Is Johnston Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On February 20, 2024
Johnston, United States
Safety Index:
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Johnston, Rhode Island, is a quaint town with a rich history dating back to its founding in 1759.

Originally established as a part of Providence, Johnston grew into its own entity, becoming a vibrant community nestled in the heart of the Ocean State.

With a population of around 30,000 residents, Johnston offers a blend of suburban charm and urban amenities.

You just won’t find a lot of traditional tourist attractions.

Visitors to Johnston are drawn to its picturesque landscapes, including lush greenery, serene parks, and winding rivers ideal for outdoor recreation such as hiking, fishing, and picnicking.

The town’s historical sites, like the Johnston Historical Society Museum, provide insight into its past, showcasing artifacts and exhibits detailing its evolution over the centuries.

One notable aspect that attracts attention is Johnston’s connection to pop culture, as it is the hometown of Pauley D, a cast member of the reality TV show “Jersey Shore.”

Fans of the show are known to visit Johnston to explore its streets and perhaps catch a glimpse of places associated with the reality star.

Overall, Johnston offers a peaceful retreat from the bustle of nearby cities, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in its history, natural beauty, and a touch of celebrity allure.

Warnings & Dangers in Johnston

Overall Risk


There's a low risk in Johnston, but also not a whole heck of a lot to do aside from some parks and farms. If you are coming here for one of those activities, you can feel safe doing so.

Transport & Taxis Risk


Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) has several routes through Johnston. You can also easily get a taxi or rideshare. Rental cars are available at the airport. All options are at a low risk.

Pickpockets Risk


Just one pickpocket has been reported in the past five years, making this a low risk. The risk goes up when it comes to your vehicle, so don't leave personal items in the car to avoid getting pickpocketed. Keep them at the hotel.

Natural Disasters Risk


This hovers between low and medium, with special attention needed during the hurricane season, especially from August through October. If a big storm is approaching - be it a hurricane or nor'easter - pay attention, as these can be dangerous storms. Rhode Island is the Ocean State, and no place is safe from the damage a hurricane can leave behind.

Mugging Risk


This is low risk, with just a handful of robberies each year, and only about half of those are highway robberies. It's still wise to stay in well-lit areas and don't go on the trails by yourself.

Terrorism Risk


The risk is low, but reporting suspicious activity helps keep it that way. You can review the latest Terrorism Advisory Bulletin from Homeland Security to get an overview of terror concerns in America.

Scams Risk


As a residential area, the scams here target locals. You don't need to worry about this as a tourist, but you should also know the common scams in America before you visit to be prepared, just in case.

Women Travelers Risk


The same low risk applies to women of any age. There's a good-sized retiree community here.

Tap Water Risk


The 2022 Water Quality Report shows full compliance and no violations. If you're staying in an older home, lead is a risk in outdated pipes. You can limit this risk by letting stagnant faucets run for a minute or two before using the water.

Safest Places to Visit in Johnston

You’ll need to use the Visit Rhode Island or Go Providence websites to find specific things to do in Johnston.

It’s not a large enough town or filled with enough things to do to warrant its own website.

One thing you will find plenty of is Italian food in Johnston.

The Asian food scene is robust as well.

Local favorites for Italian dining include Pat’s Italian Restaurant and Luigi’s.

To learn more about the outdoor spaces, visit

Johnston Memorial Park includes walking trails around a pond, a footbridge, and a war memorial.

This is where many festivals and events are held throughout the year.

Snake Den State Park sounds like a horrifying place to visit, but you can rest assured the namesake venomous timber rattlesnake has been eradicated from this region.

No venomous snakes are in Rhode Island.

The park has plenty of hiking trails and stunning floral areas at Wicked Tulip Farms.

Fall foliage is another great reason to visit this park.

Wicked Tulip Farms opens for U-Pick-Em season during a brief 2-3 week window in April and May when peak bloom happens.

Another Rhode Island location is in Exeter.

The Elijah Angell House is home to the museum for the Johnston Historical Society.

The museum includes a barn out back.

I would call ahead to see if they are open, as the website looks like it was made in the late 1990s.

Enjoy the fruits of the land at Verde Winery in Johnston.

You can have great views of Moswansicut Lake while you’re enjoying a tasting menu or walking the vineyards.

Places to Avoid in Johnston

You won’t find bad parts of town in Johnston, but you also won’t find much to do.

Even hotels are scarce, with just a handful along the major highways.

Read recent news articles about flooding problems in Johnston.

You’ll see patterns of what part of town is likely to flood first if it happens again.

When there is flooding, don’t drive across a flooded roadway.

Just six inches of water can carry away a car or a person.

Plus, that flood water will be filled with contaminated stormwater and other pollution.

One final note – avoid Pauley D’s former home where he lived with his parents.

He now lives in Las Vegas, not in Johnston.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Johnston

  1. Johnston has its own police department. You can reach them on Facebook @JohnstonPoliceRI or call (401) 231-8100 to ask specific safety questions. If you have information about criminal activity while you’re there, email
  2. Sign up for CodeRED emergency alerts to get updated on severe weather, winter weather, weather damage, and other public safety concerns. You can also opt into the state’s CodeRED system if you are traveling outside the Providence region.
  3. The landfill and waste treatment plan in Johnston is known to emit an awful odor. You can’t really avoid it since it’s dependent on the wind direction and other environmental factors. Just know if you smell something rancid, it’s likely from the landfill in Johnston or Warwick.
  4. Johnston has a rat problem, and the city started a new program to control the rodent population in 2023. You’re most likely to find rats near the river. If you’re renting a home here, ask what kind of rodent deterrents are in place. Cranston is also facing a rodent issue.
  5. If a snowstorm is on the way, the city might declare a snow emergency. That means you won’t be able to park on the street until after the emergency is lifted. If you don’t move your car, it could result in being towed or getting a ticket. In fact, it could mean a snow plow sideswipes your vehicle, and you’ll have to foot the repair bill.
  6. Before going near any body of water in Johnston, check the Department of Environmental Quality’s website for the latest water quality report. Several reports from the past show high fecal bacteria and “cesspool” conditions near some of the water sources. It’s better to head to the beach instead of jumping in the water here.
  7. In February 2024, a coyote attacked two people on separate occasions. The second time, a man killed the coyote with his bare hands. It turns out that the coyote was rabid. Leave the wildlife alone, and don’t leave out food or let a dog run loose in the nature areas here. It’s very rare for a coyote to mess with people.
  8. You also need to watch out for deer on the road. Several deadly accidents in the past years show the importance of sticking to the speed limit and keeping an eye out for deer, which dart quickly onto roads during the day and after dark.
  9. Anglers need a fishing license from the state Rhode Island Outdoors website. You can also buy one at an approved vendor in town. Keep it with you at all times while fishing. There is a separate license for saltwater and freshwater.
  10. Use New England 511 to check road conditions across the state and the region. You can review live cameras along your route, set an agenda to get alerts about your route, and see real-time traffic information. It’s especially helpful if you’re traveling outside this small state since other New England states are covered.

So... How Safe Is Johnston Really?

Johnston doesn’t stand out as being super safe or completely unsafe.

It errs on the side of safer, and the violent crime rate is 27% lower than the state average.

It also comes in 68% lower than the national average.

In a safe state, Johnston is a relatively safe town.

Many of the crimes that made big headlines were among people who knew each other.

Being a random victim of violence is rare.

For a residential area, the theft rate is also low, coming in 38% below the national average.

The one area to pay attention to is car break-ins and car accessory thefts, which account for 54% of all thefts.

About three cars are stolen each month on average.

That risk is easy enough to thwart – lock your car and remove personal items.

Put a wheel lock on the steering wheel and park in a garage if you can.

You’ll want to have wildlife and wilderness survival skills if you plan to explore the outdoor areas.

Staying up to date on emergency alerts will also help you have a great time in Johnston.

Keep in mind that all areas around Providence might not be as safe as Johnston, so read out other articles to help supplement this information.

How Does Johnston Compare?

CitySafety Index
San Diego67
Melbourne (Australia)80
Montreal (Canada)81
Sydney (Australia)80
Santiago de Chile (Chile)71
Vienna (Austria)88
Hong Kong (China)70

Useful Information



International visitors might qualify for a visa waiver, and you can check that eligibility on the U.S. State Department website. Otherwise, a visa noting the purpose of your trip - work, tourism, school, etc. - is required, along with a valid passport that isn't within six months of expiring.



The U.S. Dollar is the only currency accepted in the United States. Providence's airport has a foreign currency exchange, but the lowest fees are found at your home bank or a local branch of your bank if it's a global bank. Credit cards can be used for most purchases and offer great fraud protection. However, check for a foreign currency fee before you choose that option.



Pack based on the traditional seasonal weather of Rhode Island. In the summer, you'll want hiking gear and beach bags full of t-shirts, sunscreen, water shoes, and towels. Winter doesn't always have snow on the ground, but this area can get big winter storms. Check the forecast before you pack. Extra layers in spring and fall will help keep up with changing temperatures.



Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport in Warwick is the closest airport, just 15 minutes away.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

You definitely want to insure your flights any time of year due to the weather conditions that can pose a risk to safe flights - especially during the hurricane season.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Johnston Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan -1° C
Feb 0° C
Mar 5° C
Apr 10° C
May 15° C
Jun 20° C
Jul 24° C
Aug 23° C
Sep 19° C
Oct 14° C
Nov 8° C
Dec 3° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Rhode Island - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Little Compton81
North Kingstown83

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