Is Wichita Falls Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On May 23, 2024
Wichita Falls, United States
Safety Index:
68
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Wichita Falls in North Texas sits just a few miles from the Oklahoma state line, but it’s a Texas town through and through.

Named after the waterfall on the Wichita River, the name Wichita comes from a native tribe in this part of the country.

Unfortunately, that four-foot waterfall was destroyed by the flood of 1886 – just 10 years after the city was founded.

It took almost 100 years of people asking “Where’s the waterfall?” before the city finally built one of its own.

That wasn’t the last disaster that would hit Wichita Falls.

As part of Tornado Alley, the city has twice been ravaged by twisters.

Yet in between all those challenging times, the city grew and flourished through various economic drivers, from farming to oil drilling.

Today, Sheppard Air Force Base plays a crucial role in preparing military personnel for their roles in the Air Force, both domestically and internationally, through comprehensive training programs and partnerships.

Midwestern State University is also located in Whichita Falls, yet this is neither JUST a military town nor a college town.

Let’s look at some of the other unique things about Whichita Falls and help you have a safe, fun experience.

Warnings & Dangers in Wichita Falls

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: LOW

There's a low risk in Wichita Falls, but that's more to say there's an average or slightly above average risk. Those who aren't used to dealing with daily crime and safety steps might consider the city a medium risk. The chance of random acts of crime is low, but this city isn't as safe as you might expect it to be.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW

The city uses Falls Ride for public transportation, with fixed routes and route deviation allowances up to three-quarters of a mile from a stop. You can check the map on the city's website to see if that suits your needs. The TransLoc app is another great tool to learn more about the bus system. Taxis and rideshares are available and rental cars can be picked up in town or at the airport.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW

Wichita Falls averages about seven pickpockets or purse snatchings each year, with purse snatchings being more common. While that sounds like a low risk, it's actually much higher than cities of similar size. Just don't let your guard down.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM

This part of Texas gets about every disaster threat there is aside from volcanoes and major earthquakes. Spring brings the tornado season, with even severe thunderstorms bringing damaging straight-line winds. Wildfires, extreme heat, flash flooding, and winter snow/ice storms are also possible. Treat it with a medium risk, so you know to stay informed.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: LOW

This is a low-risk, with a robbery rate slightly below the national average. In addition, just 20% of robberies were highway robberies, looking back over five years of crime data.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: LOW

The presence of an Air Force Base will increase the risk, but that will also bring a lot of security to the community. The most important thing you can do is report any suspicious activity to the police.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: LOW

Check local law enforcement social media sites for the latest scams. The local Better Business Bureau office and the state Attorney General’s office will have common scam tactics and protection advice. Most recent scams target residents, such as a scammer pretending to be a sheriff's deputy and demanding payment to avoid jail time. You keep the risk low by knowing the tactics of scammers so that you don't fall victim.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW

Nothing in the crime data or the recent news reports hint that women are at a higher risk. Just be sure to stay in the entertainment districts and tourist attraction areas and don't go haphazardly driving through neighborhoods.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

The U.S. has strict standards for tap water per the Safe Water Drinking Act. Communities are required to provide a Water Quality Report (Consumer Confidence Report) once a year by July 1. According to the 2023 report, all standards were met or exceeded. The bigger water problem here is not running out of it due to the drought.

Safest Places to Visit in Wichita Falls

The tourism website for the city is VisitWichitaFalls.com.

A visitor’s guide is available to view online without having to give personal information.

You can also sign up for email alerts if you want to get updates on events and specials.

Look for the Visit Wichita Falls app in the app store of your choice to get all the information in the palm of your hand.

If you want to learn more about things to do downtown, visit downtownwf.com.

Look for farmer’s markets or Friday night live music events when the weather is warm.

The Kemp Center for the Arts is a hub for visual and performing arts run by the Arts Council of Wichita Falls.

It hosts various exhibitions, workshops, and events throughout the year, showcasing local and regional talent.

Dive into the region’s past at the Museum of North Texas History, which chronicles the history of North Texas through exhibits featuring artifacts, photographs, and documents.

Learn about the area’s Native American heritage, pioneer settlements, and more.

Plus, there’s a hands-on spot for the kids to explore their imaginations.

River Bend Nature Center is an educational facility that offers interactive exhibits and outdoor experiences focused on the natural world.

Explore the center’s trails, gardens, and wildlife exhibits for a hands-on learning adventure.

Classes are available for kids to learn about safe outdoor exploration, like kayaking and fly-fishing.

Wichita Falls Railroad Museum celebrates the history of railroads in Wichita Falls and beyond.

Exhibits include model trains, historical photographs, and artifacts related to the area’s railway heritage.

This site is undergoing renovation at the time of publication, so you’ll get a newly updated experience when you visit.

Sheppard Air Force Base hosts an annual air show, usually in late April.

This brings out the fastest and most daring planes and pilots to entertain the crowds.

A 20-mile (and growing) trail circles Wichita Falls for those who prefer to walk or bike their way around town.

The trail follows the Wichita River for several miles and goes as far as Lake Wichita.

For a more adrenaline-rushing ride, try out the 13-mile Wee-Chi-Tah Trail for an off-road adventure.

The obstacles include moguls, switchbacks, and steep climbs.

Places to Avoid in Wichita Falls

Crime is pretty spread out in Wichita Falls.

While some neighborhoods might be more prone to crime today, that could change by the time you visit.

One of the best tools provided by the police is the gang injunction zones map.

These show parts of town with specific borders where known gang members can’t associate with each other.

The idea is that gang activity can be reduced if the members can’t interact.

The map shows two zones – one for PLM gang members and another for VC gang members.

These two zones cover the west side of the city and a long stretch in the central part.

Given how many violent crimes happen in public homes and the high violent crime rate, it’s best to avoid going off the main roads and highways.

Have a plan, know how to get to your locations, and stick to it.

Finally, avoid getting Wichita Falls confused with Wichita, Kansas.

The two are 300 miles apart.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Wichita Falls

  1. Wichita Falls has a local police department. You can follow them on Facebook or X (Twitter) @wichitafallspd. Call (940) 761-7792 to ask specific safety questions.
  2. Use the interactive crime mapping technology on the police department’s website to get a closer look at crime closer to your travel dates. This map is so helpful, as you can choose the parameters – types of crime, how many weeks or months in the past you want to search, and what area you are focused on. For example, you might want to know how many car burglaries have happened within a mile of your hotel.
  3. Use the P3 Tips app to report suspicious activity to the police. You can remain anonymous. This is much safer than trying to intervene in a situation. You can also submit a tip through the Texoma Crimestoppers website.
  4. Sign up for CodeRED notifications to get emergency alerts about everything from severe weather to public safety hazards. The program is free, and it’s easy to unsubscribe when you leave. The emergency management website for the city also has a brief article on how to pack a “Be Ready” kit in case of an emergency.
  5. Mosquitoes can carry life-threatening diseases, and Wichita Falls is trying to get ahead of the problem and keep you informed with the Wichita Health District Mosquito Zonesa map. You can see which parts of town are most impacted by mosquitoes and what section is next to be sprayed by the city. This doesn’t replace your use of bug spray, but it helps you know where the problem is the worst.
  6. Wichita Falls is dealing with drought conditions, and that leads to water restrictions. It could also impact lake levels. You can review the latest drought report on the city’s website. Look for the “Lake Levels” tab. Water restrictions mostly impact when homeowners can water lawns, but you can find easy ways to help, like taking shorter showers.
  7. Anglers need a fishing license from the Texas Department of Game and Parks. You can purchase them online or at local outfitters. A reciprocity agreement is in place for Oklahoma and Texas only for those 65 and older.
  8. While North Texas doesn’t get a lot of snow, even a little bit of snow or ice can cause treacherous roads. Use the Drive Texas website or app to check road conditions, real-time traffic, and live cameras before you go. When I lived in nearby Oklahoma, I once heard over the police scanners “We just need to close every road in town. It’s like an ice rink out here.”
  9. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality tests the lakes and rivers of the state to look for pollutants or blue-green algae. You should always know the water quality of any water before you jump in. Swimming pools and waterparks are generally safer since they get tested several times a day and will close down if the water is unsafe.
  10. If you have any kind of car accident, even a fender bender, your insurance company will need a copy of the police report. You can usually get that three to five days after the report is filed, and you don’t need to be in town to get it. Purchase it online through the police department’s website.

So... How Safe Is Wichita Falls Really?

Wichita Falls is a safe place to visit, but it does have its fair share of big-city crime.

What’s particularly interesting is the relentless efforts police have made to curb crime.

Violent crime rates in Whichita Falls are 23% higher than the national average and 16% higher than the state average.

One in five crimes is against strangers, looking at five years of crime data, while more than half (52%) happen in private homes.

Theft is 28% higher than the national average, but it has dropped 40% over the past decade.

About four cars on average are stolen each month.

A quarter of all thefts are related to car break-ins or accessory thefts, but you can lower the risk by making your car as unappealing as possible.

Don’t leave the doors unlocked or windows rolled down.

Remove all personal items from inside.

The number of car burglaries nationwide that could be stopped by those simple tasks is mind-boggling.

Robbery has been down by half since 2013 and now falls under the national average.

Texas has a gang problem.

This isn’t a surprise.

However, you might be surprised to know that medium-sized towns like Wichita Falls have a long history of gang issues.

Wichita Falls addressed this issue in 2006 by creating gang injunctions.

Essentially, that prohibits gang members from being in a certain part of town.

While this isn’t the safest city in Texas, you can still enjoy your time here with common sense and basic personal safety steps.

How Does Wichita Falls Compare?

CitySafety Index
Wichita Falls68
Dallas64
Memphis54
Orlando64
Las Vegas62
San Francisco61
Philadelphia60
Vienna (Austria)88
Hong Kong (China)70
Manama (Bahrain)54
Tianjin (China)67
Brussels (Belgium)60
Shanghai (China)66

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

All international visitors need either a visa defining the purpose of the trip (tourist, work, school, etc.) or a visa waiver. Start the process using the Visa Wizard module on the U.S. State Department website. You’ll quickly find out which one you need. Also, keep in mind that your passport must be valid for at least six months after our trip, or you’ll need to apply for a new one.

Currency

Currency

Only the U.S. Dollar (USD) is accepted in the United States. International airports usually have a currency exchange desk on site, while regional airports won’t. Your home bank offers the lowest fees. For those using credit cards, check to see if there’s a foreign transaction fee before you start racking up charges.

Weather

Weather

Wichita Falls enjoys mild winters, with temperatures during the day in the 50s F and lows near freezing. From June through September, temperatures will get into the mid to upper 90s for highs and the 70s for lows. This is still part of the state that gets humid, so those summer days can be oppressive with a "feels like" temperature in the triple digits.

Airports

Airports

The Wichita Falls Regional Airport is served by American Airlines. It sits just about four miles north of town. You might want to consider traveling two hours to reach the airports in the Dallas Forth Worth Metroplex or Oklahoma City, as both will offer more flights.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance goes into effect as soon as you purchase it. Comprehensive insurance offers the best protection and peace of mind.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Wichita Falls Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 8° C
Feb 10° C
Mar 15° C
Apr 19° C
May 24° C
Jun 29° C
Jul 31° C
Aug 30° C
Sep 26° C
Oct 20° C
Nov 14° C
Dec 8° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
141722263035373732262014
Low
°C
1381217222423201372
High
°F
576372798695999990796857
Low
°F
343746546372757368554536

Texas - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Abilene67
Amarillo65
Austin65
Carrollton72
Corpus Christi71
Dallas64
Del Rio68
Dell City81
El Paso77
Fort Davis80
Fort Worth77
Fredericksburg85
Garland83
Granbury74
Gruene82
Houston59
Irving79
Laredo68
Llano83
Lubbock38
Luckenbach77
Marathon78
Marfa80
Nacogdoches78
New Braunfels83
Plano86
Port Aransas83
San Antonio53
Schulenburg83
Sherman73
Smithville84
South Padre Island70
Tyler70
Waco61
Wichita Falls68
Wimberley81

Where to Next?

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