Another perspective on crime in Milwaukee
I lived in Milwaukee (city, not suburbs) for over 20 years and moved away approximately 10 years ago. I still visit frequently and know the city well. I have to say it's always been sketchy if not downright bad in some neighborhoods but is very clearly trending for the worse. 25 years ago the "bad areas" were confined to a large part of the North Side and a much smaller part of the near South Side. Since that time the Northwest side (a very large area) has declined rapidly, portions of the East side (generally the nicest part of town) have declined and the "bad area" on the South Side has expanded both Southward and Westward. Some areas have indeed progressed (Brewers Hill and the area betwen it and the Milwaukee River, the area around Conordia College) but they are overwhelmed by those that have slid toward the undesirable.
Property crime (burglaries, auto breakins in particular as I personally had my car broken into at least ten times in as many years) has always been quite prevalent but violent crime used to be a relative rarity and mostly gang related and confined to known "bad areas". This no longer seems to be the case. The city is gaining a reputation for mob beatings. There were 28 people shot in one recent holiday weekend. I personally had a brick thrown at my car recently out of nowhere by a couple of thugs. Having said that, most any area a visitor would actually care to see (Downtown, East side, pretty much any burb, most of the Southside) are all decent and desirable areas to visit and the city has a lot going for it.
DO NOT listen to the comment about Mayfair Mall. Someone in a previous post said the security guards turn their heads during all of the rowdy activities described; I haven't ever seen a security guard not doing his/her job. I work at the mall and I have never had any problems with anyone. Yes, there have been incidents at the movie theater, but that doesn't deter me from going to movies there. However, maybe a closed-minded person like whoever left that comment shouldn't be allowed to go to the mall!
Milwaukee is NOT a bad place
I have lived in Milwaukee for 27 years. I just got done reading about all the dangers of the area. What a load of bull!
Milwaukee just like any other major city has it's bad areas. The crime rate is not anywhere near as bad as all these other tips make it sound to be.
Get your radio stole? Yeah it's possible. But unless your driving in a bad neighbor hood like the Northside, parts of the East side and parts of Downtown you have next to nothing to worry about. Nothing more to worry about then any other major city.
downtown Milwaukee at night is an average metro city... if you are a woman DO NOT walk the streets of downtown alone!! I made the mistake of doing this ONCE and I was harrassed by a bunch of men in a van that wanted to give me a ride..
but even during the day time you will find your occasional nuts.
there are pockets, or bubbles, of really nice neighborhoods, and really scary neighborhoods, the funniest thing is that you can be driving down a straight road, 12 blocks, nice, 12 blocks, ghetto, 10 blocks, rich neighborhood, 9 blocks white trash... It is the weirdest thing that I have EVER seen in my life.. if you ever want to experience this take Wisconsin Avenue, starting in downtown around 2nd or 3rd street traveling west you will drive through 500,000.00 home neighborhoods, then into a very Ghetto, and scary neighborhood, then into a 250,000.00 home neighborhood, etc. it really is trippy to see the dramatic changes.
- Family Travel
There are problems all over but not as bad
Before I let on my trip to milwaukee last week.
I read some of the warnings. After I got there I found some to be overblown . My wife and i stayed in south Milwaukee near the airport.
We were told by another traveler at the hotel not you use any side streets in the city. only use the highways to get to where we had to go. My wife trusts what she calls my sixsence
about bad areas. so I did not take the advice of that traveler and took back streets to where
we had to go. and as you guessed nothing happened. the only area we were told not to go was the north west area of Milwaukee from a worker at the Cheese mart on old world 3rd. Every were you go in every city there are problems. The best way to find out where not to go is to talk to people that live or work in the area your at and also trust your own feelings. first golden rule is "IF IT DOES NOT FEEL RIGHT TURN AROUND UNTIL IT DOES".
Large rodent infestation?
On my last visit to Milwaukee I was heading for a restaurant on the east side when I noticed these two large rodents climbing up a steam-venting pipe.
It looks as if they are preparing to pour something down the stack. Perhaps Homeland Security should be notified?
- Arts and Culture
crazy racist white lady
Don't listen to the woman who says not to go to mayfair mall! It is the nicest mall in the city! I see she did not leave a name or email address so we can comment to her! What the hell would she know about Gang activity? Please. I think she is just scared of Black People.
USE COMMON SENSE and you should be fine.
I've done a lot of driving and walking in Milwaukee and the same rules apply for this
city as any other large one. It is a good idea
to have a good roadmap and plan ahead. The city is actually pretty easy to get around once you know some basics. There is pretty good logic to the series of one-ways downtown. Freeways are often under construction and delays can be long in rush hour traffic as well. If you are looking to head downtown from the west side in the afternoon, you may try what we did and come in on Wisconsin Avenue instead of the freeway. There are surprisingly few traffic lights and the route is pretty safe. I will add
that at least on Wisconsin Avenue there are times when many intersections will flash a
"NO LEFT TURN" Sign to keep the flow of traffic going. Know this in advance and you should do ok.
The downtown and riverwalk district is well-lit
and police presence is strong. I asked
a local officer about that area and he said
it's generally pretty safe. If I were a female,
I'd probably go in a group, but anything south of Juneau always seems decent. North of Juneau the buildings start looking rundown and we noticed enough rough looking characters to not wish to venture further. We spent a good deal of time in the riverwalk and Water Street section on this last
trip and nothing seemed even remotely out of place. Just the same, I would keep valuables hidden as car break-ins are frequent.
IT IS A LARGE CITY and serious crime does occur here.. Even in the better sections I wouldn't be stupid and walk around juggling a camera and a fistful of cash with a map in one hand. That would just be inviting trouble. If you have a few "street smarts," you should have a very enjoyable stay.
"A Beautiful City, But There's Still Crime!'
While I was at the Rock Bottom Brewery one night along Milwaukee's Riverfront, the bartender told us to be careful walking home. He continued to tell us about how a beautiful young waitress from his restaurant had died last year (1993) after leaving the restaurant. She was beaten with a tire iron raped, and then robbed.
This is a beautiful city, however it is a city, and cities always have their criminal element. My advise is just to always be aware of your surroundings, and travel with others, and not alone.
I looked into this story after I returned home, and have included the picture of the murderer below, as well as a website to the story about this tragic event.
Not That Bad
I've lived in the suburbs of Milwaukee my entire life and within the city limits of Milwaukee for the past 5 years. I have never seen a crime take place. I've never had a crime happen to me or anyone I know with one exception - a friend recently had her wallet stolen at La Fuente, a local Mexican restaurant. Yes, there are areas of the city that are high crime areas; every city has them. But they certainly aren't going to be the areas you'll be vacationing in. And no, we do not have 3 shootings a day, even in the really bad areas.
It is common sense to use the buddy system no matter where you are. So when out at night have at least one other person with you.
Also, downtown Milwaukee is very well lit at night.
Milwaukee doesn't have all that much violent crime, during the day, it's generally a very safe city and even at night it's no worse than average for personal safety. However, there is quite a bit of property crime. Vehicles are broken into quite often. This is true in many areas of the city, so choose your parking arrangements carefully.
Watch out for robbers
Don't be by yourself in Milwaukee at night and for the women, I would make sure there were at least 3 of us together, even then I wouldn't feel that safe. It is good to have at least one guy with you if you out cruising at night.
On the East side of Milwaukee, don't leave stuff that looks valuable to theifs in your car. I had my car stereo stolen, and I know someone that had their crappy old boom box stolen from their car. I don't know about other parts of Milwaukee, just the East side.
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