Is Denton Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On June 25, 2024
Denton, United States
Safety Index:
72
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Denton, Texas, a vibrant city on the outer fringe of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, is renowned for its unique blend of history, culture, and community spirit.

Founded in 1857 and named after John B. Denton, a Texas militia captain, the city quickly grew from a frontier town into a bustling hub thanks to the arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century.

This transformation spurred economic growth and laid the foundation for Denton’s eclectic character.

That growth continues today, as Denton has seen a population increase of 41% since 2010.

Denton is best known for its dynamic arts scene and the presence of two major universities: the University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University.

Those two worlds collide when you look at the list of people who came from Denton, including the creative and talented singer who went by the name Meat Loaf.

He attended the University of North Texas before he went “like a bat out of hell” to California.

Denton is a cultural and generational melting pot.

That brings a youthful energy, diversity, and a rich cultural atmosphere.

The thriving downtown area, with its iconic Courthouse-on-the-Square, is a focal point for community activities, including live music, art festivals, and the popular Denton Arts and Jazz Festival.

It’s a city with a sense of humor, too, as the three Kroger grocery stores have well-known nicknames, like Cheese Kroger and Soccer Mom Kroger.

Let’s explore this artsy place more.

Warnings & Dangers in Denton

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: LOW

There's a low risk in Denton but with plenty of potential to keep your personal safety standards in check. It will be hard to get bored here.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW

Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) offers trains and buses between Denton and Lewisville, with some routes that connect to DART in the Dallas area. Taxis and rideshares are easy to find. You can also choose to rent a car. All options are low risk.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW

About 10 pickpockets or purse snatching happen each year, which is a low risk, especially compared to the number of car break-ins that are reported. Regardless of where you are going or how you are getting there, keep your valuables locked away at home.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM

Denton faces several natural disaster risks, including severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and occasional flooding due to its location in Tornado Alley. The area is also susceptible to extreme heat and droughts. That can also lead to wildfires. The medium risk requires checking the weather conditions at least once a day.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: LOW

The robbery rate is 59% lower than the national average, with just 11% of those being highway robberies. About seven muggings happen each year, on average. The risk is low, but use extra caution at night.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: LOW

As part of the Metroplex, it should fall into a medium risk, but there's little to no risk of Denton itself being a potential target. Of course, domestic terrorism and mass shootings rarely happen with any logic. The best advice is to stay vigilant and report suspicious activity to local law enforcement.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: LOW

Check local law enforcement social media sites for the latest scams. The local Better Business Bureau office and the state Attorney General’s office will have common scam tactics and protection advice. The most common scams here are targeted at residents, usually through fake phone calls from a fraudster pretending to be a police officer.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW

This is another low risk, but visiting a place with a party atmosphere requires enhanced safety steps, like not walking around alone at night. If you're visiting one of the universities, stay tuned for more information on how to get safety alerts.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

The U.S. has strict standards for tap water per the Safe Water Drinking Act. Communities are required to provide a Water Quality Report (Consumer Confidence Report) once a year by July 1.

Safest Places to Visit in Denton

DiscoverDenton.com is the city’s official tourism site.

A digital guide can be downloaded, but they do require you to give an email address to get it.

I would suggest creating a new email just for your trip to keep third-party emails from getting to your daily email inbox.

You can also follow them on Facebook @DiscoverDenton.

Downtown Denton is a magical place filled with history, art, and plenty of food flair.

For more on the restaurants and shops, visit DentionMainStreet.org.

You shouldn’t miss the stunning architecture of the 1986 courthouse right in the center of downtown.

Denton County Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum features exhibits on local history, including Native American artifacts, early settler life, and the impact of the railroad.

Just a short walk from the courthouse, you’ll arrive at Denton County Historical Park, where two more museums stand.

First, the Bayless-Selby House Museum is a restored Victorian house providing a turn-of-the-20th-century look at life in Denton.

Visitors can explore period furnishings, clothing, and personal items that paint a vivid picture of the era’s domestic life.

Second, the Quakertown House is home to Denton County’s African American Museum.

The house was originally in its own section of town where African Americans lived, starting in the 1870s.

While the original Quakertown and its residents were forced out due to city expansion plans, this home is one of the last original structures left.

Both the University of North Texas (UNT) and Texas Woman’s University (TWU) have thriving arts programs.

The Murchison Performing Arts Center at UNT and the TWU Arts Triangle Gallery often host performances and exhibitions worth checking out.

Beyond being a hub for innovation and research, UNT Discovery Park also has outdoor spaces perfect for walking and enjoying nature.

For kids, the Explorium is a children’s science museum where imaginations can run wild.

Check the website for the latest exhibits and events.

Just a short drive from Dentonis Lake Ray Roberts.

This state park offers boating, fishing, swimming, and camping.

Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center offers more than 2,900 acres of diverse ecosystems with miles of hiking and biking trails.

It’s perfect for bird-watching, wildlife spotting, and enjoying nature.

The Greenbelt Corridor along the Elm Fork Branch of the Trinity River provides additional trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.

You can also rent a kayak or canoe and paddle down the Elm Fork of the Trinity River.

It’s a peaceful way to enjoy the water and see the local wildlife.

For golf enthusiasts, the city offers several courses, including the scenic Wildhorse Golf Club at Robson Ranch and the North Lakes Golf Course.

Places to Avoid in Denton

The closer you are to downtown and the universities, the more rowdy things might get as the sun goes down.

Stay in the west or southeast part of the city if you want to be away from the nightlife and party crowd.

While no part of town is “too dangerous” to visit, you’ll need extra safety steps like limiting what you carry and not leaving car doors unlocked while you’re visiting here.

I want to address the different Kroger stores in Denton, as one of them has a nickname, “Murder Kroger,” but is also referred to as “Rat Kroger.”

The rat reference has to do with a rodent problem that once existed there.

Some say “Murder Kroger” comes from a body found in the attached parking lot but on the other side.

Others say it’s because the parking lot is a nightmare and dangerous to navigate.

This is the Kroger on University Avenue.

The Kroger on Loop 288 is known as “Cheese Kroger” for a fact assortment of cheeses you, apparently, can’t find at the other two Kroger stores.

“Fancy Kroger,” or more egregiously called “MILF Kroger,” is on Teasley Lane in South Denton, known for being in a wealthy part of the area where attractive women reportedly shop.

Someone else referred to it as Soccer Mom Kroger.

I only bring this up because the Kroger names are part of the local vernacular.

Google it if you don’t believe me.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Denton

  1. Denton has a local police department. You can follow them on Facebook @CityofDentonPoliceDepartment. The phone number is (940) 349-8181, and the email is dentonpolice@cityofdenton.com if you want to ask specific safety questions.
  2. The University of North Texas also has a police department. You can call them at 940-565-3000. Follow @UNTEagleAlert on X (Twitter) to get the latest emergency updates.
  3. Texas Woman’s University has a police department, too. Their phone number is 940-898-291. You can follow the university’s emergency management department on X @TWUReady.
  4. Check out the community crime map through the city police department website to search for the most recent criminal activity. This will give you up-to-date information, whereas I can only give you the latest calendar year information. The interactive map allows you to set parameters like the type of crime(s), timeframe, and distance. For example, you might want to see how many assaults have happened within a mile of your hotel.
  5. Sign up for emergency notifications through Denton County’s website, which will cover severe weather and major public safety threats. You can choose to get text messages, phone calls, or emails. The program is free and easy to uninstall when you leave.
  6. There are more than 2,400 free parking spots in Denton and about 200 paid spots. You should check the time limit on certain locations, as the police will ticket people who are parked too long. Parking garages usually have the longest time limits and provide great shelter from storms. If you are going to pay for parking, use the Parkmobile app to find spots and pay on your mobile device.
  7. Denton has a great party atmosphere, but you should know the drinking age is 21. Anyone caught drinking alcohol under the age of 21 faces a driver’s license suspension and a $500 fine.
  8. Please review the details of the safe-passing ordinance in Denton. This allows bicyclists to have a safer experience on the road, with vehicles required to give three feet of space or change lanes to accommodate the cyclist. If you are riding a bike, please review the rules and safety steps on the city’s website under “Bike Pedestrian Safety.”
  9. If you plan to go fishing in Texas, you’ll need a license from the state Department of Parks and Wildlife. Be sure to get a non-resident license and carry it with you at all times.
  10. Lewisville Lake is nearby, and it’s one of the deadliest lakes in the state. In one instance, three people drowned in the lake on one 2023 weekend. Please review the boating, swimming, and safety rules on the parks and wildlife website. So many drownings could be avoided if the victim had only worn a life vest.

So... How Safe Is Denton Really?

The violent crime rate is 42% below the state average and 34% lower than the national average.

About one in three violent crimes happen against a stranger, which is about twice as many as most cities that I would put in a low-risk range.

Denton Police add that in 2023, violent crime rates hit a five-year low.

Between 2022 and 2023, crimes across the board dropped 5.6%.

Theft rates are 42% higher than the national average.

Car break-ins and accessory thefts make up about 38% of that.

Another 25% is related to shoplifting.

An average of one car is stolen each day.

I don’t know what to think about the high car theft rates in many communities across Texas.

I’m glad I have an obsessive habit of locking my car, even when it’s safely in my garage.

One of the challenges with finding the context of these numbers comes with the main source for reporting information, which is a local newspaper that has a paywall.

I want to warn anyone against paying for a newspaper subscription as they make it habitually hard to cancel the subscription.

I had an issue with a local newspaper that I had to take to the Better Business Bureau to get resolved.

I strongly suggest reviewing the “Click to Cancel” debate the FTC is having before you enroll in any subscription.

However, the positive side of that information is that not too many crimes in Denton have risen to the level of being covered by major outlets in the Metroplex or national news.

I go back and forth on the low or medium risk here due to all the theft, but it’s really an average risk.

If you leave a car unlocked, expect it to be rummaged through before you come back.

Common sense and basic safety practices go a long way in Denton.

How Does Denton Compare?

CitySafety Index
Denton72
Honolulu65
Chicago65
Dallas64
Memphis54
Orlando64
Las Vegas62
Sydney (Australia)80
Santiago de Chile (Chile)71
Vienna (Austria)88
Hong Kong (China)70
Manama (Bahrain)54
Tianjin (China)67

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

All international visitors need either a visa defining the purpose of the trip (tourist, work, school, etc.) or a visa waiver. Start the process using the Visa Wizard module on the U.S. State Department website. You’ll quickly find out which one you need. Also, keep in mind that your passport must be valid for at least six months after our trip, or you’ll need to apply for a new one.

Currency

Currency

Only the U.S. Dollar (USD) is accepted in the United States. International airports usually have a currency exchange desk on site, while regional airports won’t. DFW does offer currency exchange services, but your home bank offers the lowest fees. For those using credit cards, check to see if there’s a foreign transaction fee before you start racking up charges.

Weather

Weather

You get the four standard seasons here, with winter erring on the mild side and summers being hot and humid. Spring and fall fluctuate a lot with changing weather patterns, so one day might be hot like summer, and the next day cold like late winter. Pack plenty of layers and don't forget bug spray.

Airports

Airports

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and Love Field are about 30 miles away, but that drive time could vary depending on traffic. DFW is the larger airport.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Comprehensive insurance offers the best protection and peace of mind, but if you choose piecemeal coverage, consider options that protect against emergencies, weather delays, cancelations, and urgent health issues.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Denton Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 7° C
Feb 9° C
Mar 14° C
Apr 18° C
May 23° C
Jun 27° C
Jul 29° C
Aug 29° C
Sep 25° C
Oct 19° C
Nov 13° C
Dec 8° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
131520242833353531251914
Low
°C
1371217212323191372
High
°F
555968758291959588776657
Low
°F
343745546370737366554536

Texas - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Abilene67
Amarillo65
Austin65
Beaumont51
Brownsville68
Carrollton72
Corpus Christi71
Dallas64
Del Rio68
Dell City81
Denton72
El Paso77
Fort Davis80
Fort Worth77
Fredericksburg85
Frisco84
Garland83
Granbury74
Grand Prairie72
Gruene82
Harlingen75
Houston59
Irving79
Laredo68
Lewisville80
Llano83
Lubbock38
Luckenbach77
Marathon78
Marfa80
McAllen74
McKinney84
Mesquite52
Midland78
Nacogdoches78
New Braunfels83
Plano86
Port Aransas83
Richardson81
San Angelo83
San Antonio53
Schulenburg83
Sherman73
Smithville84
South Padre Island70
Tyler70
Waco61
Waxahachie83
Weslaco68
Wichita Falls68
Wimberley81

Where to Next?

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