Is Jamestown Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On February 27, 2024
Jamestown, United States
Safety Index:
82
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Jamestown, Rhode Island, a charming coastal town situated on Conanicut Island in Narragansett Bay, offers a serene escape with a rich history and plenty of activities.

Originally inhabited by the Narragansett tribe, the area was settled by Europeans in the 17th century, with the town officially established in 1678.

Its strategic location made it a vital maritime hub during colonial times, evident in its well-preserved historical sites like the Jamestown Windmill and the Conanicut Battery.

This picturesque island paradise boasts stunning beaches, including Mackerel Cove and Beavertail State Park, where visitors can enjoy swimming, picnicking, and breathtaking sunsets.

Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the island’s scenic trails for hiking and biking or indulge in water activities such as kayaking and sailing.

A short ferry ride takes you to the bustling tourism community of Newport, renowned for its Cliff Walk and Gilded Age mansions.

The Vanderbilts, Astors, and other affluent families erected opulent mansions along Bellevue Avenue, creating what is now famously known as the “Newport Mansions.”

(If you watch The Gilded Age on MAX, you are well aware of this connection.)

Jamestown offers a peaceful alternative to the bustling tourist hubs of nearby Newport and Narragansett.

With its laid-back atmosphere, quaint shops, and excellent dining options, it’s the perfect destination for those seeking relaxation without sacrificing culture or natural beauty.

Additionally, its proximity to Newport’s attractions, including the renowned Newport Mansions and Narragansett’s vibrant beach scene, makes it an ideal home base for exploring the surrounding area while enjoying a more tranquil retreat.

Warnings & Dangers in Jamestown

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: LOW

The risk here is low, and the rewards are many. This island is more laid back than Newport, but it's by no means boring!

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW

If you look on the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority's website, you'll see a list of transportation services available in Jamestown. Island Transportation is another company where you can arrange a car or limo driver. Taxis are also available. Rental cars can be picked up at the airport.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW

This is a low risk, at least statistically. No reports of pickpockets or purse snatchings have been made in the past five years. I'd treat it as a medium risk to keep your guard up. The potential is always there.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM

Given how much your enjoyment and safety hinge on the weather here, this is a medium risk. Even offshore storms can cause dangerous rip currents on a clear day. Whether a thunderstorm is minor or severe, you still need to get out of the water and off the beach, finding a safe place inside until 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder. Winter weather can bring snow and powerful nor'easters with damaging winds and storm surge.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: LOW

This is another low risk, with no reports of robberies on record through the official crime data sources. Don't let that cause you to let your guard down, and don't assume all neighboring communities are this safe.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: LOW

The risk is low here, as the island is sparsely populated with a lot of undeveloped land. The most important thing to do is keep an eye out for suspicious activity and report it to the local police.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: LOW

Scams mostly target residents and the elderly. The best advice is to avoid any deal that seems too good to be true and to trust your gut. Visit the police department's website for more tips to avoid fraud and learn about the newest scams.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW

The risk is low here, with all generations welcome and encouraged to visit. Provided you use basic safety precautions and know the weather and ocean risks, you'll enjoy your time here whether you're a solo traveler or visiting with family/friends. This is a great couples retreat, too.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

Contact the Water Division in the city of Jamestown to get the latest Consumer Confidence Report. The latest one posted online is from 2019, which means it was the results of 2018. All cities have to abide by and meet the standards of the Safe Water Drinking Act, which means the risk is low.

Safest Places to Visit in Jamestown

Use the Discover Newport website to find attractions and things to do in nearby Jamestown.

The two are just six miles apart, but Jamestown is on its own island.

For ferry information between the two cities, use the Jamestown Newport Ferry website.

You can buy a Hop-On Hop-Off ticket, which allows you to board or stop at any of the locations on the route for a full day.

Tickets are between $10 and $30.

Ferries run from mid-May through early October.

Jamestown Village is the activity hub, near the ferry dock and along Narragansett Road, filled with eateries and shops.

Beavertail State Park is one of two state parks on the island.

This stunning coastal park is located at the southern tip of Conanicut Island.

Enjoy scenic walks along the rugged coastline and take in panoramic views of Narragansett Bay.

While you’re there, explore maritime history at Beavertail Lighthouse Museum.

Exhibits include lighthouse technology, maritime navigation, and local seafaring traditions.

This is the third-oldest lighthouse in the United States.

You can climb the tower (weather permitting), but be sure that everyone in your group is four feet tall and avoid wearing flip-flops.

You’ll need to be able to climb 49 steps and a seven-foot-tall ladder.

Another slice of history awaits at Conanicut Battery Historic Park.

Explore the remnants of a coastal defense battery dating back to the early 20th century.

Walk among the gun emplacements and enjoy scenic views of the bay and Newport Bridge.

You can find more historical stops by visiting the Jamestown Historical Society website, and one of the best stops is the old Jamestown windmill, which is powered up with sails every other year.

Tours are available during the peak season.

Mackerel Cove is the popular local beach, one from early June through early September.

Spend a relaxing day at this picturesque beach, popular with locals and visitors alike.

Enjoy swimming, sunbathing, kayaking, or simply taking in the serene coastal scenery.

The beach closes at 5 pm.

Experience the maritime heritage of Jamestown with a visit to Dutch Harbor Boat Yard.

Watch skilled craftsmen at work restoring classic wooden boats, or take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront.

You can explore the options for outdoor trails and activities through the Conanicut Island Land Trust.

These might be less crowded locations than the state parks or beaches.

Saving the best for last, consider an overnight stay at the Rose Island Lighthouse.

This charming spot between Newport and Jamestown is on the ferry route but also offers overnight hotel stays.

Visitors stop arriving at the island at 4:00 pm, meaning you’ll have the charming 18-acre island to yourself (and other hotel guests).

Places to Avoid in Jamestown

You don’t need to worry about dangerous parts of town or bad neighborhoods in Jamestown.

In fact, the biggest thing you need to avoid is going onto the private property of the majestic homes here.

With an average price of $770,000, the 5,500 people who live here pay good money for privacy.

It’s also worth noting that you won’t find many hotels in Jamestown.

I can count three as of this publication.

Most of the places to stay are home rentals.

Nearby Newport has dozens of options, but you might find better deals on the other side of the island in Narragansett or South Kingston.

Always avoid the water if there are purple flags, which means dangerous marine life has been spotted.

You can also use the Sharktivity app to see where shark sightings have been reported on the coast.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Jamestown

  1. Jamestown has its own police department. You can find them on Facebook by searching for “Jamestown RI Police Department.” For specific questions, call (401) 423-1212.
  2. Use the CodeRED emergency notification system to get alerts about weather or public safety hazards in Jamestown and across Rhode Island. You can opt into alerts through email, text messages, or phone calls.
  3. If, at any point during a weather event, you need to seek shelter, Melrose School is the designated location. Lawn Avenue School is the place to keep pets during an emergency.
  4. You can submit a crime tip through the police department’s website, and it’s okay if you want to remain anonymous. Even if you aren’t sure if the activity you witnessed was criminal, such as a suspected drug deal, it’s better to report it and be wrong than stay silent.
  5. Review all the beach rules before going. Some things like recreational balls and flotation devices aren’t allowed. Even snorkels and masks are prohibited in Mackeral Cove Beach.
  6. If you book a trip between June and November, check the evaluation map and zones. If a hurricane is approaching, you’ll see what areas will be evacuated first and the best routes off the island.
  7. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, check the Rhode Island Department of Health website for beach water quality testing. It is done weekly, and the biggest risk of a beach closure comes after heavy rain or storms when polluted stormwater runs into the ocean and bay.
  8. You will need a fishing license to cast in Jamestown. The Rhode Island Outdoor website has all the rules and regulations, plus an opportunity to buy a license for a day, week, or year. You will need a separate saltwater and freshwater license, depending on where you plan to fish. The license must be carried with you at all times.
  9. Parking areas in Jamestown range from 15 minutes to no time limit. Only a handful of places allow overnight parking if you’re using the ferry to visit Newport. If you don’t have a car, you can use a shuttle service to pick you up and take you to the ferry dock.
  10. If you’re in the water during the hottest part of summer, you might see a lot of bugs – formally called crustacean isopods – that cause skin irritation. They aren’t dangerous, but they can be annoying. Always shower after swimming in the ocean or bay to wash off larvae or bugs.

So... How Safe Is Jamestown Really?

Jamestown is one of the safest communities you’ll find in the country, and that’s before you consider the thousands of people who visit each year.

The affluent nature of Jamestown means residents are involved in keeping crime rates low and protecting the integrity of its prized historic locations while keeping the coast enjoyable for all.

As a few examples, the violent crime rate here is 37% lower than the state average and 72% lower than the national average.

No more than four violent crimes have happened in one year since at least 2018.

Even thefts, where there are a lot of valuables to be stolen, come in 74% below the national average.

Of the few that do happen, 40% are related to car break-ins over the past five years.

Even in a state where car thefts are a problem, just two (on average) happen each year.

The biggest safety risk here will be the weather and how prepared you are for it.

Plus, how well you heed warnings about weather risks or ocean guidance goes a long way toward determining how safe your visit will be.

Jamestown is truly a gem of a place to visit, which is often overlooked for nearby Newport.

How Does Jamestown Compare?

CitySafety Index
Jamestown82
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

International visitors should start at the U.S. State Department website to see what visa they'll need or if they qualify for a visa waiver. Make sure your passport isn't expiring within six months from the day you will depart the U.S.

Currency

Currency

Only the U.S. Dollar can be used stateside, and the airport plus local banks will have options for currency exchange, but your home bank offers the lowest rates. Most purchases here can be made with credit cards, and be sure to let your card provider know you'll be traveling.

Weather

Weather

Feel free to pack beach casual clothing with the understanding that the seasonal shifts in weather require more layers and even coats and winter accessories part of the year. Sunscreen, bug spray, and items that won't easily blow away in the wind are great ideas, too.

Airports

Airports

Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport is just 30 minutes north of Jamestown. You can also get to Boston, New Haven (CT), and Hartford (CT) airports within two hours.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

You want a travel insurance policy that covers unexpected delays or cancelations, stolen property, and emergency healthcare in the U.S. if your home policy doesn't extend here.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Jamestown Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan -1° C
Feb 0° C
Mar 4° C
Apr 9° C
May 14° C
Jun 19° C
Jul 22° C
Aug 22° C
Sep 18° C
Oct 13° C
Nov 8° C
Dec 2° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
44813182326262217126
Low
°C
-5-4-1491417181484-2
High
°F
393946556473797972635443
Low
°F
232530394857636457463928

Rhode Island - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Burrillville79
Cranston88
Cumberland84
Jamestown82
Johnston79
Little Compton81
Narragansett82
Newport80
North Kingstown83
Pawtucket80
Providence68
Warwick85
Westerly82
Woonsocket65

Where to Next?

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