Rhode Island : Safety by CityUnited States - safety as a country Rhode Island - state review
There are times, as a travel writer, I want to ask if I can go to the location and write the story from there.
Warwick, Rhode Island, is one of those places.
There’s just so much to do in just 50 square miles.
Warwick has nearly 40 miles of shoreline with numerous ways to enjoy the water in all seasons.
There’s shopping for all budgets as the self-proclaimed “Retail Capital of Rhode Island” and it’s worth mentioning clothing isn’t taxed in Rhode Island.
Wander through a seaport village bursting with New England Charm.
Take a tour through the large zoo.
I promise you, you’ll want to Instagram the amazing Warwick Lighthouse.
This town of 83,000 people is near some of the most amazing tourist destinations on the East Coast, but you’ll find plenty to do within the city limits or right next door.
Warnings & Dangers in Warwick
OVERALL RISK: LOW
Warwick is a safe town with very low crime rates. There's a low risk you'll be a victim of a crime here. The weather can get a little moody from time to time, but it's nothing the local utilities can't handle. There's plenty of transportation to get you around, so you'll be able to explore until you're worn out.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
There's a low risk of public transportation in this community and there are plenty of options. From the dial-a-bus that requires reservations to the Local Village Service that runs on a set schedule and then the taxi service with licensed drivers on top of it all. Rideshare services are available here as well. It's also a bike-friendly community if you want to get some exercise while you tour.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
There was one report of purse-snatching in all of 2020. That's low risk. Don't let your guard down, however, it's too easy to get comfortable in a safe city and be a victim.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
There's a medium risk here especially if you aren't used to a variety of severe weather. Winter storms can cripple the region, even with the full fleet of snow removal trucks. Summer can bring severe thunderstorms and the occasional tornado. It rains a lot more here than the national average. There's a small chance of an earthquake, but not a major one.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
There were 7 robberies in Warwick in 2020. Of the 66 violent crimes, only 11 were against strangers. That means there's a low mugging risk here. Most crimes that happened were in homes or vehicles.
TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM
There's a medium risk here since it's a major metropolitan area near other big metropolitan areas. New York has already been the target of a terrorist attack and the big cities, especially on the Eastern Seaboard, will remain vigilant against future threats.
SCAMS RISK: MEDIUM
There's a medium risk in general of being scammed, but for tourists that risk is low. Most of the reported scams involve phone calls or emails to residents threatening them to pay money or get arrested. A tourist isn't going to get in that mix. However, it's always a good reminder to say that if something seems too good to be true, or requires you to give large sums of money upfront before you get the goods, it's probably a scam.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
There's a low risk for women just because all the crime rates are so low. If you're doing a lot of shopping, keep your bags out of plain sight in your vehicle and store them in your hotel room if you can between shopping trips. Just don't be an easy target.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
Tap water has a low risk as it meets or exceeds health standards and provides a yearly report where you can review the contaminants found in the water.
Safest Places to Visit in Warwick
OK, I’m about to tell you some really weird names, but I’m also going to tell you how to pronounce them.
There are several village areas around Warick and each is worth visiting.
- Apponaug Village (pronounced: “Appen-ogg”)
- Conimicut Village (pronounced: “Coh-nih-mi-cut”) Like Connecticut, but slightly different
- Pawtuxet Village (pronounced “puh-tuxit”)
- Pontiac Village (pronounced like the car)
- Potowomut (pronounced: “pot-uh-wa-muht”)
Each one has dining, shopping, and historical sites to see.
There are 18 marinas if you want to rent or charter a boat or just dream of owning a boat.
Several golf courses call Warwick home.
Drive along Route 2 if you want to see a variety of shopping options.
Places to Avoid in Warwick
There’s Warwick and there’s West Warwick.
They are separate cities.
West Warick is not part of Warwick.
The violent crime rate in West Warwick is double that of Warwick, but that still leaves it with just one in 544 chance of being a victim of a violent crime.
Only two of those crimes were against strangers in West Warwick.
There isn’t a “bad neighborhood” in Warwick to avoid, but it’s worth noting that during the winter some of the popular tourist areas close early or close completely.
You’ll want to call ahead of time to make sure you aren’t heading into a deserted area.
The crimes here are relatively low, especially for a city in a major metropolitan area.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Warwick
- It’s illegal in Rhode Island to have “happy hour” specials. This is a law dating back to the 1980s to stop people from drinking and then driving. The bars are open during the traditional happy hour times, you just won’t get any special deals.
- There is no sales tax on groceries or clothing in Rhode Island, but restaurants tax food at 8%. The main sales tax is 7% statewide.
- If you are going to be shopping at one of the big malls in this area, park near one of the security cameras in a well-lit area. Store any bags in the trunk, not in the car, to avoid being an easy target for thieves.
- You can get a fishing license ahead of time by going to the Rhode Island Environmental Management website. You cannot fish in the Warwick area without a license.
- There are homeless people in Warwick who might ask you for money. While we always discourage these donations and ask you to instead donate to a homeless organization, the city is taking great strides to literally get the homeless off the streets. Homeless organizations have been using empty hotel rooms to house the homeless, as many as 150 at a time, to keep them safe from the brutal winters of Rhode Island.
- There are two words you don’t want to hear when it comes to weather in Warwick—Hurricane & Nor’Easter. Hurricanes are a risk during the summer and Nor’Easters come in the winter. The winter storm can bring hefty winds that knock down power lines, leaving people in the cold, and then generally bring large amounts of snow. You’ll need a good weather app while you’re visiting this area.
- You can buy a variety of Warwick Police specialty badges at the police station. All proceeds go to a charitable organization connected to the design of the patch. Is there a better way to get safety information on your trip than stopping by the police station for a good cause?
- For those visiting in winter, it might be tempting to walk across or skate on a frozen pond in one of the state parks. This is dangerous. The ice needs to be at least 6 inches thick to be considered safe and you have no way of knowing how deep it is by looking at it. Only use designated ice rinks for ice adventures.
- For those allergic to seafood, you’ll want to avoid the dish called stuffies. This is a stuffed quahog. What’s a quahog (don’t worry, I had to look it up too)? It’s a type of clam found in New England. Also, scrod is the name for any white fish served at restaurants.
- Let’s talk about the Rhode Island speech. There are some words you need to know if you want to fit in. Coffee Milk is the official state drink of Rhode Island. It’s not coffee, it’s milk with a coffee syrup in it. Think of chocolate milk with syrup instead of chocolate sauce. If you want a milkshake, you as for a cabinet. Del is a popular frozen lemonade and, for some reason, drinking it with a straw is bad etiquette. If you want a hot dog, ask for a hot weenie. If someone tells you to get an Awful Awful, it’s an amazing-amazing milkshake… er… cabinet.. available in Newport. If something is wicked, that means it’s good. For example, “This hot weenie is wicked awesome.”
So... How Safe Is Warwick Really?
It’s relatively safe.
The crime numbers are lower than the national average and the police are out in full force in this historical community.
- Violent Crime: 1 in 1255 chance
- Robbery: 1 in 11,831
- Theft: 1 in 100
- Aggravated Assault: 1 in 2179
Safety in the winter is a big concern if you aren’t used to heavy snow and cold weather.
Temperatures can get wind chills below freezing.
You’ll need plenty of layers, even if you aren’t going far on your adventure.
Nearby West Warwick and Cranston have crime numbers a little bit higher, but still low compared to the rest of the country.
How Does Warwick Compare?
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You'll take care of Visa information at the airport or port of entry. Just bring your legal ID for bars and boat rentals.
You'll use U.S. Dollar currency at all locations in Warwick and the surrounding areas. There is no other form of currency accepted. Using a credit card is preferable to a debit card for safety reasons. You might need some cash in Warwick, but don't go walk around with large sums.
December - February; the average low is in the 20s, so you'll need plenty of layers, gloves, earmuffs, scarves, and boots. Winter also gets a lot of snow. The warmest average temperature in this area is 83°(F) and that's in July. Temperatures still get into the 60s during the summer months, so bring a jacket or hoodie. Prepare for precipitation no matter what time of year you visit.
The Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport is right in the city of Warwick, so it's the best option. Boston Logan International Airport is a two-hour drive to the northeast.
So many things can go wrong with the weather in Warwick. You'll want travel insurance so you can still visit when the weather is right.
Warwick Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
|Temperature / Month
Rhode Island - Safety by City