Georgia : Safety by City
- East Columbus
- East Point
- Johns Creek
- Peachtree City
- Peachtree Corners
- Sandy Springs
- South Fulton
- Tybee Island
- Warner Robins
South Fulton, Georgia is one of the newest cities in the Atlanta metro area and thriving as the eighth-largest city in the Peach State.
What makes that statistic really odd is that there isn’t a single hotel in South Fulton.
You’re going to need to go another 15 minutes south along I-85 or closer to Atlanta along I-285.
The city boundaries of South Fulton are also literally all over the place.
We’re going to talk through the region as a whole, with specific crime numbers from inside the South Fulton Police Department jurisdiction.
This is a community that is 91% African American with a Hispanic/Latino and Caucasian presence as well.
You’ll definitely find diversity here in the businesses and community spirit.
City leadership celebrates the Black pride of the community and wants to enhance the living experience, not make it any less diverse than it currently is.
There’s a new mayor who has ideas to change everything about the way the city has been run over the past five years, including the name.
By the time you visit, it might be called something other than South Fulton.
Warnings & Dangers in South Fulton
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
One of the challenges that the mayor faces is the exorbitant crime rates. There's a medium risk when traveling here because any way you dissect the numbers, there's a concerning number.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
The MARTA bus system does come to one stop in South Fulton. There's also a Fulton Countywide bus system, but it only runs until 4:00 pm daily and it's quite confusing to figure out where it goes and at what time. Rideshares and taxis are available. I have no numbers that suggest perfectly if this is a low or medium risk, but waiting at a bus stop here isn't the safest idea for a tourist. To err on the side of caution, I'd call it a medium risk.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
Surprisingly, of the 1850 thefts that occurred, not one of them was a pickpocket or purse snatching. The downside is the violent crime rate is one in 103, so that means there's most likely a bigger chance someone will take your stuff by force than by trickery. There's technically a low risk, but keep your belongings secured and bring only what you need with you in public.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
This city faces the risk of tornadoes as the most destructive element. Severe thunderstorms are common as well. You'll get plenty of notice before a storm comes, but you had better get to a safe spot when there is a tornado warning or you could get seriously hurt.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
There's a medium risk of mugging happening here. In mid-2022, an armed robbery suspect was caught on camera smashing into a semi during a chase with police. There are just a lot of ruthless crimes here.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
This is a medium risk due to its proximity to Atlanta and not because South Fulton is a target. Atlanta is the largest city in the South and will always be a focal point of Homeland Security.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
There is a low risk of typical tourist scams, but there is a lot of scamming going on in the city. One scammer hijacked the fine payment line at the courthouse to steal money from people. There is a home rental scam. While it doesn't target tourists specifically, it could. This is when a real listing for a home is altered by scammers who keep all the home details intact but add their own contact information. They steal the deposit and run, leaving people without their promised rental. Never send money via wire to hold a rental home. Since there are no hotels in South Fulton, you might be looking for a rental. Be sure the landlord can prove ownership and a rental license before committing to anything.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
Women have a medium risk here due to high violent crime rates. The sexual assault average is below the national level, but not by much. Recently, there was a Stop the Violence rally at a local park and someone not affiliated with the rally was shot and killed just a few feet away. When someone can get shot near a peaceful rally in broad daylight, I can't in good conscience give it anything but a medium rating.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The annual water quality report for Fulton County shows no violations and a drinking water supply that is low risk and meets or exceeds all requirements at the state and federal levels.
Safest Places to Visit in South Fulton
There’s not a whole lot to do in South Fulton by itself, and I’m not just saying that.
Even the “Tourism” section of the website is empty.
The Georgia Tourism website doesn’t have a South Fulton section either.
This is one of the challenges of being in a new city and having to start a lot of planning from scratch.
The problem with South Fulton is that as of 2022, only 15% of the area was zoned to be commercial properties.
The new mayor is working to fix that.
The Atlanta Campaign Heritage Trail is a road that takes you along many historical markers of the Civil War throughout Atlanta.
The road does run through South Fulton, so it’s a great activity to hop in the car and drive around Atlanta looking for all the markers.
The Campbellton Creek Nature Preserve is on 81 acres and will include walking trails and wildlife sightings when complete.
It’s still being worked on as of May 2022, but hopefully, it will be finished by the time you arrive.
JD’s Horse Ranch is a place where you can go on trail rides with horses and a guide.
If you aren’t sure how to ride a horse, you can even take a lesson there.
You do have to make an appointment for a ride.
Grab your shotgun and go visit the Tom Lowe Shooting Grounds.
There you can do trap or skeet shooting and you don’t need reservations.
Beginners shouldn’t feel nervous because there are skill levels for everyone.
You probably didn’t bring your shotgun on vacation, so you can rent one on-site.
From South Fulton, you are also just 20 minutes away from Six Flags Over Georgia in Austell.
The park is open from April through September.
There’s a water park there as well.
The BIG Six Flags White Water park is in Marietta.
You can buy tickets for both at a discounted price.
Places to Avoid in South Fulton
Here’s the thing – if you don’t have a reason to be in South Fulton, don’t go there.
That’s not because you are in imminent danger, but there just isn’t much to see or do here unless you are visiting friends and family.
Then they can tell you there isn’t much to see or do here.
At least, not as of mid-2022.
The city is poised to someday be a retail and commerce hub if the local leaders have their dreams come true and hard work pays off.
The city is just five years old and working through a lot of growing pains and ironing out the kinks.
The city limits are scattered all over and around other cities, like Union City, Fairburn, and Palmetto.
The highest crime areas in the city are along major interstate routes and main roads, which isn’t different than other cities.
There’s just a lot more crime here.
When there’s a homicide at a place called “Welcome All Park”, you really need to think about whether it’s a good idea for you to visit there.
It will help if you know someone in the area to tell you the best local restaurants, as a few looked quite delicious with names like Greedy’s and Gut Busters.
Safety Tips for Traveling to South Fulton
- The Old National Highway corridor is known for having some blight and a strong homeless population. A homeless person might ask for money if you are at a stoplight there or if you are walking around. A firm “No” should suffice and if you feel guilty, donate to one of the homeless organizations in South Fulton.
- There’s a distracted driving law in Georgia and South Fulton Police enforce it sometimes by having distracted driving checkpoints. At the last event, 218 citations were given out. Keep the phone put away unless you are using it for GPS.
- There is a bad habit of Fast & Furious wannabes taking to the streets of South Fulton and street racing. If you see this activity happening, get out of the way and call police. The city has a zero-tolerance policy for this kind of behavior. If you can do so safely, get a video or a photo of the cars involved.
- The South Fulton Police Department’s website appears to be a work in progress. There are crime stats that were once regularly updated, but that stopped in mid-2020, probably because of the pandemic. News releases about crimes aren’t listed there as well. You should follow the department on Facebook and Twitter, as those are much more recently updated with news stories, both positive and concerning.
- If you have questions to ask the police department, the non-emergency number is (470)809-7300. There are four police precincts in South Fulton as well if you want to stop by when you are visiting.
- In 2021, South Fulton Police took more than $2.5 million in drugs off the streets. If you see or hear of drug activity during your visit, call the anonymous hotline at (470)552-TIPS (8477). Stopping drug problems can help reduce other criminal activity.
- When visiting one of the local parks here, there are park rangers that are certified police officers and patrol the park on ATVs. The park rangers are on duty from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm on weekdays and during special events on weekends.
- There are more than 1,000 gangs in metro Atlanta and there is gang activity in South Fulton. The hallmark of a gang is graffiti nearby. If you see any graffiti or vandalism, call that non-emergency number for the police. Cleaning up graffiti is one way to tackle gang presence.
- There are cameras in school zones here watching to tackle speeding problems. School zones have a strict 25 mph limit and if you are caught speeding by a camera you’ll get a ticket. Nearly 2,800 people were issued tickets in the first year the cameras were installed, which was down from the 38,000 the year before.
- 511ga.org is the best friend for anyone driving around the Atlanta area. Right now I’m looking at a live traffic report from South Fulton to downtown Atlanta and I know where there is a stalled car and a construction detour. You can download this from the app store as well. Create an account so you can save your routes ahead of time before you get in the car.
So... How Safe Is South Fulton Really?
South Fulton isn’t a place where people go looking for trouble, but it’s a place where there is a lot of trouble to be found.
The drug trade and gang activity drive a lot of violent and property crime.
Even though you aren’t a drug dealer or gang member (you aren’t, right?), there is still a risk of being an innocent victim of a crime near you, though the large majority of violent crime is against people who are known to their assailant.
The police department here is working with a community policing model to patrol the streets, form relationships, and have the community help with reporting issues.
The crime rates in 2021 were down in all key areas from 2020 except for homicide.
While the numbers aren’t very safe right now, there is progress being made and this kind of big reform doesn’t happen overnight.
If you are parking a car here, I implore you to follow strict safety protocol by locking the doors and rolling up the windows every time you park.
Leave valuables at home and nothing, not even the GPS stand, should be left visible inside the car.
472 cars were stolen and 344 cars were broken into in 2021.
In 2019, those numbers were 638 and 913.
Again, you see progress, but still, a concerning enough number to even bring that pack of gum on the center console inside with you.
Here are the risks of being a victim of crime in South Fulton:
- Violent Crime: 1 in 103
- One note on this:
- 71% of violent crimes happened in homes.
- 4% of crimes were directly against strangers.
- Theft: 1 in 58
- Robbery: 1 in 1180
South Fulton is a city in disrepair but rebuilding with some really incredible leaders and a ton of community support.
The downside for a tourist is that there aren’t hotels in the city and you don’t have those big attractions to see here in a metro area flooded with big attractions.
How Does South Fulton Compare?
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- Visas - Your Visa is only needed to get approved upon arrival in the United States. After that, you can put it away and use your passport as your ID.
- Currency - You can only use the U.S. Dollar here. Don't carry around a lot of cash in this neighborhood and keep whatever cash you do have out of plain sight.
- Weather - You're going to have a variety of weather in the winter, heck, some days you might get all four seasons. Be prepared to dress in layers, but bringing a warm jacket is a good idea because of the fluidity of the weather here. In summer you're going to need a sweat rag and light clothing that absorbs sweat. It's just very humid here and the warmer temperatures in the summer just make it more intense.
- Airports - South Fulton is on the same side of the metro area as the airport, so you won't have all that city traffic to get to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Since South Fulton is so big, it's going to take anywhere from 5 to 35 minutes to get to the airport from your location.
- Travel Insurance - When flying in and out of one of the busiest airports in the world, you'll need travel insurance for all the things that could go wrong.
South Fulton Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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