Is Fort Mill Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On March 28, 2024
Fort Mill, United States
Safety Index:
78
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Fort Mill, South Carolina, is a fast-community community less than 30 minutes outside downtown Charlotte, North Carolina.

The region was home to the Catawba Indians at first, and that name still lives on in the river that weaves through the area.

The town’s name is a mix of a nearby fort and another nearby mill. It was established in 1873.

What started as a textile mill transitioned into a larger business community with names like Black & Decker headquarters here.

The growing economy yielded a population growth of 127% between 2010 and 2020, with another 26% growth between 2020 and 2022.

The community hosts major events like the Strawberry Festival, and in peak season, you can visit one of many nearby berry farms and pick your own.

Your larger appetite will be happy to see the unique array of local restaurants mixed in with entertainment districts and outdoor pathways.

Fort Mill also offers easy on/off access to Interstate 77, which takes you to Charlotte to the north or Columbia to the south.

The greater York County area offers even more adventures, and this is a particularly great getaway for families.

From amusement parks to immersive history museums to a day at Lake Wylie’s many nooks, there’s so much to do near Fort Mill, South Carolina.

Warnings & Dangers in Fort Mill

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: LOW

There's a low risk in Fort Mill and a surprising number of things to do. Some feel it's a little too "suburban," but I found some unique attractions and experiences that are anything but mundane.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW

One route of Charlotte's CATS system comes to Fort Mill and Rock Hill nearby, but it's more of a commuter line. Taxis, rideshares, and rental cars should be available whenever you need a ride. With the unique landscape to explore, a rental car makes the most sense.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW

Just three pickpockets have been reported here over the past five years, giving this a low risk. In addition, overall theft rates are almost half the national average.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM

This is a medium risk because of severe storms, tornadoes, tropical weather, and flooding. Even minor winter storms can wreak havoc on this normally mild location.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: LOW

The town averages one to two robberies a year, with businesses normally impacted. The risk is low, but never low enough to let your guard down.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: LOW

The York County Emergency Management Agency has a current condition alert posted on its website. The risk here is low, as it's a small town and a bunch of spread-out small towns.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: LOW

The typical scams happen here, mostly focusing on residents. Those include things like scammers posting as law enforcement or utility workers and demanding money. The risk of a tourist scam is low, but you can check the law enforcement websites for scams happening before your visit.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW

Fort Mill is one of the safer locations for women of all ages to visit and a particularly great place for senior citizens and families. You should always use basic personal safety steps, but that's about as far as precautions go here.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

The only violation of the 2022 Water Quality Report was a failure to submit the report on time. All water quality samples met or exceeded the required standards.

Safest Places to Visit in Fort Mill

Use the VisitYorkCounty.com website to find things to do in this section of the state.

That does include Lake Wylie and Rock Hill.

While Fort Mill gets a reputation as being upscale suburbia, the historic downtown Main Street has incredible charm.

It’s a community gathering place for festivals and hosts a slew of restaurants and shops to explore.

If you like hot sauce, don’t miss Puckbutt Pepper Company on Main Street.

The world’s hottest pepper is available here – just ask for Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper.

Kingsley is another entertainment and community gathering district in Fort Mill, and you get the aesthetics of a former mill area rejuvenated into an up-and-coming district.

Baxter Village is another community district, complete with a nine-mile trail network and several unique restaurants to choose from.

You get river views and some historic sites along the Anne Springs Close Greenway.

The Catawba River has many trails and parks that line the waterway through York County, including a railroad trestle and historic sites.

For more history, check out the Fort Mill History Museum, housed in the historic Spratt Building.

Learn about Fort Mill’s history, including its role in the textile industry, through exhibits and artifacts.

Just 10 miles away is a collection of historical sites at the Culture & Heritage Museums.

For a more high-adrenaline experience, visit Carowinds, a popular amusement park featuring thrilling rides, entertainment shows, and a seasonal water park.

You can choose everything from riding the lazy river to soaring on the newest roller coaster.

Places to Avoid in Fort Mill

Fort Mill isn’t big enough to have a bad part of town, and essentially, just one main road goes through the community, with the rest of the roads being side streets.

In addition, this is an upscale community with an average income of $128,000 a year.

Several community groups work with law enforcement to prevent any dangerous neighborhoods from forming.

The only thing to avoid here is the traffic – not an easy feat.

Don’t drive to Charlotte during the rush hours, or you’ll be stuck in traffic.

I would also expect more road construction in the future as the infrastructure needs to keep up with the growing population.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Fort Mill

  1. Fort Mill has a police department. You can follow them on Facebook @fortmillpolice. Feel free to call (803) 547-2022 to ask specific safety questions. The department has a crime prevention specialist who can offer advice beyond what is posted on the police department’s website.
  2. If you have information about a crime or suspected criminal activity that isn’t urgent enough to call 911, you can report it anonymously to Crime Stoppers of York County, South Carolina. Use the P3 Tips app or the online form.
  3. York County uses the CodeRED system to send out emergency notifications regarding severe weather or public safety threats. You can sign up for free.
  4. The city has a Notify Me option where you can get more alerts via email. For example, the CodeRED alert might tell you a severe thunderstorm warning has been issued, while the Notify Me alerts might tell you where storm shelters are being opened.
  5. If the power goes out during a storm while you’re visiting, do not call 911 to report it. The utility company is responsible for addressing these issues. The York County Emergency Management website has a link to the providers in the area. Most will have a power outage map online to show you where service is down.
  6. Anglers are required to carry a South Carolina fishing license at all times on the water. You can get this through the state Department of Natural Resources. Be sure you get a freshwater license, as there’s no saltwater in this region.
  7. If you’re driving and an emergency vehicle is behind you with lights and sirens on, it’s required by law that you pull over to the right side of the road until they pass. With the number of traffic accidents this small town sees, it’s important to use extra caution on the roadways and let emergency vehicles through.
  8. The roads in South Carolina are notoriously bad, riddled with potholes and crumbling pavement. In Fort Mill, contact the Public Works at (803) 547-7158 if you notice a new pothole. If it’s a state road, you’ll need to call the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) at (803) 327-6186. If you sustain damage from a pothole, call (855) 467-2368 or (803) 737-1200 to file a claim.
  9. Most of the parking areas in Fort Mill are free, but in a town growing so fast, that can change. Always look for signs of time limits or notice that the lot might close at a certain time. Plan for big crowds during events like the Strawberry Festival, and bring comfortable walking shoes.
  10. Coyotes are present in this area. In fact, back in 2019, a man was attacked by a rabid coyote and killed it. Normally, coyotes will stay away from people, but it’s important to give them space and never try to bait them with food.

So... How Safe Is Fort Mill Really?

Fort Mill is a safe city, with a violent crime rate 82% lower than the state average and 78% lower than the national average.

At least 85% of violent crimes were among people who knew each other, and that’s from crime data going back five years.

At the same time, 60% of all violent crimes happened in private homes.

What’s particularly upsetting about the few crimes that do happen here is that the 10 to 19-year-olds made the largest categories for offenders and victims.

Could that be an issue with juvenile crime brewing?

Robberies are rare, with just seven reported over the past five years.

Even theft is 45% lower than the national average.

It is worth noting that 40% of all thefts are related to car break-ins, which usually means a lot of vehicles are left unlocked or with valuable items inside.

Money Geek ranked Fort Mill as South Carolina’s safest town, which is a great accolade in a state where crime rates are nearly 20% higher than the national average.

Plus, you have to give credit to a community growing this fast but still managing to lower thefts by 30% between 2016 and 2022.

Violent crime is also down 20% from a peak in 2017, but even then, crime rates were at least half the national average.

There is nothing in crime data or recent news headlines that should make you think twice about a trip to Fort Mill.

Heck, you might even want to move there.

How Does Fort Mill Compare?

CitySafety Index
Fort Mill78
San Francisco61
Philadelphia60
Houston59
Atlanta58
St. Louis58
Los Angeles56
Belize City (Belize)37
La Paz (Bolivia)52
Sao Paulo (Brazil)45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)43
Sofia (Bulgaria)73
Siem Reap (Cambodia)63

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

You'll need a visa or to be eligible for a visa waiver to get through Customs and Border Patrol. Be sure your passport is valid for at least six months from the last day of your trip, or else you'll have to get a new one. I actually read an article recently about a celebrity who was unable to travel overseas because her passport was four months from expiring.

Currency

Currency

You'll only be able to use the U.S. Dollar currency (USD) here. Exchange your currency at Charlotte's airport before you get to this small town. Credit cards will be widely accepted, but check to see if your bank charges a foreign transaction fee.

Weather

Weather

Pretty mild winters make this a great place to visit, but occasional snow or ice storms can't be ruled out. It's important to check the forecast before you pack. Bring a mix of layers to choose from in spring and fall, when temperatures will fluctuate a lot. Summers are hot and humid. You'll need bug spray.

Airports

Airports

You'll get an easy 20-mile drive to Charlotte Douglas International Airport. It is a major hub, but it can also be prone to delays, crowds, and long security lines.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Comprehensive travel insurance is the best way to protect yourself against delays, cancelations, theft, and illnesses.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Fort Mill Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 5° C
Feb 8° C
Mar 11° C
Apr 16° C
May 21° C
Jun 25° C
Jul 27° C
Aug 26° C
Sep 23° C
Oct 17° C
Nov 11° C
Dec 7° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
111418232731323228231813
Low
°C
-114914192120171041
High
°F
525764738188909082736455
Low
°F
303439485766706863503934

South Carolina - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Aiken57
Beaufort67
Charleston70
Clemson76
Columbia68
Folly Beach68
Fort Mill78
Gaffney68
Greenville81
Hilton Head Island79
Isle of Palms81
Manning47
Mauldin77
Mount Pleasant78
Myrtle Beach65
North Augusta70
Orangeburg62
Pawleys Island82
Rock Hill63
Spartanburg48
St. Helena Island78
Sullivan’s Island80
Summerville78
Travelers Rest77
Walterboro68
West Columbia65

Where to Next?

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