California : Safety by City
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Moreno Valley is in the Riverside metropolitan area and is a short distance from many of the major attractions in Southern California.
It’s an hour from the beaches, mountains, Los Angeles, and not much further than that to San Diego.
It is a young city, incorporated just 30 years ago, and has a lot of parks and outdoor activities to enjoy.
There are several trails both in the city and the immediate area, the most popular of which is the M Trail, a 3.3-mile loop through the wilderness.
It is part of the inland empire and has a lot of diversity, which means a lot of ethnic food to choose from.
Moreno Valley had 50,000 when it began in 1984, and today has more than 200,000 people.
For 30 years, the Riverside International Speedway was in Moreno Valley, and today that area is a very large shopping mall.
Warnings & Dangers in Moreno Valley
OVERALL RISK: LOW
Moreno Valley is one of the more affordable cities in southern California. It does have a crime rate that is a little above average, but for the most part, it is very safe. The main areas are safe, with some bad areas.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
The city bus is free for college students and anyone under the age of 18. That makes it a little crowded at times, but public transportation is safe. Taxis are also licensed and safe. There are several taxi companies.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
Pickpockets are fewer than there used to be. People are carrying less cash and credit cards are more secure, making them not as profitable. There are a few here and there, but not many are reported in Moreno Valley.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
Southern California is known for its fires and earthquakes. Moreno Valley is in a location that would be conducive to such a natural disaster, but so far none have it.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
If you stay in the main areas and don't go into remote areas at night, there is very little risk of being mugged. Some areas are not as safe after dark, and you could get mugged there.
TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM
A city with a lot of people could be a target for terrorism, and there is an airforce base, which could also be an appealing target for terrorists. There have not been any, but the targets are there.
SCAMS RISK: MEDIUM
There have been some scams reported in Moreno Valley. People sell fake jewelry on the streets and at gas stations. Fake real estate agents have lured people into dangerous situations. Fake tickets, as well as selling things online that don't exist, have also been reported.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Women travelers are common in this area and are as safe as men are. There have been very few reports of women being singled out for crimes. Still, bars can be dangerous at night with spiked drinks, and women should not be out alone at night.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
Tap water is provided by the city and is very safe. The water meets all state and national standards. The city is not very old, and the water system isn't either. There have been no issues with Moreno Valley water.
Safest Places to Visit in Moreno Valley
The March Field Air Museum is on an Air Force base, so very safe.
It has airplanes from the early 1900s through the modern era with a long history of flight.
Hike the M, Hidden Springs, San Timoteo Canyon, and more hiking areas in the immediate area.
The hiking trails are very safe from criminals, and there are very few if any dangerous animals to be concerned about.
There are also recreation areas and a couple of lakes close by.
The weather is usually great, and there are a lot of outdoor activities in this area to choose from.
The great outdoors is very safe here.
Shopping areas are safe as well.
The Moreno Valley Mall is one of the biggest in the region.
There is a tamale festival each year.
Escape rooms, virtual reality, and paintball are very popular in Moreno Valley.
The Riverside County Regional Park and Open Space area is another safe area that has wooded areas as well as open areas for recreation.
Places to Avoid in Moreno Valley
The crime rate for Moreno Valley is 38 per 1000, and the national average is 40.
Most crime is in the northeast area where you have a one in 20 chance of being a crime victim.
In the southeast section, that chance falls to one in 42.
The northwest section also has a high crime rate, but that is where most of the businesses are and not many people live there.
This would make the crime rate seem higher than it is.
The southernmost tip of the city around the Escondido Freeway is also an area of heavy crime.
Property crime is more common than violent crime in most of the city.
San Bernardino is just to the south and has a lot of poverty with a reputation for violent crime.
It is not a good area for tourists to visit.
Banning is another town bordering the Moreno Valley, with a lot of poverty and low property values.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Moreno Valley
- Lock your hotel room. There is not a tremendous amount of violent crime, but there is a lot of property crime. Leaving something in your room could result in it getting stolen. Keep valuables like laptops out of sight and use the hotel safe.
- Lock your car. Criminals look for easy targets. Sometimes they check to see if doors are locked on cars. They will usually pass up a locked car. Finding open one allows them to take whatever is there.
- Don’t be flashy. Avoid looking like you have a lot of money. Keep your wallet and cash out of sight. Don’t flash electronics or expensive jewelry. You are not likely to be mugged in Moreno Valley, but property crime like stealing is common.
- Wear a money belt. Don’t carry much cash in your wallet or purse. There are pickpockets around at times. Again, just avoid making yourself an easy target by taking precautions. Don’t count your money in public and try not to let anyone see it.
- Use sunscreen. In summer it can get hot, but the sun is often shining in Moreno Valley. There are a lot of outdoor activities to participate in. If you are outdoors a lot, it is a good idea to protect yourself by using sunscreen. Wearing a hat can also protect you from the sun.
- Stay hydrated. The weather is usually nice in this area, and that can be deceiving. It is still easy to get dehydrated. Drink plenty of water and keep some with you as you explore the city. Take some with you if you go hiking. Avoid caffeine and alcohol if you plan to be outdoors a lot as that adds to dehydration levels.
- Don’t go alone. While Moreno Valley is safe, it is still not a good idea to be out at night alone in an unfamiliar area. If you are out alone in the daytime, avoid getting into areas that are secluded or dark. Being by yourself adds to the level of danger, as criminals look for people who are alone.
- Tell someone. When you go on a hike, tell someone where you are going and when you intend to be back. Take a phone with you as well. Someone needs to know where you are most of the time, so if you are unaccounted for, they can decide whether to look for you or not.
- Know the area. Study a map of the city before you go out exploring. Be familiar with various neighborhoods, and where the good and bad areas of Moreno Valley are. You may Google crime maps, or ask at your hotel where the good and bad areas are.
- Use your phone. Instead of carrying a paper map around, try to use the map on your phone instead. Having a paper map makes it obvious you are a tourist and that can draw bad kinds of attention. Using your phone as a GPS is easier too.
So... How Safe Is Moreno Valley Really?
Moreno Valley is a safe area.
It is a good-sized city that is not very old and does not have the issues that some cities its size has.
It does have a crime rate that is slightly higher than the national or state average.
Moreno Valley ranked in the 28th percentile, meaning 28 percent of the cities in the state are more dangerous, and 72 percent are less dangerous.
The crime rate is 38 per 1,000, and the national average is 40.
It also depends on where you are.
In the northeast, you have a one in 20 chance of being a crime victim.
In the southeast, that falls to one in 42.
In the northwest part of the city, there are a lot of tourists and a lot of shoppers in the business district.
Not a lot of people live there.
This makes the crime rate there seem much higher.
So, while there is some crime in these areas, most of it is at night and most of it is property crime.
Moreno Valley’s property crime rate is 18 percent higher than the national average.
Its violent crime rate is about the same as the national average.
In 2020, crime dropped by eight percent in the city.
The outdoor recreation areas and the shopping areas are very safe during the day.
Even at night, most parks are safe.
The danger comes at night, and it comes in certain neighborhoods that have a lot of crime.
Trails are safe during the day, and there have been very few crimes reported even at night.
Still, it is a good idea to avoid being out at night alone anywhere.
How Does Moreno Valley Compare?
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A visa is needed to enter the United States. After you are in the country you will not need it again, but it can be used for identification. With no ports of entry, you will not be entering Moreno Valley directly, so it should not be an issue in this city.
The U.S. Dollar is the standard currency and it is what is used by businesses. Credit cards are accepted from anywhere. You may make an exchange at any bank.
Southern California weather is almost perfect all the time. Summers are not too hot and winters are very mild. That is why outdoor activities like hiking are so popular here. Wear light clothing. There is also not much rain.
There are no big public airports in Moreno Valley, but there is a lot nearby. Ontario International is 28 miles away, Palm Springs International is 47 miles away, and John Wayne Airport is 53 miles away. There are taxi and bus services from any of those airports into Moreno Valley.
Travel insurance is there for you when things go wrong on vacation. Hopefully, you will not need it, but it is a good investment. It will protect you if things do go badly, and it will give you peace of mind along the way.
Moreno Valley Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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