Is Manning Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On March 31, 2024
Manning, United States
Safety Index:
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Manning, South Carolina, is about as Deep South and Lowcountry as you can get in the Palmetto State.

The city of just 4,000 people has seen many ups and downs throughout its history and was originally settled in 1856.

Not even a decade later, most of the city was reduced to rubble during the Civil War.

Rebuilding happened quickly, and Manning became a railroad stop and an agricultural hub.

In the late 1800s, a fire ravaged the town.

The local newspaper stated, “The cry of FIRE! FIRE! was heard from every quarter, and soon, there were gathered upon the streets hundreds of people.

The fire was found to be in the handsome new brick store of Harvin and Barron.

The flames spread rapidly over the entire building, and it looked as if the entire block would be consumed.”

Several more fires happened before the first fire truck arrived in 1907.

Even the best fire department couldn’t protect against a tornado in 1915 that once again caused destruction in Manning.

Yet through every challenge, Manning persevered.

The creation of Lake Marion in 1941 brought new recreation opportunities to the area.

Manning notably experienced peaceful Civil Rights demonstrations without any violence.

As the years wore on, Manning took serious beatings from the weather, with hurricanes and tornadoes causing damage that would eventually be rebuilt.

Manning never grew past the point of being a small town, and when you visit here, you’re going more for the region than just the city.

It’s a close-knit place, with people holding onto traditional Southern values.

Warnings & Dangers in Manning

Overall Risk


There's a medium risk in Manning, but that's more about what we don't know than what we do. The crime rates are high, and the city doesn't have a lot of opportunities for visitors. Clarendon County, as a whole, offers much more.

Transport & Taxis Risk


You'll need a rental car to get around this region as public transportation isn't available. You might find a taxi service or two, but a ride could take a while.

Pickpockets Risk


With just one purse snatching in five years, the risk is low. Keep it that way by using standard personal safety steps and limiting what you carry with you. Keep wallets in your front pockets, not your back pockets, and keep your purse close to your body.

Natural Disasters Risk


This is a medium risk due to severe weather that can cause major damage, and doing a simple Google News search will show you some of the most recent. It's almost like Manning is a magnet for storms. Tropical weather moving inland can also cause problems here.

Mugging Risk


Over the past five years, just three muggings have occurred. The majority of robberies are at private homes or local businesses. The risk is low, but again, use smart safety practices to keep it that way.

Terrorism Risk


The risk here is low because it's such a small, remote town. The biggest risk is criminals within the community.

Scams Risk


Like most things in Manning, there isn't much to find online or in crime data about such risks. Given that it's a residential area with few things to lure a tourist in, the risk is low, but you can always check the police department's Facebook page for updates.

Women Travelers Risk


Women should proceed with caution here, especially if you're not from this area and don't know your way around. Stay in well-lit areas, and don't walk around at night.

Tap Water Risk


The 2022 Water Quality Report shows full compliance and no violations in all tested categories. The risk is low.

Safest Places to Visit in Manning

There’s really no two ways around it – Manning doesn’t have a lot to do.

There are four local parks, but they are just small traditional playgrounds and grass areas.

The downtown area has a collection of restaurants and shops.

The Pocotaligo Nature Walk is a great spot for birding and walking through the swamp on elevated boardwalks.

Be sure to look for the Liberty Tree and learn about the surrounding history.

Shannon Greens Golf Club is the local golf course, and about a dozen more are located throughout Clarendon County.

The biggest draw to this area is Lake Marion.

It covers an impressive surface area of approximately 110,000 acres, making it one of the largest lakes in the state.

Lake Marion is part of the Santee Cooper Lakes system, which also includes Lake Moultrie.

These lakes are connected by the Diversion Canal, providing additional recreational access and navigation routes.

Along the shores of Lake Marion, visitors can find several designated parks and wildlife management areas that offer opportunities for outdoor recreation and nature exploration.

Situated on the northern shore of Lake Marion, Santee State Park offers camping, hiking trails, fishing piers, and a marina.

Located on the western shore of the lake, the refuge encompasses over 15,000 acres of wetlands, forests, and grasslands.

It provides habitat for a variety of migratory birds, including waterfowl and wading birds, as well as other wildlife such as deer, alligators, and otters.

Lake Marion Wildlife Management Area covers over 25,000 acres along the eastern shore of Lake Marion.

It offers hunting, fishing, hiking, and wildlife viewing opportunities in a natural and undeveloped setting.

If you prefer to see snakes, alligators, and other reptiles in a less exposed setting, head to the Serpent Center.

I’m not really good with closeup photos of snakes, so the best I can tell you by looking at their website is that they offer private tours and classes on how to handle venomous snakes.

You’ll gain a greater understanding of this region by visiting the Elloree Heritage Museum & Cultural Center on the other side of Lake Marion from Manning.

If you visit, you’ll find a slew of art displays through murals and sculptures throughout the region, with several locations in Manning.

The website includes some historic homes in the county, the Revolutionary War Trail, and much more Southern history that might interest you.

Places to Avoid in Manning

Manning is a very small town, and it won’t be easy to avoid a specific area if you’re visiting.

You should stay on the main roads through town and don’t go into neighborhoods unless you’re visiting someone there.

It will help to know standard Southern etiquette when visiting a place like Manning, as they are very set in their ways.

For example, it’s standard for a man to remove his hat if he’s indoors.

Other things include holding the door open for people behind you (or letting people in front of you hold the door), graciously listening to people telling stories (even if it’s a painfully long and slow-told story), and saying “Yes ma’am/sir” when interacting with locals.

Avoid the edge of swamps or lakes around dusk and dawn.

That’s when alligators are most active.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Manning

  1. Manning has a police department, though you can’t find a website online as of this publication. Follow them on Facebook @CityofManningSCPD. The phone number is (803) 435-8859.
  2. If you have information about a crime or learn of a crime after the fact, call the Manning Police Department Anonymous Crime Tip Line at 803-433-8025.
  3. Manning uses the CodeRED system to send out emergency notifications. You can choose to get text messages, phone calls, or emails.
  4. Since there is a lot of open space around Manning, I would recommend you not rely on mobile service to get all the alerts. Bring a NOAA battery-powered weather radio with you, or use your AM radio to get weather information. You should always have 2–3 ways to get severe weather information.
  5. Use SC511 to check road conditions and real-time traffic when visiting this region. One road closure can back up traffic for miles with few detours. With I-95 so close by, you can also look at live cameras to see road conditions.
  6. Since Manning is so close to an interstate, you might need to stop and get gas. Always use extra caution at gas stations on major thoroughfares since it could be a hot spot for theft or panhandling. Try to park as close to the front of the convenience store as possible, as those pumps are least likely to have skimming devices.
  7. A fishing license is required for all anglers, even out-of-state residents. You can buy a license online through the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Be sure you get a freshwater license.
  8. This is alligator territory, and you should know that Lake Marion is ranked as one of the most populated spots for alligators. Estimates put about 100 gators in those waters. While many people will still swim in the water and claim gators won’t come near a crowd, you can make that decision for yourself. I’m not a fan of even kayaking on alligator-infested waters, but that’s just me.
  9. Coyotes are also found in this area. At first glance, it might look like a stray dog, so learn the distinct differences between the two. Don’t bait or feed a coyote. For the most part, they will leave you alone and run from you if they see you.
  10. If you’re riding a bicycle around this region, you are required by law to have a bell or horn on the bike so you can alert people on bike paths to your presence.

So... How Safe Is Manning Really?

I have spent more time than I care to admit trying to figure out the mystery of Manning, South Carolina.

As a small town in a rural area, not much news coverage is given to this community.

The police department doesn’t even have a website or a presence on the city’s website.

The violent crime rate is a whopping 163% higher than the state average and 213% higher than the national average.

The only redeeming aspect for a visitor is that nearly 70% of those crimes happen in private homes.

Clarendon County is eight times larger by population but only has twice as many violent crimes.

The theft rate is astronomically 317% higher than the national average, with 49% of all thefts being shoplifting.

Yet, there is little context to anything about Manning’s crime, which is exponentially higher than most cities in the state – heck, in America.

Now, I’ll be the first to explain that FBI crime rates are determined by crimes per 100,000 people, which can make small towns get skewered when you take raw data and blow it up to per 100,000 people.

However, to have 45 violent crimes and 225 thefts in a city of fewer than 4,000 people is an eye-opener.

Plus, one in four people here lives in poverty.

The only social comments I can find about the city talk about how there’s nothing to do there except go to the lake.

There’s also the possibility that the crimes committed here are caused by people from other communities or passing through on I-95.

Manning might be a stop along a busy interstate, but it’s certainly not a community banking on your tourism or offering much to invite you in.

Plus, there’s no transparency about the crime rates or what’s being done to lower them.

My advice?

Keep driving.

How Does Manning Compare?

CitySafety Index
New Orleans57
Washington DC56
New York City67
Niagara Falls (Canada)87
Calgary (Canada)82
Buenos Aires (Argentina)60
Vancouver (Canada)82
Cordoba (Argentina)61
Toronto (Canada)81

Useful Information



International visitors need a visa and a passport that isn't within six months of expiring. You might qualify for a visa waiver, and you can find out if you do on the U.S. State Department website.



Only the U.S. Dollar is accepted here and, with theft rates as they are, don't carry cash here and keep whatever you have locked away. You won't find currency exchange anywhere in this region outside the major cities.



You'll get mild weather here throughout the year, but it will be humid and sticky for most of it. You need bug spray and clothing that you don't mind sweating in. Wear comfortable walking shoes and choose options you don't mind getting muddy.



Within 90 minutes, you can get to the Charleston or Columbia airports. You shouldn't get hit by too much traffic since this is such a remote Lowcountry region.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Comprehensive travel insurance gives peace of mind for accidents, delays, or thefts on your trip. Due to the remote nature of Manning, be sure your rental car insurance covers roadside assistance.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Manning Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 8° C
Feb 9° C
Mar 14° C
Apr 18° C
May 22° C
Jun 26° C
Jul 28° C
Aug 27° C
Sep 24° C
Oct 18° C
Nov 13° C
Dec 9° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

South Carolina - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Folly Beach68
Fort Mill78
Hilton Head Island79
Isle of Palms81
Mount Pleasant78
Myrtle Beach65
North Augusta70
Pawleys Island82
Rock Hill63
St. Helena Island78
Sullivan’s Island80
Travelers Rest77
West Columbia65

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