California : Safety by City
- Chino Hills
- Chula Vista
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- Daly City
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- El Monte
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- Huntington Beach
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- Los Angeles
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- Moreno Valley
- Mountain View
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- Redondo Beach
- Redwood City
- San Bernardino
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- San Jose
- San Leandro
- San Luis Obispo
- San Mateo
- Santa Ana
- Santa Barbara
- Santa Clara
- Santa Clarita
- Santa Cruz
- Santa Monica
- Santa Rosa
- Simi Valley
- South Gate
- Thousand Oaks
- Union City
- West Covina
Torrance, California, has a little bit of everything for visitors.
A beachfront, freeway access, neighborhoods tucked away from it all, shopping, a wide variety of ethnic dining, and a good amount of history and art.
The city is home to one of the largest malls in America, and if you’ve ever enjoyed a King’s Hawaiian bread, chances are it came from Torrance.
Torrence is also situated next to several of the most popular beaches in Los Angeles.
36% of this community is Asian and includes one of the largest Japanese populations in the country.
You can eat your way through Asia and other countries with more than 400 restaurant options, including 12 microbreweries.
Right in the middle of the city, you’ll find an escape from urban life in a man-made marsh with plenty of outdoor activities.
Warnings & Dangers in Torrance
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There's a low overall risk in Torrence. This is a city that seems to have balanced all the best parts of California and wrapped it in a bow of safety with low crime numbers.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Torrence Transit can get you to all the hot spots in the city, from the mall to the beach. Taxis and rideshares are readily available and they all come with low risk. As with any public transportation, you should watch your back at the transit stops for potential crimes of opportunity. Don't get lost in your own world with headphones on and your backpack at your feet.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
There were just four pickpockets reported in 2020, making this a city with a low risk of it happening to you. Ideally, you put a wallet in your front pocket buttoned-in as those are harder to steal than a wallet left in a back pocket.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
There are risks of earthquakes, wildfires, air quality impacts, flooding, and hazmat situations in Torrance. The city has a comprehensive plan to prepare for and deal with emergencies as they happen. There's a medium risk because of the dangers that can happen and the city has an emergency hotline. Store (310) 618-2320 in your phone in case you ever have to make that call to get more information.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
The robbery rate is just below the national average, so there's a low risk here. You still need to take proper safety precautions, but there's not an inherent risk of being mugged in Torrance.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
It's close to LAX and has several big companies headquartered here, plus its part of a large population metro area. All that adds up to medium risk. The city's emergency management plan covers terrorism or shelter-in-place situations, so you can read more to be prepared, just in case.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
There are several scams reported in Torrance, but none that include tourists. Most of the reports involve unemployment debit card frauds or scams involving the utility company.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Women should feel safe traveling to Torrance with low risk, but that doesn't always hold true for neighboring communities, so research other cities you'll be visiting while spending time in the South Bay of L.A.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The most recent annual water quality report shows no violations in 2020, and the city meets all required state and federal guidelines. There's a low risk of using tap water here.
Safest Places to Visit in Torrance
There’s 1.5 miles of beachfront in Torrance and it connects to Redondo Beach, another safe community.
The beach has lifeguards during the day to oversee swimmers, divers, windsurfers, and water surfers.
If there is ever an emergency at Torrance Beach, the city now has a Beach Emergency Evacuation Lights System (BEELS) to alert people in the water and on the sand of the emergency.
Del Amo Fashion Center has gone through changes over the decades, and what was once a dying mall has now been rejuvenated into a shopping destination with everything from Old Navy to Nordstrom through three levels of shopping.
15 restaurants are also in and around the mall, with everything from Pink’s Hot Dogs to a Vegas-style Seafood Buffet to the Bazille Bistro at Nordstrom.
Old Town Torrance has the feel of the 1900s settlers who called Torrance home.
There are shops and cafes along the street and don’t forget to check out the Torrance Historical Society for a look at some of the best-preserved homes in the county.
This is also a hot spot for farmer’s markets and farm-to-table food.
Places to Avoid in Torrance
Crime maps show the areas north and east of Torrance Boulevard have the highest crime rates.
The beach area is one of the safest parts of Torrance according to crime maps.
On an additional note here. There is a place called Rat Beach.
As a person scared of rats, I immediately thought “No Way!” when I saw this.
Turns out, it’s not because it’s overrun with rats (don’t our minds tend to go to the worst-case scenario sometimes??).
It’s a good talking point to ask locals how Rat Beach got its name because there are several theories, but no definitive answer.
One popular theory is that it stands for “Right After Torrance” since the beach is just outside Torrance city boundaries.
It is a popular spot for swimming and surfing, so don’t let the name scare you away.
There are reports on social media that the closer to Gardenia you get, the more run down a neighborhood is.
Crime maps show there are higher crimes in the area, but not nearly as crime-ridden as some of the sections of town to the east.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Torrance
- The Torrance Police Department not only supplies a crime map with updated crimes in the community, they also have a page dedicated to crime trends. For example, right now there is a trend of tailgates being stolen off trucks, thefts from unlocked vehicles, and a Pigeon Drop Scam.
- Let’s talk more about a Pigeon Drop Scam. This is a trend throughout much of Southern California. Someone who appears to speak little English approaches you and says they’ve won the lottery. Since they aren’t legal U.S. citizens, they can’t cash the ticket, so they ask you to give them the money and they give you the winning ticket. Of course, that ticket is bogus and you’re out the money. Don’t fall for this.
- It’s vigilant people who help keep Torrance safe, so if you see a non-emergency crime happen, like someone spraying graffiti or breaking into an empty car, call Torrance Police at (310) 328-3456.
- There is no alcohol allowed on Torrance Beach. Don’t even try to sneak it in. You should bring plenty of water to keep from dehydrating from all the busy beach activities.
- If you want to surf, take a lesson first. It might look easy when you see the surfers catching waves, but there are a lot of safety habits you need to have before riding your first wave.
- If you want to fish, you’ll need a saltwater fishing license from the California Department of Wildlife. You can start that process online before you go. If you plan to freshwater fish, there’s a different license for that. You don’t need a license if you want to fish off the nearby Redondo Beach Pier.
- As with any beach community, there are going to be homeless people around. The city and police work in tandem to help get homeless people off the streets and into permanent homes, but it’s a neverending cycle. If you are approached for money by a homeless person, just say “No” and keep walking. If they try to block your way or get aggressive, call the police.
- You can sign up for e-notifications through the city website to get updates on safety, community events, and different districts within the city.
- Torrance can be impacted by the smoke from wildfires during fire season, which is late summer through winter. Check the air quality daily to see if it will inhibit your outdoor activities. During poor air quality days, it’s probably best to visit the mall instead of going to the beach.
- Traffic in Los Angeles is very busy, and go511.org is the best website to keep track of traffic, see delays on your route, and get construction notifications.
So... How Safe Is Torrance Really?
The only crime rate that goes above the national average here is Larceny/Theft, and it’s just slightly over
The violent crime rate is more than half the national and California state average, which is important when looking for a safe place to stay in Southern California.
The city hasn’t had more than three homicides in a year since 2012.
Even property crime rates are lower than the California average.
Here’s the risk of being a victim of a crime in Torrance, based on 2020 data provided to the FBI:
- Violent Crime: 1 in 536 risk
- Robbery: 1 in 1400 risk
- Theft: 1 in 71 risk
I wish I had a dollar for every city I’ve written about that says thefts from unlocked cars is one of the top crimes in the community.
It’s a nationwide problem, from small-town America to big city life.
I can’t imagine how much lower theft rates would be nationwide if people just locked their cars and kept the windows rolled up.
How Does Torrance Compare?
- Visas - Once you've been through the airport and got the Visa approved, you don't need additional processing to be in Torrance. You will need to show proof of age or ID to get into hotels, drink alcohol, or rent boats.
- Currency - While this is a diverse community, you can still only use U.S. Dollar currency in Torrance. Cash isn't really needed as you can pay for everything via credit card, payment on a smart device, or through your smartwatch. The less you carry around, the less chance you have of being a victim.
- Weather - The weather is pretty consistent throughout the year, with a cooler dip in the winter. You'll get highs in the 60s and 70s and lows in the 40s and 50s. There can be a heatwave in the summer or a cold spell in the winter. In the afternoon, a marine layer tends to settle over Torrance, leading to some gloomy skies. It might look like it's going to rain, but more often than not, it stays dry. The rainy season is October through April, and February gets the most rain, with an average of 3.3 inches. Be sure to pack layers of clothing and rain gear if you have room.
- Airports - You're very close to Los Angeles International Airport in Torrance. LAX is just 11 miles away. Long Beach International is just 15 miles away. Those are the two closest, but you also have options for Hollywood-Burbank and John Wayne (In Orange County), both an hour away, and San Bernardino way out west. That last one will be a two-hour drive.
- Travel Insurance - You'll need travel insurance for a trip to Torrance, as wildfires and abrupt changes in weather can delay or cancel flights for hours or days.
Torrance Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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