United States : Safety by City
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Stockton sits at the heart of San Joaquin County amidst the farmlands of the Central Valley.
The Yatchicumne, a branch of the Northern Valley Yokuts Indians, initially settled the area.
Northern Europeans began to migrate into the region around 1841 when Carlos Maria Weber and Guillermo Gulnac received an 11 square league land grant and established Rancho Campo de Los Franceses.
Stockton was the center of the California Gold Rush in 1848 and officially became a city in 1850.
Built at the start of the California Gold Rush, the seaport provides easy access for trade and transportation.
This peat-rich acreage, which grows winter produce and fruit, including grapes, onions, oranges, and varieties of winter squash, is fed by thousands of miles of waterways, creeks, and tributaries that make up the California Delta.
With an estimated population of 320,000, Stockton is California’s 13th largest city and has been named an All-American City four times in the past two decades.
Warnings & Dangers in Stockton
OVERALL RISK : HIGH
Stockton has a high crime rate. Reported crimes in the city are 2.5 times the national average, and the chances are 1 in 23 of becoming a victim of crime. The good news is that reported crimes have decreased 20 percent year over year.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Stockton has reliable national taxi and recognizable rideshare companies. It also has several smaller taxi and shuttle companies that service the airport and surrounding Stockton areas. Many taxi services in the United States charge an additional credit card fee. As a tourist, keep to legitimate transportation companies and be aware of the people around you when paying for the fare. Some minor transportation services will only keep to specific areas, so check your destination in advance. Always have a backup to your transportation plans - making transportation plans in advance or through your hotel's front desk or concierge.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH
In Stockton, the danger of falling victim to theft is significant. Pickpockets may not reach into pant or coat pockets, but they do steal wallets, passports, cell phones, and other valuables from people's clothing and bags in public. To minimize chances of being a target, keep valuables close, do not flash cash. Do not set purses or backpacks on the backs of chairs.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Stockton sits in Northern California along the San Andreas fault lines, so earthquakes are possible. Because the city sits at the Delta and the intricate waterway systems throughout the area, even minor rainstorms can cause street and area flooding in lower-lying areas.
MUGGING RISK : HIGH
A mugging occurs when someone is attacked and robbed in public. Muggings can be crimes of opportunity or victims followed from a safer area to a more isolated place. Stockton's city center has some of the highest incidences of theft. The best possible defense is to be aware of your surroundings and hide your valuables.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
Terrorists are individuals or small groups inspired to act by a specific ideology. These attacks usually target public events or places. Stockton is a seaport, which may pose additional risks. Following law enforcement instructions and staying up to date on local news can protect you from danger.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
Beware of panhandling. As it is no longer a crime, those begging for money on public streets can become quite aggressive. It is a noticeable problem in Stockton. A common scam in the Bay area is tampering with ATM and credit card reading machines to duplicate card numbers. Be aware of street ATMs and often check your credit card or bank statement when traveling.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
There is a substantial crime risk throughout the city, regardless of gender. With that in mind, the risk of falling victim to crime, violent or not, specifically to women, is real.
TAP WATER RISK : MEDIUM
Supplied by area groundwater (wells), surface water from Stockton East Water District, and the Delta, the Stockton city water supply meets all federal and state drinking water standards and is safe to drink. However, past contamination by cyanobacteria has made residents cautious.
Safest Places to Visit in Stockton
If you are looking for a day of safe fun in Stockton, visit one of the many galleries and museums.
The Bob Hope Museum celebrates the life and history of the famed entertainer.
The Haggin Museum is an art and history museum considered an undiscovered treasure by locals.
The Haggin Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday with an admission price of $8 – free for children under ten years old.
Another unique destination is The Wat Dhammararam, an active Buddhist temple featuring jewel-encrusted statues celebrating the Cambodian Buddha.
The temple is free and open to the public from sunrise to sunset.
Placess to Avoid in Stockton
Stockton, California, has a storied past.
Ninety miles inland from San Francisco Bay, the seaport attracts crime.
Generally, according to Stockton Police-reported crime statistics, downtown Stockton, the Seaport, and Civic Center are the most dangerous parts of the city.
Some neighborhoods and suburbs of concern include Lodi, Modesto, Oakdale.
Other public places in Stockton to avoid or take precautions include several blocks immediately adjacent to the University of the Pacific along W Pacific Avenue, W Harding Way, and north of the University along N El Dorado.
As a rule, avoid waterfront areas at night, staying in well-lit areas.
While Mission San Jose is a true landmark, the area around the park after dark deserves caution.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Stockton
- Know your destination. Research your destination before you arrive. Walking around focusing on a map, even if it’s on your phone, lets everyone know you are a tourist.
- Take a cab. If you are unsure where you are going, it is best and safest to grab a taxi or legitimate car service. Don’t accept rides from strangers or someone who walks up to you on the street.
- Remember to check in regularly. If you are traveling domestically for work or fun, let your circle know where you are. If you are traveling internationally, checking in via a free service such as Skype or webchat is a good option. Several apps on the market provide unique benefits for solo or women travelers.
- Know who to call in an emergency. Anywhere in the United States -CALL 911. Also, putting your hotel number and, if international, the embassy number on your phone when you arrive is a good idea.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Earbuds are great technology but tend to make you miss your bus stop, forget things at the table, or distract from current events or surroundings. Distracted people are likely victims of crimes of opportunity.
- Make copies. Carry digital copies of essential documents on your phone or tablet and keep hard copies somewhere safe just in case.
- Be cautious of public wi-fi. Consider using a VPN or a personal hotspot to keep information safe and protect essential passwords.
- Skip the bling. Shiney things draw attention and could single a person out as a victim of a crime. Don’t flash your cash.
- Do everything in moderation. Alcohol impairs a person’s judgment, which can cause confusion and increase their risk of being a victim.
- Know your embassy. To be contacted in an emergency, enroll in the U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
So... How Safe Is Stockton Really?
Stockton is a true melting pot of people.
According to the FBI, Stockton is more dangerous than 95% of United States cities. Violent crimes in Stockton are 229% higher than the national average.
The most prevalent crimes are property, theft, and assault.
However, crime has decreased over 20% over the past year.
Recognizing the need for improvement, the City of Stockton has recently prioritized crime reduction and community outreach programs.
Residents consider the West part of the city the safest.
In contrast, Downtown Stockton is the most dangerous.
In general, you have a 1 in 24 chance of becoming a victim of crime and a 1 in 79 probability of facing violent crime in Stockton – almost three times that of California.
According to reported crime statistics, some of the safest areas are east and west of downtown Stockton, including Holt, Gillis, Waterloo, Armstrong, Bear Creek, and Lane, all upscale suburban neighborhoods.
Pockets of decreased crime exist close to the city’s center, including the Naval Communications Station and Brookside Country Club area along St Andrews Drive, west of downtown.
Downtown Stockton is a diverse community offering a collection of trendy bars and unique farm-to-table restaurants, a waterfront amphitheater, and open-air shopping.
Fun both day and night.
But travelers are encouraged to use precautions when out and about in city crowds, including not carrying cash, staying with the group, and being aware of their surroundings.
How Does Stockton Compare?
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- Visas - The United States visa policy can take time, so start early. International tourists may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa via visa-free travel. Many countries have a basic non-immigrant reciprocity policy where only a passport and purchase declarations are necessary. The process is straightforward for those requiring tourist visas with a 160 USD fee. Student and work visas fall into different categories. If there are questions about a particular visa type or status, contact the local U.S. embassy for more detailed information.
- Currency - The currency in Fremont is the same throughout the United States, the United States dollar, abbreviated USD. One easy way to quickly exchange foreign currency for U.S. dollars is to withdraw funds from a recognized ATM found throughout the city. Airport kiosks and most branded banks can assist with currency exchange. However, luckily, most businesses and tourist locations accept credit and debit cards. Places like the downtown farmers' markets and street vendors or food trucks may ask for cash. Stockton is relatively expensive. Meals and tourist outings will cost about $75 a day.
- Weather - Hot, arid summers and pleasant winters are the earmarks of Stockton's weather. And rain averages almost 14 inches annually. When it is not raining, Tule fog, thick ground fog, blankets the area, keeping temperatures down and damp. Temperatures can reach 100°F (37°C) and drop to just below freezing, around 27°F (-2.3°C). But even at its hottest, lows at night average 50°F. To stay comfortable, dress in layers with a light coat or sweater.
- Airports - Stockton Metropolitan Airport (SCK) is about 5 miles from downtown Stockton. Other area international airports include Oakland (OAK) and Sacramento (SMF), and San Jose (SJC), all about 53 miles from Stockton, and San Francisco International (SFO), which sits about 65 miles from Stockton.
- Travel Insurance - Regardless of where you are, buying travel insurance is a must. A travel insurance policy will cover general illness, major medical emergencies, and associated expenses in most cases. Travel insurance also covers the loss or theft of luggage and valuables. Remember to read the policy carefully before purchasing.
Stockton Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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