Georgia : Safety by City
- East Columbus
- East Point
- Johns Creek
- Peachtree City
- Peachtree Corners
- Sandy Springs
- South Fulton
- Tybee Island
- Warner Robins
East Point, Georgia, is one of the “tri-cities” of South Atlanta, the others being College Park and Hapeville.
This is a dense urban area that is very diverse, with 76% of residents being African American and 7% being Hispanic/Latino.
The entire tri-cities area gets a bad rap for being crime-ridden and at least one of them makes a “most dangerous” list each year for the past few years.
Do those numbers hold up in 2021?
That’s what we’re going to explore.
One bonus of being in East Point is the proximity to the airport and downtown Atlanta.
There are only a few hotels in East Point, but nearby College Park has dozens.
Look for hotels with the “airport” location in the title or College Park if you need to stay in that region.
They have mostly lined up along the major interstates with no hotels inside the cities themselves.
East Point is kind of a “hit or miss” community, where one street is safe and more pristine, and the next is blighted with higher crime concerns.
You’ll find historic districts here, but they aren’t the idyllic Southern downtown areas you might expect in places like Savannah.
The only velodrome in the state is in East Point and whether you want to walk a trail for the afternoon or walk a shopping area, the options are there for both.
You’ve got great dining choices too with popular national brands down to mom and pop stores.
Tyler Perry Movie Studios have several locations in and around East Point, and you might not even realize how big of a Hollywood Hub Atlanta is.
It’s known as the “Hollywood of the South” and Tyler Perry’s popular movies have brought great positive exposure to some of the areas of the city that need it most.
Warnings & Dangers in East Point
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
There's a medium risk here. The 2020 crime numbers were all anomalies and didn't follow any pattern of previous years, most likely due to changed behavior during the pandemic. Luckily, East Point Police have provided 2021 numbers so we can have updated, more realistic numbers. Some of the numbers are jaw-dropping, like the theft rate being a one in 21 chance of being a victim.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Two lines of MARTA bus service come here, which is a plus for those who want to get around Atlanta without sitting in traffic. Being this close to the airport there will be plenty of taxis and rideshares available too. The rides themselves should be safe with low risk, but waiting at the bus stop, especially late at night, could come with a higher risk. Don't put on headphones and disconnect while waiting for the bus.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
No pickpockets were reported in the most recent years' crime statistics, or the specific numbers weren't available. Let's stick with a medium risk here because that one in 21 chance of being a theft victim is about the highest risk I've seen in hundreds of research articles.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
The main natural disasters here are going to be tornadoes on the worst end, and severe thunderstorms capable of producing intense winds, hail, dangerous lightning, and flash flooding. This can happen any time of year, so there's medium risk. You'll always get plenty of notice severe weather is coming.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
There's a medium risk here as the robbery rate is almost three times the national average. In late 2021, a man was gunned down while taking money out of an ATM. He was on the phone with a sibling at the time who heard the man begging for his life. There was another man a few weeks later who saw people breaking into his work truck and when he confronted him, they shot and killed him. This isn't a place to try to be tough or fight back. It's not worth risking your life.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
There's a medium risk since it's part of the "Inside the Perimeter" area of Atlanta. With the ATL being the largest city in the South and a major transportation and distribution hub, it's always going to be a potentially hard target.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
There are several phone number spoofing scams targeting residents. There aren't any scams that would impact a tourist. This is more of a place where someone will take what they want from you instead of tricking it out of you. One heart-warming story came from a scam victim who sent $8,000 in cash to an East Point address. The resident at the time found the money and turned it in to the police. Turns out an elderly woman in Wisconsin had been scammed out of a lot more, but this honest act helped identify the scam and stop her from losing any more money.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
There's a medium risk for women here. There really aren't a lot of reasons for a woman to be visiting here unless she knows someone in the area. It is most helpful in East Point to have a local take you around to avoid dangerous parts. The sexual assault rate is 33% higher than the national average.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
Fulton County provides the water for the city and according to the latest water quality report, there is no risk in using the water. It meets all required EPA standards.
Safest Places to Visit in East Point
The Downtown Historic District is a great place to start with local eateries, a green space for festivals and events, and some light shopping.
Stop by the East Point Historical Society and Museum to learn more about how East Point got its name and the founding fathers of the city.
The Velodrome is a pretty cool thing to see.
If you haven’t heard of that (I hadn’t!), it’s a wooden circular race track used for high-speed cycling.
It’s like a NASCAR track for Olympic bicycling.
Camp Creek Marketplace is a standard shopping area with things like Target, Ross, Old Navy, & Petsmart, but it’s also the largest shopping area you can find near the airport.
There are some restaurants in there too, but mostly chains.
If you love Chick-Fil-A, there’s one there.
Sykes Park is a great way to get outdoors and walk some trails or ride a bike.
The trail is most canopied by trees, so you’ll still sweat your face off in the summer, but the sun’s rays won’t be as intense.
Placess to Avoid in East Point
The area bordered by Main street on the east, Stone Road on the south, Dodson on the west, and Highway 154 on the north is the area with the highest crime rates.
Use extra caution when visiting the border near College Park.
The unfortunate part about a tourist visiting here for the first time without knowing anyone in the city is that there isn’t just one bad area.
The crime is spread across the city, and while one street hasn’t seen crime in months, the next street over could be a known gang area.
I would advise avoiding East Point unless you have a specific reason to visit until the crime rates can be brought down.
There has been a decrease over recent years, but there are still few cities statistically that are more dangerous than East Point.
It’s also going to be helpful to have family and friends in the area who can guide you around.
While there’s little danger in visiting a Target, the crime in the parking lot is exponentially higher than in almost every other city of the same size.
Avoid stopping to ask for directions and you need to pull over to get your bearings straight, I’d suggest you pull into a police station or fire department parking lot.
Safety Tips for Traveling to East Point
- The great thing about East Point is that it’s where several interstates meet, making travel around the metro area easy. The terrible thing about East Point is that it’s where several interstates meet, making it a traffic nightmare. It’s all in how you look at it. Just be patient in traffic and if you aren’t used to aggressive city drivers, you might want to call a taxi or rideshare.
- The East Point Police Department is very transparent with crime data and posts a monthly report on its website. I can tell you not many cities with this kind of a crime reputation do that, but it will help you see if crime trends are going up or down closer to your visit.
- If you have specific questions about crime in the area where you’ll be staying or want advice on safe places to go, call the non-emergency number for the police department at (404) 761-2177.
- Since this area is right by the airport, and this airport is among the busiest in the world, you can expect to hear airplane noise all night long. It’s wise to bring some earplugs or download a white noise app on your mobile device to drown out that noise.
- East Point uses the CodeRED app to send out emergency weather notifications. Download this app so you can stay ahead of the weather concerns during your visit. It’s a good idea to ask at your hotel where the tornado shelter is in case a storm comes through in the middle of the night.
- If you or someone you are traveling with is a smoker, the city is trying to stop cigarette butts from being dumped on the street. There are blue disposal bins throughout the city to use to avoid fire danger and safety hazards.
- There’s a portal on the city website called “Access East Point.” This is a great tool for a traveler on the go to help keep crime down in the community. There you can report graffiti sightings (indicative of gang activity), potholes, odd smells, loud noises, and a variety of other topics.
- Store this number in your phone now. This is to the MARTA Police. (404)848-4911. The rail and bus system has its own police force to help keep crime down at stops and on the rides. If you see graffiti on a MARTA vehicle, call (404)848-3939 to report it.
- The Velodrome is such a unique experience that it would be a shame to not try it out while you are there. You can schedule a beginner class for $60. Access to the Velodrome is free unless this is a major event happening.
- The average motor vehicle theft rate nationwide is 246 per 100,000 people. In East Point, it’s 1152 per 100,000 people. It’s critical you lock your car, put some kind of theft deterrent on it like a steering wheel lock or an alarm, and roll those windows up. Do not leave anything of any value in the front seat, not even your sunglasses.
So... How Safe Is East Point Really?
It’s not really that safe when you look at the numbers.
Every category is two to three times the national and state average.
For example, in Georgia, the average violent crime rate is four per 1,000.
In East Point, it’s almost 15 per 1,000.
The 2021 available numbers don’t break down into categories of where the crimes are happening, but in my research expertise of the Atlanta area, I can tell you generally at least 1/3 to 2/3 of all violent crimes are either in private homes or involve people who know each other.
There isn’t an overwhelming number of travelers being violently attacked.
The crimes are mainly wrong place/wrong time or crimes of opportunity, like leaving a car running in the parking lot while you run inside for “just a minute” or carrying a giant purse that is packed with items while your eyes are locked in your mobile device.
Some of how dangerous you feel this area will be based on where you are from.
For example, I’m from St. Louis, Missouri, originally, one of the “most dangerous cities in America.”
I knew the neighborhoods to avoid and how to safely get downtown.
I was confident when I was in a more dangerous area and didn’t show fear but also wasn’t going to defend my Coach bag with my life, should the incident happen.
I’ve had small-town friends come to visit me there who couldn’t even enjoy downtown they were so nervous about the dangers.
I once got lost in the uber-dangerous East St. Louis and when I went into a gas station to get directions, some guys took the hubcaps off my car.
I just sat inside while it happened.
Those hubcaps meant nothing to me, but getting home safely did.
I really hate saying things like “Don’t go there if you don’t need to be there” because I don’t want it to sound like inherent danger.
It’s just that higher crime areas where we don’t have business being could just be a bad mix and I am not the luckiest person in the world.
I would also tell you in my beloved hometown to not stop in the areas around the airport if you are just visiting.
Please take this advice as “It’s better to be safe” than “you will get robbed there.”
How Does East Point Compare?
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- Visas - You will show your Visa only when you enter the United States. There is really no reason locally, unless you are on a work permit, for anyone to ask for it locally. Your passport will be your official ID.
- Currency - You can only use the U.S. Dollar here and don't carry around cash openly in this neighborhood.
- Weather - Summers are just unbearably muggy at times, so hair is going to be frizzy and you are going to sweat a lot. Think of how good that moisture is for your skin when it gets really bad. Sometimes you'll welcome the thunderstorms that aren't severe because they seem to break the humidity a bit. Winters can be a roller coaster of temperatures so you'll want a jacket to stay warm, but also bring layers you can peel off during the day if temperatures rise. You won't get the really cold winters here like in Chicago.
- Airports - The airport is no more than five miles away from anywhere in East Point. You'll fly in and out of Atlanta's Hartsfield Jackson. Be prepared for security lines. There's no "running to the gate at the last minute" here.
- Travel Insurance - When you get travel insurance, make sure it covers lost or stolen baggage, delays/cancellations, and get a details list of what emergencies it covers while visiting an area. Some policies don't cover acts of nature and that might defer to your auto insurance or renters/homeowners policy.
East Point Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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