Gloucester is pretty safe. On a danger scale from 1 to 10 (10 being very dangerous), Gloucester scores about a 3.
They average (annually) no murders, 4 rapes, 35 car thefts per year.
There are 7 registered sex offenders in 2006. That gives you about a 1 in 5000 chance of meeting one.
Just use common sense and don't act like a tourist and you won't be targeted.
Stacy Boulevard is one of the most beautiful places I've had the pleasure of seeing in my life and it's no wonder it attracts so many visitors each year. When I was young my friends and I would fish off the boulevard and play on the cool looking, smooth stone round bunker type building next to the cut bridge. That was until my mother told me that it was in fact part of the sewer and not to play on it or fish near it as the fish would eat from the sewerage. Now this may very well be filed under Gloucester Old Wives Tales, but I never fished from that spot again. Considering there are more good fishing spots in Gloucester than bad, it wasn't too difficult finding somewhere else to fish.
During the summer months Gloucester's population swells trememdously, mostly vacationers wanting to frolic on the ocean's waves. Many of these tourists have their boats docked somewhere along the Annisquam River and sail on through the Harbor. Taller vessels (which seem to be the majority of those along the river) require that the Blyman or "Cut" Bridge be raised to accomodate their height. At times several boats will pass through the canal, causing traffic to back up, at times for as long as a half hour. This is a fact of life for those living in Gloucester, albeit a frustrating one. The price one pays for living in a summer resort town I suppose. Tourists planning on visiting Stage Fort Park, Magnolia and Hammond Castle should factor in some wait time for the bridge, as odds are you will have to wait for it at some point during your stay in Gloucester.
If you're looking for modern hotels, you've come to the wrong place. Cape Ann's best offerings are a mix of historic inn buildings with motel units off to the side. It's best to check ahead if you're handicapped; most of these buildings are old and therefore grandfathered with regard to ADA compliance.
IF YOU LOOK IN THE BACKROUND YOU CAN SEE THE FOOD THIEFS AT WORK.THEY HAVE NO FEAR AND WILL GRAB FOOD OFF YOU LAP AS YOU ARE EATING IT....
Forget public transportation; it's too infrequent to be practical. Be careful at bars in the West End. Don't wander around late at night, especially in the vicinity of the train station.