On March 9, SafeWise issued its California 50 Safest Cities List of 2020 where Danville (1) and San Ramon (7) remain in the top 10, however, the City of Oakley jumped to the number 16 spot. The City of Martinez came in at number 37 as the only other Contra Costa County city in the top 50.
In California, Safewise stated 16% of people experienced violent crime, 38% experienced property crime while 10% of people have been affected by mass shootings.
Violent Crime in California: Fear vs. Reality
Murder is the state’s biggest violent crime concern even though murder makes up just 1% of all violent crime in California.
- 54% of State of Safety respondents cited murder by a stranger as their highest violent crime concern. Nationwide, only 36% share that fear.
- In 2018, there were 42 murders reported among the safest cities—that’s 0.8% of all violent crimes.
- Despite fear of murder, Californians think being robbed on the street is more likely to actually happen.
- Robbery made up 29% of all the violent crimes reported among the safest cities, and 31% of all violent crime in the state.
- For the second year, Californians reported higher levels (16%) of personal experience with violent crime, compared with national reports of 12%.
Property Crime in California: Fear vs. Reality
California reports both higher concern about and more personal experience with property crime than much of the country. Someone breaking in when the resident is not home was named both the most concerning property crime and the most likely to happen.
- 70% of Californians are highly concerned about break-ins, compared to 62% nationwide.
- 56% named a break-in the most likely property crime, versus 38% nationally.
- 38% of State of Safety respondents experienced a property crime in the past 12 months (26% nationwide).
- Californians have more home security systems than most of the country, with 34% reporting they use one.
- Despite the higher number of people with security systems, California is on par with the national average of people who don’t use any form of protection for their property, 29%.
- Just 13% reported using firearms for protection—less than many other states.
- Burglaries made up 18% of the property crimes reported by the safest cities.
- Larceny-theft was the most common property crime in California, claiming 72% of all property crime reported among the safest cities, and 66% across the state.
A Closer Look at California’s Safest Cities of 2020
- 68% of the safest cities saw increases in ranking year over year.
- Hollister showed the most improvement jumping 89 spots this year, followed by Elk Grove, which climbed 75 places.
- Danville remains the safest city in California for the third consecutive year, reporting only 16 violent crimes in 2018.
- All of the safest cities beat both national (3.7) and state (4.5) violent crime rates, and no safest city reported more than three violent crime incidents per 1,000.
- 60% of the cities reported zero murders, and 88% had one or fewer murders.
- Thousand Oaks is the outlier, with 14 murders reported due to the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill that killed 13 (including the gunman) in 2018.
- 10% of respondents reported a personal experience with a mass shooting in the past 12 months, compared to 7% nationally.
- Despite a higher statewide property crime rate (23.8 versus 22.0 nationwide), all of the safest cities are below both.
- The highest property crime rate is 17.6 in Orange, which is about six percentage points below the state average.
- Moorpark had the lowest total number of property crimes at 261 (7.0 rate), but Rancho Santa Margarita had the lowest per capita with 6.5 incidents per 1,000 people and 326 total crimes.
|2020 Ranking||City||Population||Violent Crime (per 1,000)||Property Crime (per 1,000)|
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