Is Delaware City Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On June 9, 2023
Delaware City, United States
Safety Index:
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Delaware City, Delaware, is a small town on the river with three historic forts nearby, including one that is known as one of the most haunted places on Earth.

This small town embraces every iteration of its history.

Just driving down the streets shows the evolution of architecture as the town went from a peach-producing hub to a fishing village while defending the region during every war from the Civil War to World War II.

Delaware City was a victim of the economic advancements elsewhere.

The canals grew outdated as newer ships were developed.

The forts closed in the 1940s, once again impacting the feasibility of this town’s future.

What you’ll find is a waterfront community steeped in history, with a convenient ferry to the island state park and New Jersey across the river.

It’s a town trapped in time, yet still offering some of the best blue crabs you’ll ever taste.

Warnings & Dangers in Delaware City

Overall Risk


There's a low overall risk here. The city has a low crime rate, especially considering the visitors that come through. It's also secluded from other cities, leaving you in a nice, quiet spot. If you're looking for nightlife, this isn't the place for you.

Transport & Taxis Risk


DART is the bus transportation system throughout Delaware. Check for the latest routes to see how many come through Delaware City. Taxis and rideshares will be sparingly available, but this is a pretty walkable town. You'll likely want your own vehicle to get here. The costs of a rental car will pay for itself with just one taxi trip to or from Wilmington.

Pickpockets Risk


No purse snatchings or pickpockets have been reported in the past five years, giving this a low risk. It's still wise to limit what you carry and only bring what is essential.

Natural Disasters Risk


Flooding, hurricanes and nor'easters are the biggest risk here, and every month of the year is covered with one of those risks. Treat it with a medium risk and stay weather aware at all times.

Mugging Risk


This is another low risk with only a handful of robberies over the past five years. While there have been some convenience store robberies, it's nothing that should deter you from visiting.

Terrorism Risk


Once upon a time, yes, these forts were big targets. Now, there's a low risk. You can check the latest Homeland Security threats through the Terrorism Advisory Bulletin. A new update is sent out every few months. I live in a safe part of America, but I still get the updates just, so I'm aware of overall risks. There's just too much gun crime to stay uninformed.

Scams Risk


As long as you don't try to buy tickets through third-party vendors or wire money to book a rental home, you should have a low risk of being scammed. The Delaware Attorney General posts regular updates of trending scams.

Women Travelers Risk


This is another low risk, with a town safe enough to visit solo, but still use standard safety precautions.

Tap Water Risk


At the time of this publication, the 2022 Water Quality Report wasn't available. Since the water service switched ownership in the past year, the previous reports aren't available either. You can call Artesian Water at (302)453-6930 to get the latest report or ask questions. There's nothing in news headlines that show a risk to the water supply, so there's a low risk. After any flooding event, always check with the city for water quality concerns.

Safest Places to Visit in Delaware City

You can use the Visit Wilmington website to find a section about Delaware City.

There are two websites for Delaware City.

One is, which is the official city website, and, which is a tourism website.

Two of the main attractions here are Fort DuPont State Park and Fort Delaware State Park.

Please note that this is NOT Fort Dupont Park under the National Park Service umbrella.

That one is in Washington, D.C.

Fort DuPont is on the mainland, just south of Delaware City.

This fort was active from the Civil War through World War II.

Covering 890 acres, it offers diverse recreational opportunities such as hiking, biking, fishing, and picnicking.

The park is home to Fort Delaware, a Civil War-era fort.

The Riverview Trail gives you both scenic and historic views.

You’ll have to take a ferry to get to Pea Patch Island where Fort Delaware State Park is located.

Private boats and kayaks aren’t allowed.

Heads up—Fort Delaware is known as one of the most haunted places on Earth.

This fort was once the Alcatraz of the Civil War.

Living history reenactments are done regularly, and you’ll likely hear the boom of the Columbiad cannon firing.

Paranormal tours are offered in the fall, and the dungeon has been noted as one of the most active paranormal spots on the island.

Walking the Prison Camp Trail is actually walking through the Pea Patch Island Nature Preserve, which will make you a bird fan if you aren’t already.

Heronry Overlook offers stunning “birds-eye” views across the marsh.

You can also take a ferry to New Jersey and visit Fort Mott State Park.

It’s another fort deigned to work in tandem with the Delaware forts to protect Wilmington and Philadelphia.

If the ferry isn’t running because of seasonal or weather closures, you can drive to the park in less than an hour.

Crabby Dick’s is a popular restaurant right on the water with some of the best crabs you can find in Delaware.

It’s also one of the most haunted places in the state.

Check the town’s event schedule in summer and fall, as festivals, ghost tours, and celebrations are held that bring more excitement to an otherwise sleepy community.

Places to Avoid in Delaware City

You won’t have to worry about dangerous neighborhoods or bad parts of town.

Delaware City is tucked away from the main highways and surrounded by water or wetlands.

If you’re traveling to or from Wilmington to get to Delaware City, avoid Route 1 and the turnpike as much as possible.

The traffic backs up can easily double the time it takes to get there.

This area can flood easily.

The “tucked away” becomes a problem with water can rise from all sides.

There are several projects underway to protect the most common flood problems, but you should never EVER try to cross a flooded roadway.

I don’t know why people keep trying to do this.

It just takes six inches of water to carry a car away or knock a person over.

Avoid getting in the water without checking the latest water quality and beach quality or the river.

You can email to sign up for beach alerts.

With the refinery so close by, the water wouldn’t be my first choice for swimming.

The nitrogen the refinery adds to the water can fuel algae blooms and red tide outbreaks.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Delaware City

  1. Delaware City does have its own police department. The phone number for non-emergencies is (302) 836-6344. You can also find them on Facebook @Delaware-City-Police-Department.
  2. Make sure when you’re doing research that you’re in Delaware City, Delaware. There’s a Delaware, Ohio, that can come up often in search results. You will always know you’re in the right place if you see a 302 area code.
  3. Delaware City posts a monthly “City News” bulletin that covers upcoming events, safety concerns, and other community information that will be helpful for your trip.
  4. Sign up for CodeRED emergency notifications so that you can stay on top of developing weather, road closures, and other safety risks.
  5. If you’re visiting Fort Delaware, do not wear open-toed shoes or heels, per the state park office. You’ll walk at least 1/3 of miles while you’re there. You can bring your own food, but snacks and beverages are available at the gift shop.
  6. Check the different park and museum websites where you want to visit, as certain places like Fort Dupont only accept cash for entry. You might also want to reserve any ferry trip in advance to confirm you get a spot.
  7. If you want to fish, shellfish, or go clamming, you’ll need a recreational fishing license from the Department of Fish & Game. You can take care of that online or find a local retailer that sells them.
  8. Most state parks in Delaware and New Jersey are dog-friendly, but there might be locations where pets aren’t allowed. You also can’t leave a pet in a vehicle or tethered while you go explore without them. Dogs are now allowed on Delaware beaches from May 1 through September 30.
  9. One of my favorite things about Delaware City is that PARKING IS FREE! WOO HOO! Even with that, don’t leave a vehicle in a spot overnight. During the winter, parking bans can lead to your vehicle being ticketed or towed if you leave it there overnight.
  10. Delaware City has a refinery and that can bring concerns about air and water pollution. Use an app like IQ Air to check the air quality each day. The EPA will also have the latest information about any health concerns connected to the refinery. The refinery was fined almost one million dollars in 2019 for air quality violations over the years.

So... How Safe Is Delaware City Really?

Delaware City is a safe place.

The town hasn’t had more than a dozen violent crimes in a year since at least 2011, and 2021 saw just seven violent crimes.

Only one was against a stranger.

Theft raw numbers were down to 22 in 2020 and 2021.

37% of thefts over the past five years (just 152 cases in five years) were related to car break-ins, so it’s as simple as locking your car and not leaving personal stuff inside to avert that risk.

A recent rescue of two kayakers on the river highlights how treacherous the waters can be if you’re not prepared or following weather advisories.

Delaware City is also experiencing growth tensions, which isn’t a safety issue, but it is good for visitors to know.

When a new RV campground was approved in 2020, some residents were outraged at what they thought should be preserved land turning into MORE tourist accommodations.

“For the townsfolk in Delaware City, this is going to cause traffic nightmares, congestion nightmares.

We’re going to have transient visitors and tourists, and I don’t mind tourism to a certain degree, but this is 422 RVs on fragile wetlands with loud music and pollution in our town,” one resident said to the city council.

Delaware City is a very safe and fun place to visit, and it’s definitely much safer than staying in Wilmington or New Castle.

How Does Delaware City Compare?

CitySafety Index
Delaware City74
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



International visitors need a visa that is determined by the purpose of the trip, like work, tourism, or school. The tourism visa takes the longest, so start that one ASAP. A passport that isn't within six months of expiring is also required.



Only the U.S. Dollar (USD) will be accepted here. Don't wait until you're in this small town to exchange currency unless you have a bank branch here. In fact, your home bank will have the lowest fees for its members.



Plan for four robust seasons. Bring jackets and hoodies in spring and fall since temperatures can fluctuate. A waterproof jacket or coat year-round will be helpful. Bug spray and sunscreen are essential in the summer. Bring water shoes to protect your feet and comfortable walking shoes to explore.



Philadelphia International Airport is less than an hour away, but check the 511 New England. Use DelDOT and 511 PA to check traffic before you head out. The road to the airport can get backed up. Baltimore's airport is 90 minutes west. Wilmington does have a regional airport, but flights are limited.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

We recommend comprehensive travel insurance to a location that is prone to hurricanes and nor'easters. You get peace of mind for a small price that could be very costly if you don't have it.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Delaware City Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 2° C
Feb 3° C
Mar 7° C
Apr 13° C
May 19° C
Jun 23° C
Jul 26° C
Aug 25° C
Sep 22° C
Oct 16° C
Nov 10° C
Dec 5° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Delaware - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Bethany Beach81
Delaware City74
Fenwick Island79
Greater Wilmington45
New Castle71
Rehoboth Beach68

Where to Next?

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