegal to sell spray paint or cement glue to minors in this city. While that’s not going to impact your safety while you are there, just know there are certain things your teenager won’t be able to buy if you are visiting with family.
  3. If you plan to fish while you are in Cranston, you’ll need to get a fishing license. You can apply for one online through the Department of Environmental Management.
  4. You’re going to need to know some of the local languages when it comes to ordering food. Coffee milk is not coffee with milk. It’s milk with coffee syrup. If you want a hot dog, you’ll need to order a hot wiener. For clam lovers, ask for steamers. If you want lemonade, you want Del, a local legend of a frozen drink. You aren’t supposed to use a straw with this if you want to drink it like a local. A grinder is a sandwich served with several Italian types of meat on it. A cabinet is a milkshake.
  5. Rhode Island loves its roundabouts. Those are the circular roads that take the place of traffic lights. If you have never driven through a roundabout, good luck. They are supposed to lead to fewer traffic accidents but they can lead to great driver confusion about who goes first and who goes next. Oh, and, in Rhode Island, you call them rotaries.
  6. If you want to go to happy hour, you won’t find one in Rhode Island. The state has a ban on the tradition of food and drinks discounts at the end of the working day. This has been around since the 1980s, and while there’s an effort to repeal this ban, until then you are going to have to settle for regular prices all day and night long.
  7. Locals tell me in the off-season some restaurants close early, so check before you head out to eat in the region, especially touristy areas like Newport.
  8. Clothing and groceries are exempt from sales tax in Rhode Island, so it’s a good excuse to do a little more shopping than usual. At least, that’s how this shopaholic would justify it. A few exceptions to the rule; candy and soda are not considered groceries. Restaurant meals are taxed 8%.
  9. The Cranston Police Department uses Flock Safety for recording vehicles in the city limits. This is a retroactive way to track criminals. For example, if there’s a stolen car on the hotlist, they can go back and search any or all of the 29 cameras to see if that car was spotted. This means when you are driving around Cranston, you are on camera.
  10. There’s a drug problem on the streets of Cranston and police are cracking down. A special division called the FBI Safe Streets Task Force is responsible for busting drug dealers. In 2020, they took 1.9 kilos of cocaine, 2720 fentanyl pills, 1141g of crystal meth, and 11 firearms off the streets. If you see a drug deal happening while you visit, call the police.

So... How Safe Is Cranston Really?

For being in such a large east coast city, this community has cracked down and gotten a handle on crime.

What was once one of the best places to live in America is still holding onto that award with developments and parks that are family-friendly and inviting for new residents.

The end of year report from the Cranston Police Department shows violent and property crimes were both down year to year and over the past five years.

Overall, crimes dropped to a two-year low.

It’s worth noting that people in Rhode Island have accents and can sometimes come across as a bit forceful, brisk, or loud.

This is just part of the culture.

As mentioned before, they also have specific words for foods that are different than what you call them back home, so you’re going to stand out as a tourist if you don’t know these things.

Being seen as a tourist could make you a mark, but that’s just the ultra-cautious side of me speaking.

I’m a Midwestern girl and the East Coast people can just be a little tough to get, coming from a place where everyone waves and says hello.

How Does Cranston Compare?

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

Useful Information



Visa requirements are processed and handled at the port of entry or airport. You don't need anything additional to be in Cranston, Rhode Island.



You'll use U.S. Dollar currency here and across the state. Credit cards are ideal to protect you from identity theft, as they generally offer more security than a debit card.



If you don't like the weather forecast today, wait a day, it will change. You'll need to pack for all kinds of weather for your trip to Cranston. Start with rain gear because it rains a lot here. In the winter, plenty of layers are needed because it gets cold and snowy.



The closest airport is Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport, about 16 miles away. Some people opt to fly into and out of Boston Logan International Airport, which is a little more than an hour northeast.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

There are just too many weather variables here to take a trip without travel insurance.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Cranston Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 0° C
Feb 1° C
Mar 4° C
Apr 10° C
May 16° C
Jun 21° C
Jul 24° C
Aug 23° C
Sep 20° C
Oct 14° C
Nov 8° C
Dec 4° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Rhode Island - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Little Compton81
North Kingstown83

Where to Next?

1 Review on Cranston

  1. I have some more to add

    I was born and raised in Cranston. I’m 24 years old. So I got a lot of experience with the city. This review makes Cranston seem like the best place ever in Rhode Island. To be honest, there’s a glaring thing that stood out to me.

    The good:

    It’s so convenient living in Cranston, especially the east side of the city. Everywhere you need is close to each other. The educational system used to be wretched, but it ended up improving dramatically over the past few years. I’m really glad those kids don’t have to go through the stuff I went through with the Cranston public school system. The city is a mostly suburban feel, but the west side of town is an upper middle class-ish neighborhood, whereas some of the east side is between lower middle and regular middle class.

    The bad.

    Taxes are too high for the services we get. Any service you can think of… with the exception of the public schools. There’s friendly people here, don’t get me wrong. But it’s not as friendly as people make it seem. The police force here is pretty much how every police force looks in the 2020’s: They do the bare minimum. I got mugged before and instead of calling the police, I honestly should have handed it myself. And even then, I still probably wouldn’t have been caught if I did! We also live right next to drug dealers in one of Cranston’s mainly known areas, and police never do anything about it. It’s been like this for 15ish years now. Granted, I will say this author wrote that the eastern side of Cranston is more densely populated, and I do live on the east side of the city. We also border the most dangerous area of Providence, so stuff is going to naturally filter down here. It’s just like any other little city you go to that’s on the outskirts of a state capital. There HAS to be something skewed with the mugging and the pickpocket risks, but, if you review what I already said about the police, other people must feel similarly. We also have the homeless shelter for all the sex offenders, so looking at homeless sex offenders on the streets of Reservoir Ave isn’t an uncommon occurrence.

    To be honest, if you really want a quiet and nice town with a great community and neighborhood, try North Providence. Everywhere you go is pretty quiet. It’s a similar demographic of people from Cranston but there’s barely any crime. If you’re on the border of Smithfield, you’re in the nicest area of NP: I’d love to raise a family there.

    If I HAD to raise a family in Cranston though, it’s not the worst curse in the world, but it’s definitely not the best thing. Id recommend you live in the west side: just be wary of stuck up people there. They’re so stuck up that a few years ago they tried to propose we get rid of wind turbines because they were interfering with the views from their nice backyards lol.

    All in all, Cranston’s not the best place ever, but it’s not the worst. Just apply the same logic you would when trying to find a place to live in any other city: ask people from everywhere about what it’s like and if it matches with your values and what you want to do.

Cranston Rated 2 / 5 based on 1 user reviews.

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