Is Winnipeg safe? Here’s everything you need to know.
While it can be fun to explore a city, you should always be careful and aware. There are many risks that could put your safety at risk when traveling around town, especially if you are not familiar with the area.
It is moderately safe in Winnipeg. According to Statistics Canada, the city had a crime severity index of 113.5 in 2021.
Winnipeg ranks 3rd with the highest crime severity index in all of Canada’s metropolitan areas. Most of these crimes happen in the inner city.
Although the city has been slowly growing in its economy and may not be one of the best cities out there, Winnipeg’s crime severity index rates have been decreasing for the past three years.
|Crime severity index||132.09||116.55||113.5|
|Percent change in crime severity index||10.16||-11.76||-2.57|
Winnipeg still has its downsides as a livable city, but it is considered safe and family-friendly.
Although crime rates are high, particularly in the downtown area, it is still possible for people to walk around at night without fear of danger in certain places.
What are the crime statistics in Winnipeg?
In 2022, the total reported crimes in Winnipeg were over 67,000.
49,664 were property crimes, 12,377 were violent crimes, 4,618 were other crimes such as inchoate crimes, 607 were traffic violations, 394 were drug-related, and 12 were federal statute-related.
Below are the comprehensive crime statistics about the city from 2018 to 2022.
|Other (Inchoate Crimes)||5,673||5,180||5,513||4,668||4,618|
For the last five years, Winnipeg has experienced the most crimes in 2022. It reached a 30.71% increase compared to the previous year, with 67,672 reported crime incidents.
The most common crime in Winnipeg is a non-violent crime, mostly property crimes. Winnipeg had over 49,664 property crimes in 2022, taking over ⅔ of the overall reported crimes.
Also, note that the decreasing crime severity index in the previous section is different from the huge increase in the crime rate in 2022.
The crime severity index tells you the severity of reported crimes in the city, while crime rates are the number of occurrences of the crimes.
This means that there are fewer severe crimes in Winnipeg in 2022, but the amount of crimes has gone up 30.71% compared to the previous year.
Crime Risks in Winnipeg
The risk of experiencing crime in Winnipeg is low to moderate. In 2021, there were over 60,000 reported crime incidents.
With 700,000 people in the city, this shows that over 8.5% of the population reported or experienced a crime in 2021.
Below is a list of potential risks and dangers in Winnipeg. Each risk has been categorized based on its level of severity.
Riding in public transportation in Winnipeg is safe; violent crimes in city buses rarely happen.
However, transit drivers are the usual targets of crimes in Winnipeg transport. Over 92 incidents were reported just for transit driver assaults in 2021.
So for security, cameras are installed in every bus to monitor passengers and other people who may cause harm. There are also security alarms that can be activated if you feel threatened.
Additionally, the government of Winnipeg is planning to put security officers on buses as well, which adds an extra layer of security in case something happens.
Natural Disasters: MODERATE
95% of the residents in Winnipeg say that the leading natural disasters in their city are caused by winter storms, which include blizzards, ice storms, and extreme cold.
73% of the residents say that floods come second. They can cause extended power outages that may last more than 24 hours, risking your livelihood.
However, the overall risk awareness of the government for the whole city is high. There are a lot of reliable sources of news and help when a natural disaster hits the city.
Women Travelers: LOW
Traveling in Winnipeg is safe, even for female tourists. In 2021, there were 5,905 female victims of violent crime in the city, while there were 5,441 male victims.
Being a victim of violent crime because of one’s gender is least likely to happen in the city. It is quite safe for women travelers to enjoy their visit to Winnipeg.
Robberies are infamous in Winnipeg. Most robberies are armed robberies and sometimes eventually lead to assault.
There were over 1,938 reported robberies in the city in 2021. 73% of these are personal, while 27% are commercial.
Moreover, 56% of personal robberies are armed, 39% are strong arm-robbery, and 5% are car-jacking.
However, from 2009 to 2012, robbery rates in the city decreased.
Scams in Winnipeg usually happen on the internet to older people, who are more vulnerable and more susceptible to being tricked into giving away valuable personal information.
Grandparent scams are the recent M.O. of scammers in Winnipeg. There were 457 cases of grandparent scams reported in the city within the first six months of 2021.
The grandparent scam starts with scammers calling the elderly and acting like family members by saying, “it’s an emergency,” “I am under arrest,” and “I need bail money,” hoping they would withdraw huge amounts of money.
The scammers will then send fake legal representatives to the elderly’s homes and trick them into handing over the said money.
There are low if not no crimes related to terrorism that has happened in Winnipeg for the past decade. The last known terrorism to happen in Winnipeg was in 1997.
The pro-choice doctor, Dr. Jack Fainman, then 40 years old, was shot in the shoulder by a suspected anti-abortion individual. Fortunately, Dr. Fainman survived the attack.
What are the safety ratings in Winnipeg?
Overall, Winnipeg earns a GeoSure score of 78. It’s important to note that the higher the score, the safer it is for travelers.
The GeoSure score measures the level of safety and security in a city, which includes nighttime safety, physical safety, theft, basic freedom, health and medical, LGBTQ+ safety, and women’s safety.
Fortunately, the city achieved a great score in GeoSure for most categories. Theft was the only one that scored below 70.
|Safety Category||GeoSure Safety Score|
|Health and Medical||77|
Neighborhoods to Avoid in Winnipeg
The inner city of Winnipeg has high crime rates and should be avoided by newcomers if possible. It mainly consists of the North End, West End, and Downtown Winnipeg.
The table below shows the said neighborhoods and their most recurring crimes.
|Area||Neighborhoods to Avoid||Most recurring crimes|
|North End||North Point Douglas||- Assault|
- Property Crime
|West End||Spence||- Robbery|
|Colony||- Property Crime|
|Downtown Winnipeg||South Portage||- Robbery|
- Breaking and Entering
According to AreaVibes, there are more neighborhoods within the said areas above that contain concentrated crimes.
These are some more of the neighborhoods you must avoid in the areas.
Note: Winnipeg’s crime severity index (CSI) in 2020 is 73.9.
|Area||Neighborhoods||Percent rate (more crime than the city’s CSI)|
|North End||Lord Selkirk Park||56%|
|West End||Central Park||54%|
|North End||William Whyte||52%|
|Downtown Winnipeg||Portage - Ellice||47%|
|West End||Logan - C.P.R.||44%|
|North End||Dufferin Industrial||42%|
But let’s discuss why the North End, West End, and Downtown Winnipeg are considered the most dangerous areas in Winnipeg.
The North End is an area that’s been historically known for its high crime rate (14,576 incidents per 100,000 people).
In the North End, North Point Douglas area has been dubbed as Winnipeg’s most dangerous neighborhood, with a crime rate almost four times the city average.
Winnipeg has a crime rate of 7,003 incidents per 100,000 people, while North Point Douglas has a crime rate of 27,002 incidents per 100,000 people.
The North End also has the city’s highest robbery rate (2,018 robbery incidents per 100,000 population), which is 42 times above the national average (48 robbery incidents per 100,000 population).
The West End area also has one of the highest crime rates in the city (13,931 incidents per 100,000 people).
Spence (23,071 incidents per 100,000 people) and Colony (42,294 incidents per 100,000 people) are the top neighborhoods in West End to have a high crime rate.
Most of the crimes reported in West End are property crimes. However, the crime rate has been steadily decreasing over the years.
|Property Crime in West End||350||272||261|
From 2017 to 2021, West End had a property crime rate of 10,772 incidents per 100,000 people.
The most reported crimes in Downtown Winnipeg are usually property crimes, consisting primarily of theft, breaking and entering, and vandalism.
|Crimes in Downtown Winnipeg||2019||2020||2021|
|Criminal Code A (Theft, Breaking and Entering, Vandalism, etc.)||1,309||1,332||1,261|
Downtown Winnipeg also has the highest crime rate in all three areas, with 35,826 incidents per 100,000 people.
Its most dangerous neighborhood is South Portage, with a crime rate of 66,670 incidents per 100,000 people.
Safe Areas and Neighborhoods in Winnipeg
The top three safest areas in Winnipeg are North Main, Dakota, and East Seine. They have the lowest crime rates compared to other parts of the city, with 4,576 incidents per 100,000 people, combined.
Despite having a large population of 7,885 (North Main), 27,205 (Dakota), and 27,235 (East Seine), these areas are considered safe.
|Areas||Crime Rates (incidents per 100,000 people)|
Aside from North Main, Dakota, and East Seine, several neighborhoods also scored well in AreaVibes scoring system for livability.
|Armstrong Point||South West End||93 out of 100|
|Linden Woods||Fort Whyte||93 out of 100|
|Crescentwood||Fort Rouge West||93 out of 100|
|Wildwood||Fort Garry||93 out of 100|
|Bridgewater Lakes||Waverly West||92 out of 100|
|Whyte Ridge||Fort Whyte||91 out of 100|
|Victoria Crescent||North St. Vital||90 out of 100|
|Linden Ridge||Fort Whyte||90 out of 100|
The high livability score takes several factors into account, especially safety. This list can help you determine where it is best to live in Winnipeg with the utmost safety amongst any other area in the city.
Is Winnipeg safe at night?
Winnipeg is not safe at night. According to Numbeo, nighttimes in Winnipeg have a safety score of 28.75, which is relatively low compared to its daytime safety score of 63.32.
There are some areas of Winnipeg that you should avoid after dark because they have higher crime rates. These include the North End, West End, and Downtown Winnipeg.
Moreso, drug use in Winnipeg has been at its high since 2017.
Technically speaking, when a person is under the influence of drugs, his judgment can be clouded and can lead to crime, especially at night when they cannot sleep.
The high drug use is mainly the culprit behind the low safety score of Winnipeg at night.