Is El Paso Safe To Visit? Everything You Need To Know Before Traveling


is el paso safe

Situated in the far western side of Texas, El Paso is one of America’s oldest settlements that is filled with history and heritage. It boasts over 300 day of sunny weather and a nice retreat from the cold winters.

If you are thinking about visiting El Paso and have qualms about the safety of the city, we got you covered. We deep dived into the statistics, crime reports and talked to the residents of the city to give you a better understanding of how safe the safe the city really is.

El Paso Crime Stats

If you only look at the statistics, El Paso is a safe place to visit. According to crime statistics released by the FBI, San Jose had the 75th highest Violent Crime rate in the country in 2019, 378.85 incidents per 100,000 residents. It came one place above Austin and San Jose, which ranked 73rd and 74th place for violent crime. It also ranked 92nd for Property Crime rate in the country, 1,818.88 per 100,000 residents.

The average violent crime rate for the United States is 366.7 per 100,000 residents and the average property crime rate for the United States is 2,109.9 per 100,000 residents.

El Paso’s violent crime rate is slightly higher than the national average and it’s property crime rate is l3% less than the national average.

El Paso has the 3rd lowest violent crime rate and 2nd lowest property crime rate for a city with over 500k people in the United States.

Crime was down on all categories in El Paso. Homicides, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, theft and auto theft all decreased in 2020 compared to 2019. The largest decreases were homicides, which decreased 30% and auto thefts, which decreased 51%.

In 2020 El Paso reported 28 homicides, which was a 30% decrease from 2019, where 40 homicides were reported.

Here’s a breakdown of all the crimes in the city for 2020 compared with 2019:

El Paso police reported a total of 10,673 offenses in 2020, compared with 12,800 in 2019, which is a 16.6% year-over-year decrease.

  2019 2020 Percentage Change
Homicide 40 28 -30%
Rape 310 260 -16.12%
Robbery 338 289 -14.49%
Aggravated Assault 1,734 1,589 -8.36%
Burglary 1,048 847 – 19.17%
Larceny/Theft 8,479 7,245 -14.55%
Motor Vehicle Theft 851 415 -51.23%

**All data is from the 2020 Texas Crime Report**

El Paso’s Crime Rate vs The Rest Of Texas

Compared to other cities in Texas, El Paso is one of the safest cities in the Lone Star state.

Looking at the table below you can see that El Paso has the 5th lowest violent crime rates and the 2nd lowest property crime rate in the state.

In 2020, Houston reported 400 homicides in 2020, Dallas reported 252 homicides , San Antonio reported 126 homicides, Austin reported 48 murders, Corpus Christi reported 34 homicides, El Paso reported 28 homicides, Arlington reported 23 homicides, Laredo reported 12 homicides, Irving reported 9 homicides, Garland reported 6 homicides, and Plano reported 3 homicides.

City Population Violent Crime (Per 100,000)

Property Crime (Per 100,000)

Houston 2,338,235 1095.23 4128.41
Dallas 1,338,551 774.64 3185.09
San Antonio 1,520,712 707.5 4844.84
Corpus Christi 329,256 702.49 3565.31
Fort Worth 873,069 560.21 3215.32
Arlington 397,377 516.89 3197.72
Austin 971,949 414.84 3189.57
El Paso 688,667 378.85 1818.88
Laredo 260,669 321.86 2483.61
Garland 236,243 316.62 3032.47
Irving 242,062 226.8 2539.43
Plano 290,413 149.79 1733.74

*All data is from the 2019 FBI Crime Stats Report**

*Crime rate is calculated by dividing the number of reported crimes by the total population; the result is multiplied by 100,000.

El Paso vs The Most Dangerous Cities In The United States

Here’s a list of the top 10 most dangerous cities in the United States ranked by violent crime rate. It can give you some perspective on El Paso’s violent crime rate, which is 378.85.

El Paso’s violent crime rate is 84% less than Memphis, the most dangerous city on the list.

City Population Number of violent crimes in 2020 Rate per 100,000 people
Memphis 633,104 15,310 2,418.24
Detroit 639,111 14,370 2,248.44
St. Louis 301,578 6,017 1,995.17
Little Rock 202,591 3,657 1,805.11
South Bend 103,453 1,765 1,706.09
Cleveland 372,624 6,281 1,685.61
Milwaukee 577,222 9,407 1,629.70
Kansas City 508,090 7,919 1,558.58
Lansing 112,644 1,699 1,508.29
Springfield 169,176 2,545 1,504.35

The worst neighborhoods in El Paso

el paso worst neighborhoods

There are 2 areas in El Paso that seem to stand out with crime and which residents mention are sketchy areas.

In north east El Paso there is an area called the Devils Triangle. There are lots of drug related crimes here. It’s a area bordered by Dyer St and the Patriot Freeway. The area starts on Hercules and Dyer and goes north for 2 miles or so.

devils triangle el paso

In the lower valley of El Paso, there is an area called Socorro. Much like the Devil’s Triangle, a lot of drug related crimes and petty robbery. Although it has been improving.

socorro el paso

Is Downtown El Paso safe?

Downtown El Paso is a generally safe area to visit. Although it is not as lively as other downtowns and after 5pm, the downtown area kind of shuts down except for a few bars and restaurants.

Driving tour of Downtown El Paso:

What do residents of El Paso say about its safety

  1. "El Paso is safe. Don’t let the fact the Juarez, the former murder capital of the world, which is right across the border scare you."
  2. " I’ve never felt unsafe in El Paso other than a few sketchy parts of town"
  3. "It’s a very safe city. Even in its most sketchy areas, I have walked around in the middle of night with absolutely no problems."
  4. "We are one of the safest large cities in the country. Low crime, good cops. Regarding our neighbor, Juarez, south of the border fence: it’s gotten somewhat better but I still don’t go over there."
  5. "I was born and raised in El Paso and have never encountered anything to call it a dangerous place. I’ve been through the worst parts of town coutnless times and my opinion is still firm."
  6. "There are no dangerous areas in El Paso."
  7. "Having moved from Albuquerque, El Paso is night and day different. It is super safe anywhere you go"
  8. "El Paso is super safe city, there is literally only one neighborhood that you should avoid: Devil’s Triangle. Other than that you’ll be fine."
  9. "El Paso is consistently voted in the safest cities in the United States list. You could walk most areas at night and nothing will happen to you."
  10. "Even though we border a city that is notoriously dangerous, the violence doesn’t cross over. The murder rate is very low here. Because we’re a border, military, college city we have a wide variety of law enforcement here. It is very rare when driving around for more than 5 minutes and not seeing either a police, sheriff, constable, EPISD, UTEP, TEXAS TECH, EPCC, border patrol, customs, or military police vehicle on the road."
  11. "El Paso does have its dated areas, but it’s never felt dangerous or violent in any way"
  12. "I was born and raised El Paso and it definitely is not a dangerous city. Yes, very out of date and boring. But very safe city. It usually makes the top 10 safest cities lists.

Is it safe to visit alone?

El Paso is a safe place to travel alone as long as you know the layout of the city and know which areas to avoid. El Paso is just like any other city and there are risks involved when you’re in a big town by yourself.

Research the areas in El Paso that you want to visit and use Google Maps street view to see if the areas is sketchy.

Tips to stay safe in El Paso

  • Research and know the layout of the city before you visit. When booking a hotel or searching for directions, look at google street view so you don’t book yourself into a hotel in a sketchy area.
  • Avoid taking alleys at night. Alleys may seem like a shortcut but they make a perfect place for muggers to hide.
  • Stick to well-trafficked and brightly lit areas during the nighttime.
  • Make sure you gas tank is full, especially at night. You don’t want to have to fill up your gas tank in an sketchy and unfamiliar area at nigh.
  • If you are traveling alone, blend in as much as you can. You’re already at a disadvantage with criminals when you’re on your own, don’t make it easier for them to spot an outsider.
  • Keep your valuables secure at all times. Make sure you are not being distracted away from your valuables.
  • If someone claims to be an authority figure, confirm their identity before going anywhere or handing anything over to them.
  • Be careful drinking, especially on your own or with people you don’t know
  • Never keep your wallet in your back pocket. Put your wallet and phone in a front pants pocket. Much harder to pickpocket.
  • Trust your instincts and your gut feeling. If you don’t feel safe, if something is amiss, don’t do it, don’t go, etc.
  • Try to be fairly inconspicuous. Don’t wear expensive-looking jewelry/clothing.
  • Be skeptical of people who are attempting to “help” you unsolicited – Thieves usually work in teams – one to draw your attention away and the other to steal your goods.

Why is El Paso Safe?

Despite being across the river from one of the most dangerous cities in the world, El Paso

That is because there is so much crime/trafficking/cartel shit going on in Juarez that there are more law enforcement agents/agencies (CIA, FBI, DEA, ATF, Border Patrol, Police etc…) per capita than anywhere else in the US

2) A second reason is we have a high number of federal law enforcement located here since we are a border city. We have FBI, ATF, DEA, etc.

Is El Paso Safe To Visit?

If you look at the crime stats and read the opinions of the residents, El Paso is a very safe place to visit. Crime is down in every category and most residents agree that you shouldn’t have any qualms about visiting.

If you plan to cross the border and into Juarez, you won’t have the same level of safety as in El Paso, as Juarez is still consistently ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in the world.

Other Cities You Might Be Interested In:

Albuquerque, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Barstow, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Corpus Christi, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, Las Vegas, Long Beach, Memphis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Oakland, Philadelphia, Reno, San Antonio, San Bernardino, San Jose, Slab City, St. Louis, Stockton

Mariska Lee

Mariska is a recovering attorney who gave up her professional job to discover new perspectives of life while traveling in a 2009 Ford Transit. She has been living the van life for 3 years and has not looked back since.

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