Milwaukee is safe. The only bad parts are the innercity north side and around 5th and Lincoln. According to the MPD 98% of Crimes in Milwaukee occur on a targeted victim that they knew prior to the crime. There aren't many random acts of violence in Milwaukee. It's a safe city. Milwaukee's East Side and downtown is virtually crime free. Im assuming that alot of the reviews on here are coming from people living in the suburbs. I assure you that Milwaukee and its suburbs are safe.
The only area I advise to stay away from is the Inner city Northside. Streets like Locust and Center are Milwaukee's worst streets. However 98% of crime in Milwaukee according to police data has a targeted victim that they knew prior to the crime. Very few crimes are committed in the day and the majority are at night. Whoever is saying that West Allis is dangerous they are truly ignorant, West Allis is very safe and the only crimes that occur are graffiti. Milwaukee is one of those cities where if you keep your nose clean you will be safe.
Milwaukee demographics are unique because it is still very racially seperated in residential neighborhoods but has a distinct core and what some people call ghetto pockets further out. This is for the City proper, not the county as a whole. Most of the suburbs of Milwaukee are as a whole pretty decent, or not nearly as bad as the City itself. Basicly stay East of Interstate 43, that is where most of the attractions and events take place anyhow and usually has a significant police presence to deter crime. Once you get off the freeway and go into the City west of I-43 you will be in for surprise. Use the freeway to get to out lying attractions it is the safest. The city government police website actually does a good job showing you where crime is most frequent
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I live in the burbs and work in downtown, and spend as much time there as I can. With Milwaukee there are three Milwaukees, the crime and poverty ridden north central and North western parts of the City, the working class but still crime ridden South west side and then there's the prosperous East Side. The East side and downtown parts of the City have low crime rate, low rates of unemployment, a gorgeous lakefront and a stellar collection of buildings from the late 19th century and early 20th century. I recommend Brady Street, East North Avenue, the Third Ward, Prospect Farwell and East Town.
Most of the people calling the entire city crime ridden either haven't visited it in 25 years or have a political axe to grind against Milwaukee.
Milwaukee is dangerous. North side, east side, west side, south side, all dangerous. I'd highly advise you to stay off of the north side. This includes streets such as Capitol, Center, Burleigh, North, Vine, Locust, and Vliet. The south side is dangerous but not as dangerous as the north. The south side includes streets such as Lincoln, Burnham, Becher, and Muskego. West Milwaukee is dangerous around 50-59th and Greenfield. West Allis isn't part of Milwaukee city, but it's an area with a reputation of a safe area. Don't believe this. Areas such as 76th street, 71st street, and Becher street are all sketchy. Long story short, Milwaukee is dangerous all over and so is it's neighboring city West Allis.
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I lived on 67th and Silver Spring for 6 years with two little kids, right across the street from the city's "most dangerous" projects. I was the only white girl within probably a 5 mile radius. Aside from a couple incidents with people trying to break into my house, and seeing someone get stabbed in the alley behind my house and being followed in the alley ONCE (nothing happened) it was o.k. As long as you mind your own business, people will leave you alone. That goes for most of the north side. It might look a little rundown in places, you may see some bums. For the most part, Milwaukee is safe. If you're on the far south side by the airport, no worries. Suburbs are generally safe. The only part of the city you really have to worry about (in my experience) is the south side, the Lincoln/Mitchell St. area in the lower numbers (27th St. on down to Kinnikinnic). Even there, as long as you don't act like an idiot you're pretty much safe.If you're still worried, stick to the freeways and off the surface streets and you will be JUST FINE.
THIS BEING SAID:
I love Milwaukee, it's the only place I've ever really felt at home. So much to do, so much to see. Good people with mid-western values. When I go back to visit, the smell of hops from the Miller brewery almost brings me to tears. If I had the chance, I'd move back in a heartbeat. Please visit the city! I think you will love it too!
Plain and simple, the Northwest side of Milwaukee is where you do not want to visit (day or night). It extends pretty much in the section West of I43 and North of I94. Marquette area is OK, can be slightly sketchy at night, so just travel in groups. The south side (South of I94, western side of I43), can be very sketchy too, but I have no problem riding my bike there during the day. Downtown and areas east along the lake are the safest parts of the city. Use your best judgement, it's overall a pretty safe city.
I am 65 years young and have lived all my life in this city. I have traveld around the US and the world.
As for Milwaukee, in caparison to many other city's we are agreat city. Grant you parts of the city have sadly declined from what I once knew it to be due to gangs. But then you show me any big city that does not have this problme. I have been to other state Which are far wrost then ours. As a few others on here have said. You use common seance and do not go into parts of town that are bad. If unsure you ask were to go or not to. Dont walk around late at night as even in the best part of ANY town you can get robbed. Yes if you walk around with money hanging out of your pockets your asking for it.
It is sad that people frist hear the bad things about a place rater then the good. I do get upset with our city as it does not point out more of what a wonderful old city this is.
The people here are nice friendly people and there is good and bad all over.
Come and enjoyed the wonderful food, fun and grand places to see.
I am form the city of Milwaukee. I recently read other peoples opinions and safety tips about Milwaukee. They say Milwaukee has low crime rate. Please that is not true. Milwaukee has a high crime rate. I grew up on the streets. It is so hard. There were so many encounters where i was forced to do things or i might have been killed. Ive seen so many girl get raped as young as 5. there are some very sick people there. I grew up in the projects. Being a young black boy, i struggled everyday with drugs, breaking into peoples cars. At least everyday i saw at least 3 people get shot. So many people break into other peoples cars for their boom boom boxez and radios and cd players. My father has had his cd player stolen at least 10 times literally. Ive seen so many car jackings. do not drive at night in a Monte Carlo. The worst gang there is Tre 7. They are along with Tre 6 which is from Chicago. Because Milwakee is so close to Chicago, the crime increases everyday. And for the ladies, dont walk by yourself. Try to carry a cell phone. If you do not, i garunteee you will be threatened, or robbed or murdered. Life in Milwaukee is very hard, so please, be careful and do not stare at any one and do not race when you get to a stop lite with someone, because if they loose, ,you will die. Sounds bad but its true. Stay away from fights. Just be careful its no joke when your're there. Also the worst part is over on N. 76th and Madison High is the worst school there. Please Stay safe.
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I lived in Milwaukee the first 35 years of my life. The early years were in what was an old German neighborhood, but I was three when we moved to the far outskirts and the old neighborhood was, for years, a slum. The area was made into public housing but is still dangerous for outsiders and insiders.
The city is ranked 2nd amongst all large US cities in safety. Only Minneapolis ranks higher. This is because the crime rate has been reduced dramatically. It started about the time I left, but I'm an 'Innocent Man' (Billy Joel). There used to be a lot of young black-on-elderly white crime. That's gone. The only issue now is black-on-black, gang related crime.
The downtown and near east side is beautiful , clean and safe.
I lived there for 35 years, went into some of the really tough neighborhoods and never got into a scrape.
Milwaukee is a very under-rated city and doesn't get the exposure it deserves, despite the fact that it has major sports, lots of events, great zoo and has retained the old world charm like many European cities, with tall church spires and refurbished mansions and other historic buildings.
The ultimate hotel is the Pfister, but the rates have sky-rocketed. When I visit, I stay at the Astor, Knickerbocker or County Clare, all within a block of each other. The County Clare is a newer hotel with Irish motiff and attached Irish restaurant. These three hotels are right off Lake Michigan on a bluff overlooking a beach and marina, smack in the center of 'east towne,' near downtown and the art center/Calatrava. The neighborhood is safe and very chic.
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I live near Milwaukee and don't be fooled by the bad remarks made about it. Yes, there is crime, but so does every city, no matter how large it is. If you are smart about your actions, then you wont have any problems. There are bad parts of town, but no town is exempt from that, Milwaukee included. Just be aware of your surroundings and use the same common sense you would use in any other big city. As for the comment about Mayfair (which is in Wauwatosa, outside of Milwaukee) there have been problems in the past but there have been improvements (i.e. restriction of unaccompanied minors at night on the weekends) and all of the past problems occured later at night. I have never felt threatened or unsafe in Milwaukee. If you are a tourist, the "bad parts" arent anywhere where you would be anyways so dont fear.
Maybe for me 7-7-07 was a lucky day as in UNLUCKY! I wish I could blame my lucky day injury on alcohol but all I have to rely on is sheer klutziness. We were up at Summerfest in Milwaukee to see a band, in the pursuit of a better seat, I was climbing over some metal benches, put my foot down and my ankle twisted to a position I didn't know was possible for a foot and ankle, it was like something out of a horror movie. My ankle proceeded to balloon to twice it's size instanteaneouly!
Did I go home then? No, of course not, that would have been something a
sensible person would have done. But I had driven all the way to Milwaukee, paid $30 for the two of us to get in, nabbed a perfect parking spot and damn if I was going to leave. So David went off to get a compression bandage and ice and then I proceeded to stand for 90 minutes (all my weight on the other foot at least) and then walk back to the car.
So I go to the doctor and he says "well I have good news...sort of...it's not broken, it's sprained. So you don't have to wear a plaster cast but sprains don't always heal right." And then he proceeds to whip out this GIANT boot (this is the good news???), it looks like I should be auditioning to play a storm trooper in Star Wars!
Three weeks in an aircast, during which I had vacations to NYC and Maui plus Pierogi Fest, three weeks in an ankle cast which I dutifully wore while traipsing around Swizterland, France and Liechtenstein. After 7-8 weeks, it's still swollen but at least I can walk unaided again!
I work downtown and live on the East Side. I've been here about 2 1/2 years so am pretty familiar with the area. I have never had any issues, except while walking downtown during my lunch break (with my nice suit on) being harrassed a couple times. You may come across a drunk in some parts of downtown during the day. The best thing to do is to not make any eye contact, ignore any comments, and continue on your way. The homeless are different from Chicago. They don't bother you too much, they usually stay to themselves and are harmless. I wouldn't walk alone early morning or late night. You'll come across weirdos here and there but nothing to be afraid of. The diversity in milwaukee is lacking...it's mainly just black and whites and both seem to hate each other. there's a lot of racial tension and you'll rarely see black and whites mixing.
There's been a lot of conflicting information posted in this section about the dangers of living in Milwaukee. As someone who lives in 53212, the highest crime zip code in Milwaukee - and in Wisconsin - I'd like to share a few pointers.
Milwaukee is one of the largest cities in the US - by some measures, 22nd in population. It's also part of the high population density "megapolis" that rings the lower shores of Lake Michigan, and includes Chicago. So it does have the issues that face any area with lots of highly mobile people crammed into a small space - gangs, property crime, muggings, traffic, etc. However, these problems are generally avoidable by behaving intelligently, and there certainly isn't any anarchy here. These issues shouldn't dissuade anyone from coming to the city, nor should you feel unsafe, as long as you show a bit of common sense.
Basically, don't tempt potential criminals. Don't leave doors unlocked or windows open. Don't park in dimly lit streets or alleys. Don't leave belonging visible on the seats or floor of your car. Don't wear flashy jewlery or walk around rougher neighborhoods wearing obviously expensive clothing. Don't walk the streets after dark alone, or drunk.
My own neighborhood, where I live and work, is pretty rough. There are definitely a few drug dens, which leads to property crime (people will do anything for a fix, sometimes). But during the day in good weather, it's not at all dangerous to walk around. After dark, you drive - with your doors locked. It's as simple as that.
Basically, be aware of your surroundings, and be cautious. Be ALERT, but there's no reason to be AFRAID. Yes, there's crime. No, you're not randomly going to be beaten or shot in the street.
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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.