With approximately 38 million residents, California is by far the most populated state in the U.S. But that doesn’t mean it has a particularly high crime rate. In fact, according to recent FBI Crime Report data, the Golden State’s crime rate is about on par with the national average, reporting 3.96 violent crimes per 1,000 residents and 26.65 property crimes per 1,000 residents. The report reveals that the typical American city reported 3.67 violent crimes per 1,000 citizens and 27.30 property crimes per 1,000 citizens. As a whole, crime went down in California over the last year. Specifically, violent crime was reduced by seven percent and property crime was lessened by four percent.
When we took a close look at the 50 safest cities in California, we found they reported much lower incidents of crime than the national average. The average violent crime rate among our safest cities was 1.12 per 1,000 people, and the average property crime rate was 11.32 per 1,000 people. That means the average safe city listed below experienced 70 percent less violent crime and 60 percent less property crime than the typical U.S. city. We were particularly impressed to discover that 42 of California’s 50 safest cities (84 percent) reported no murders. And the safest city on our list, Hillsborough, reported no incidents of violent crime whatsoever.
If you’re looking for a safe place to call home in California, start by looking at our list to make sure you’re going somewhere with a good safety record. Once you’ve become familiar with the safest cities in California, you’ll want to explore the security and safety information found in our comprehensive California Safety Directory. In addition to finding the latest information on crime prevention programs, you can explore an interactive map of the most (and least) burglarized counties in the state.
How We Chose the Safest Cities in California
We followed a strict protocol to arrive at the 50 safest cities in California. First, we identified cities with a population of over 10,000 residents in 2013 and evaluated recent FBI Crime Report data. From there, we determined the number of Violent Crimes, which are considered murder, aggravated assault, robbery and forcible rape, as well as Property Crimes, consisting of burglary, motor vehicle theft, arson, and larceny-theft that were reported in each city. Then, to create a level playing field and make it easy to compare crime rates among several cities, we calculated the chance of these crimes happening out of 1,000 people.
When reviewing the list, you should keep in mind that although the annual FBI Crime Report is considered a premier source for a myriad of crime data, not every city in California reported complete information to the FBI. If you think we overlooked one of the state’s safest cities, it could be because its law enforcement agency did not report complete data to the FBI, and that caused it to be removed from consideration.
If you want to see how your city did in our past report, check out last year’s crime data. These are the 50 safest cities in California for 2015.
Situated in San Mateo County, approximately 15 miles south of San Francisco, you’ll discover the affluent community of Hillsborough. According to the latest FBI Crime Report, the safest city on our list reported no murders, forcible rapes, robberies or aggravated assaults, and had a property crime rate 80 percent lower than the national average.
Hillsborough Police Department deserves recognition for offering a wealth of safety and security programs. From a community awareness program for citizens who want to start a Neighborhood Watch program to a home security check program, the departments’ proactive approach to fighting crime may be one reason why Hillsborough reported less than three dozen burglaries.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .00
Property Crimes per 1,000: 5.06
Just off State Route 111 and equidistant from Los Angeles and Phoenix, Imperial’s location is ideal for businesses in the Imperial Valley. It’s also perfect for families looking for a safe place to call home. In addition to a variety of housing, quality schools and rich culture, Imperial reported no murders, forcible rapes or aggravated assaults.
An involved citizenry that takes great pride in stewardship coupled with an innovative E-Policing program are helping keep crime at bay in this growing community.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .43
Property Crimes per 1,000: 5.39
3. Rancho Santa Margarita
The third safest city in California happens to also be one of its youngest. Incorporated in 2000, Rancho Santa Margarita is a master planned communitywith a number of housing developments, modern amenities, and bountiful recreation.
Residents of this Orange County gem can boast that there’s less than one in 1,000 chance of being a victim of a violent crime in Rancho Santa Margarita. That makes it 90 percent safer than the average American hometown and, for a city of approximately 50,000 residents, that’s particularly impressive.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .34
Property Crimes per 1,000: 5.89
4. Aliso Viejo
With the tag line “It’s all here. It’s all close.” you can expect a lot from Aliso Viejo and not be disappointed. Officially established in 2001, Aliso Viejo offers award-winning schools, a number of well-established corporations, and an extensive trail system.
Whatever the community is doing to keep crime under control is working. Not only was the master planned community also the fourth safest city on our last year’s list, its number of reported violent crimes went down from 30 to 25 and its reported property crimes were reduced from 437 to 315 over the time period.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .49
Property Crimes per 1,000: 6.29
Boutique wineries, charming eateries, and safe streets are what you’ll find in this modern community. Located in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, and just outside the San Francisco Bay area, Saratoga’s high quality of life and hometown vibe also offer residents a retreat from the hustle and bustle of nearby Silicon Valley.
We give kudos to Saratoga for making crime fighting a priority. Our last report on California’s safest cities recognized Saratoga as a decidedly safe city, but since then, the community managed to reduce the number of aggravated assault by 50 percent and lower its overall rate of violent crime rate by 25 percent. Share that good news!
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .45
Property Crimes per 1,000: 7.18
Image: LPS.1; CC0
6. Laguna Woods
In the short 16 years Laguna Woods has officially been a city, it has earned a stellar reputation as a safe, senior-friendly community. From a number of volunteer opportunities to an expansive variety of events at the nearby Orange County Great Park, active older adults can find plenty to keep them busy in Laguna Woods.
Recent FBI Crime Report data reveals this Orange County town of approximately 16,000 residents reported less than half a dozen violent crimes and a nominal 132 property crimes. It’s no wonder the residents of Laguna Woods feel good about calling it home sweet home.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .30
Property Crimes per 1,000: 7.95
Clayton is where small-town living and an appreciation for tradition meet to create a community that’s not only welcoming, but also remarkably safe. The chance of being a victim of a violent crime in Clayton is 96 percent less than the national average, and only one city on our safest cities of California list (Hillsborough) beat that astonishing figure. Clayton reported only two incidents of violent crime, both of which were robberies, according to the FBI Crime Report. Plus, its property crime rate was three-quarters lower than the national average.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .17
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.82
If you’re looking for a safe community that offers room to roam, you’ve found it. In fact, providing a safe environment is the first goal listed on the Moraga’s official mission statement and 33 percent of its land is designated as open space. Additionally, Moraga earns our respect for offering a number of youth-oriented activities. From a spectacular parks and recreation program to the innovative Moraga Youth Involvement Committee, Moraga is dedicated to raising a fine future citizenry. Plus, Moraga’s negligible crime rate has been reduced even further over the last two years.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .66
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.00
Image: JD Lisa; Public Domain
9. Foster City
The waterfront community of Foster City is situated in San Mateo County, roughly 20 miles south of San Francisco. An amazing public cultural arts program is among one of the most coveted perks of living in this safe city. Whether you want to peruse local art at the Foster City Art Gallery, attend the annual Polynesian Festival, or take in a play at the Hillbarn Theatre, you’ll find cultural activity is cherished in Foster City. It’s also a city that’s investing in the future through programs such as “Sustainable Foster City.”
Best yet, Foster City can brag that since our last safe cities reports, the number of violent crimes was reduced by almost 50 percent and its incidents of property crimes was lowered by 20 percent.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .45
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.34
Image: Gavin.perch; Public Domain
This wealthy suburb of San Francisco is considered one of the most affluent cities in America, but its police department is what impressed us the most. TheDanville Police Department gets high marks for working hand in hand with the community to keep criminals in check. This year, the Danville Police Department will host two sessions of its Citizen’s Police Academy. We respect that Chief of Police Steve Simpkins maintains an open door policy, and his email is prominently displayed on the department’s website.
Danville’s respectable safe city ranking remained about the same as last year, however the community reduced violent crime by 35 percent and property crime by almost 20 percent.
11. Laguna Niguel
Situated in the San Joaquin Hills of southern Orange County, Laguna Niguel is well-to-do master planned community that welcomes citizen involvement. One way it does so is through the Bright Ideas and Opportunities that Nurture and Improve our Community (BIONIC) program. The goal of the forward thinking program is to encourage businesses, residents and organizations to voice their ideas about how to make the community an even better place to live, work and play.
When comparing Laguna Niguel’s reported crimes from last year to this year, we found a slight reduction in the number of property crimes, and an impressive 20 percent reduction in the number of reported burglaries.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .87
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.61
12. San Ramon
The San Ramon Police Department understands that when citizens and law enforcement work in tandem, good things happen. From a Police Explorers program that helps educate youth about police officer duties to a Ride-a-Long Program that allows citizens to spend time patrolling the community with an officer, to a Citizen Police Academy and Station Tours, the San Ramon Police Department goes to great lengths to partner with the citizens it protects.
In fact, its community policing philosophy is the foundation on which the department keeps streets safe and could be a reason why the San Francisco Bay area suburb enjoys a low crime rate. Only four other cities on our safest cities of California list had a lower violent crime rate than San Ramon, so this is certainly something the city should be proud of.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .36
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.21
Image: OettingerCroat; Public Domain
13. Yorba Linda
Positioned in northeastern Orange County, the attractive community of Yorba Linda is famous as the boyhood hometown of President Richard Nixon, but Yorba Linda also boasts top-ranked schools and a robust youth sports program. The Golden State city offers 135 acres of sports fields and over 100 miles of equestrian trails.
Best of all, Yorba Linda reported 30 violent crimes, which represents a reduction of 19 violent crimes since the last report was released.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .44
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.37
14. Mission Viejo
Mission Viejo has about 100,000 residents, but it has the feel of a much smaller community. One reason that’s the case is due to a number of community programs and events that help foster a strong bond among residents. An example is its award winning Community of Character Committee, which strives to make Mission Viejo a stronger, safer, and healthier place to live.
Programs like this could be one reason why the crime rate in Mission Viejo is already quite enviable, and even on the decline. When we compared data from our last safe cities report to this one, we discovered the city enjoyed a 22 percent reduction of violent crime and 18 percent reduction of property crime. That equates to 17 less violent crimes and an impressive 218 fewer properties crimes.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .64
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.40
Image: Wikpe44; Public Domain
15. Palos Verdes Estates
The city of Palos Verdes Estates is located on the picturesque Palos Verdes Peninsula, southwest of Los Angeles. Residents of the 14,000 member community enjoy tree-lined streets, ocean vistas and minimal crime. According to the recent FBI Crime Report, the city cited just six violent crimes. Only four cities on our list reported less violent crime. Palos Verdes Estates also enjoys a low property crime rate, citing 50 percent less property crime than the typical American city.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .43
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.76
16. Lake Forest
Lake Forest’s motto, “Remember the past, challenge the future” reflects its respect for its rich heritage and its excitement about days ahead. A fabulous place to raise a family, parents will be pleased to discover diverse employment opportunities, friendly neighbors and abundant recreational opportunities.
Plus, Lake Forest is safe. Its position on our safe cities list didn’t change significantly from our last report, but the community managed to reduce incidents of property crimes by 15 percent and Lake Forest’s violent crime rate is almost one third less than the national average.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.34
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.24
Situated in the Santa Clara River Valley, “Sunset Magazine” named Fillmore one of “The West’s Best Cities,” a title bestowed on only two dozen communities. Indeed, the unspoiled Southern California town has a lot to offer those looking for small town charm, not the least of which is safe neighborhoods. In fact, only a few cities on our list reported less property crime than Fillmore.
Cool ocean breezes, a landscape dotted with citrus groves and a comfortable average yearly temperature of 78 degrees are more reasons you’ll fall in love with “The last, best small town in Southern California.”
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.70
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.99
Image: Cbl62; CC BY-SA 3.0
Perfectly positioned in the stunning Sierra Nevada mountain range, and within driving distance from some of California’s most populated cities, Truckee is a popular vacation destination. The small town has the honor of being listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and was named after an Indian chief who helped thousands of emigrants find their way westward. Understandably, locals are proud of their community’s rich heritage.
Due to its appeal to vacationers, the city’s population often soars on the weekends and holidays. But the influx of people hasn’t had a negative impact on crime. According to the FBI Crime Report, Truckee reported a nominal 18 violent crimes and 174 property crimes.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.11
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.71
If a safe, waterfront community appeals to you, you’ll find Hercules enticing. Ideally positioned along the coast of San Pablo Bay, Herculesis roughly half way between San Francisco and Napa.
Make the move to Hercules and you can expect good schools, diverse housing, and low crime. Residents and law enforcement can be proud that the community’s violent crime rate decreased by nearly 40 percent since our last report, and its property crime dropped by almost 15 percent. Touted as “The Dynamic City on the Bay,” Hercules is a fine place to live, work, and play.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .88
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.03
The northern California community of Orinda earned kudos as a friendly place with outstanding schools. In fact, Forbes.com named this Golden State jewel as one of “America’s Friendliest Towns” and its high school ranks in the top 60 of all 1,000 high schools in the state and the top four percent of high schools in the nation based on its robust Advanced Placement Program. Decidedly family-oriented, Orinda’s natural landscape is dotted with parks and trails that draw many San Francisco Bay area hikers, bikers and naturalists. Best of all, the community reported no murders, forcible rapes, or robberies.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .53
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.55
Soledad is a city in Monterey County, positioned approximately 25 miles southeast of Salinas. In addition to being a safe community, another perk of living in Soledad is that its cost of living is about the same as the average American community. And Soledad should be commended for offering its residents an easy way to stay in the loop about community happenings. Through the online service myConnections, members of the community can create a profile that gives them access to local news and events they’re interested in.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.74
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.46
Image: Trixt; Public Domain
22. Los Altos
You know what they say about location, and Los Altos has got it! Located less than 40 miles south of San Francisco and with convenient access to Highway 101 and Interstate 280, getting around isn’t difficult. And when it’s time to head out of town, the San Francisco International Airport and the San Jose International Airport are roughly 25 miles away.
If you’re a small business owner or budding entrepreneur, you’ll be glad to learn that Los Altos offers a variety of business resources. From the Economic Department to the Los Altos Chamber of Commerce and the Los Altos Village Association, you’ll find this 30,000 member community respects local business. Best of all, the chance of being a victim of a violent crime in Los Altos is less than one in 1,000.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .76
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.84
Moorpark is recognized as having the lowest number of violent crimes in Ventura County, and is considered as one of the safest cities of its size in the U.S. According to recent FBI Crime Report data, the number of property crimes reported in Moorpark was 60 percent less than the national average.
In addition to low crime, Moorpark offers quality educational facilities and access to a number of colleges and universities including Pepperdine University, California State University at Channel Islands, and California Lutheran University. Plus, head just 50 miles south and you’ll be in downtown Los Angeles.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.04
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.89
24. Sierra Madre
You’ll find the safe city of Sierra Madre 13 miles south of Los Angeles. For roughly a century, the Sierra Madre Police Department has worked with citizens to keep the community a safe place to settle. Leveraging the latest technology, the department uses the free online service CrimeReports to give residents insight into what types of crime are happening in their community. In all, the safe city cited only 13 violent crimes for the year and only five other cities on our list reported fewer forcible rapes and fewer robberies.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.17
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.67
Drive 25 miles north of Sacramento, the state capital, and you’ll discover the historic city of Lincoln. Once a railroad town, Lincoln adapted to the changing economic landscape and grew steadily over the last century. Today, Lincoln is a well-rounded community that is honored as an All-America City by the National Civic League.
Those who make Lincoln home can be proud of its phenomenally low violent crime rate. The recent FBI Crime Report data reveals Lincoln reported just .55 violent crimes per 1,000 residents, which is 95 percent lower than the national average.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .55
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.33
With a reputation as “The City in the Country,” it’s only fitting that Poway dedicates 50 percent of it 40 square miles to open space. A number of welcoming parks and 55 miles of trails ensure residents have plenty of opportunity to take advantage of the great outdoors. Poway’s communitycalendar offers dozens of events, its school district is considered excellent, and housing ranges from simple to luxurious.Here’s more good news: since 1981 Poway is has claimed the lowest overall crime rate of any city in San Diego County. And according to recent FBI Crime Report data, the community reduced the number of violent crimes and property crimes since our last safe cities report.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.82
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.62
27. Thousand Oaks
Set against the Santa Monica Mountains and just 10 miles inland from the powerful Pacific Ocean, Thousand Oaks is the third most populated city on our list. From its green initiatives to bike-friendly streets, Thousand Oaks has earned a wealth of accolades as fine place to live. It was named the fourth safest city in the U.S. with a population of more than 100,000 residents. Congratulations to the citizens and law enforcement officers that continue to work hand-in-hand to keep crime under control.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.07
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.44
Located in Sonoma County, residents of the safe Town of Windsor enjoy a lifestyle that’s hard to find these days. Quality housing, excellent schools, and an impressive historic downtown district are just a few reasons nearly 30,000 people choose to call Windsor home. For active families, Windsor’s Parks and Recreation Department offers an extensive list of things to do, and its 13 neighborhood parks serve as popular gathering places.
Although they pay less per capita for police services than most Sonoma County residents, those who call Windsor home live in one of the county’s safest places. Since our last safest cities in California list was published, the community reduced property crime by 20 percent.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 3.85
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.87
Image: Off2riorob; Public Domain
29. San Clemente
Along the Pacific coast, roughly half way between Los Angeles and San Diego, you’ll find the safe city of San Clemente. Since appearing on our safe cities last year, San Clemente residents formed a new committee to address issues surrounding domestic violence. The San Clemente Domestic Violence Task Force is an all volunteer committee that, among other goals, strives to improve the integration and coordination of services for domestic violence victims. In the future, the group plans to reach out to junior high and high school students to increase awareness about domestic violence.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .85
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.92
Perched in the hills west of the San Fernando Valley, Calabasas residents can feel good knowing their community reported less than one incident of violent crime per 1,000 residents.
We were happy to learn that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is leveraging the latest technology to strength ties with the community and help keep Calabasas a safe place to live. The department uses CrimeMapping.com to keep residents aware of neighborhood crime concerns.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .82
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.98
31. San Juan Capistrano
Historic, cultural, and safe are just a few words that describe the Orange County community of San Juan Capistrano. Offering more than 3,000 acres of permanent open space, 43 miles of unpaved hiking and equestrian trails, plus 52 acres of developed parks, it’s also a recreation paradise.
The city’s violent crime rate stayed almost the same, and its property crime rate went down slightly since we analyzed it last year. Combining its colorful past with a focus on the future and a commitment to crime prevention ensures San Juan Capistrano will remain one of California’s most precious gems.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.60
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.33
32. Chino Hills
You might be surprised to see a suburb of Los Angeles listed as one of the safest cities in The Golden State, but according to recent FBI Crime Report data, Chino Hills reported just 63 violent crimes. When compared to the typical city in America, Chino Hills residents are almost 80 percent less likely to be a victim of a violent crime and over the last year, robberies have decreased by nearly 50 percent.
The City of Chino Hills Police Department and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department deserve praise for keeping the community in the loop about crime. On the city website, you’ll find a number press releases that alert residents to criminal activity and arrests, as well as an online annual crime report, which offers locals the opportunity to compare Chino Hills crime statistics those of nearby communities.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .81
Property Crimes per 1,000: 13.21
Image: Ab189; CC BY-SA 3.0
Cupertino earns two thumbs up for capitalizing on the popularity of mobile technology. The Santa Clara County city of 60,000 offers a variety of apps, ranging from its Access Cupertino app, which allows residents to communicate quickly and easily with city leaders, to its Mobile 95014 app, which showcases environmental and community services, like Neighborhood Watch. Of particular interest to us is Cupertino’s Ready 95014 app, which puts a variety of safety and security information right in the palm of Cupertino residents’ hands. We hope residents took note that their city just reported 41 incidents of violent crime, which is five less incidents than it cited last year.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .67
Property Crimes per 1,000: 13.43
The Kings County Sheriff’s Office provides service to the residents of Avenal, and they’re doing a knock-out job. The property crime rate in Avenal is two thirds lower than the national average and 10 percent less than the average of all 50 California safe cities.
One reason Avenal enjoys low crime could be due to the overwhelming success of its Community Oriented Policing. The concept is based on the premise that when the community and law enforcement work cooperatively, everyone benefits. Of all the California cities and law enforcement agencies we’ve reviewed, perhaps no others have embraced this forward thinking philosophy to the extent that Avenal has.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 4.21
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.99
35. Rancho Palos Verdes
Incorporated in 1973, Rancho Palos Verdes is the youngest city on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Those who find their way to Rancho Palos Verdes will enjoy a closely knit community that boasts some of the state’s most breathtaking shoreline views. Rancho Palos Verdes is close to a variety of shopping, dining, and entertainment options, yet retains a slow pace and rural ambiance that give it one-of-a-kind charm.Beautiful and bursting with amenities, it’s also safe. Reporting less than one violent crime per 1,000 citizens, we commend Rancho Palos Verdes for reducing its already low incidents of violent crime over the last year.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .70
Property Crimes per 1,000: 13.63
Image: Cardinalngold; Public Domain
If there’s one word that sums up the relationship between the city of Irvine and its citizenry, it’s collaborative. And the Irvine Police Department’s geographic policing philosophy serves as a stellar example. Police officers are assigned to one of the city’s three geographic areas for about a year. This allows officers to take “ownership” of the area, get well acquainted with the businesses and residents they serve, and focus on improving quality of life issues.
The progressive policing practice could be one reason why Irvine’s violent crime rate is lower than 38 of the 50 safest cities on our list, despite being by far the most populated safe city. Keep up the good work, Irvine!
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .47
Property Crimes per 1,000: 13.92
37. Temple City
Located in the west San Gabriel Valley, Temple City is less than 15 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. The city offers an array of community gathering eventsthat span generations and interests. From camping under the stars at Live Oak Park, to outdoor summer concerts, to the beloved Camellia Festival, take one look at Temple City’s modern website and you’ll have a good idea why this community is thriving. Even though Temple City is a relatively large city, it’s the kind of place where neighbors know each other’s names, which delivers a strong message to criminals that they’re not welcome here.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.32
Property Crimes per 1,000: 13.12
38. Santa Clarita
Santa Clarita residents can brag that Parenting.com recently named their city the third safest city in America with a population over 100,000. They can also be proud of Santa Clarita’s violent crime rate, which is almost 65 percent lower than the typical American city.There are plenty of good things happening in the safe City of Santa Clarita. One we haven’t found in any other community is itsMaintaining Peaceful Neighborhoods initiative, which offers a number of resources to help resolve conflicts between neighbors. It’s that kind of innovation that helps the community maintain a low crime rate.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.34
Property Crimes per 1,000: 13.23
39. Simi Valley
You’ll have to look hard to find another city that puts kids at the top of its priority list like Simi Valley does. This city was recently recognized by the Dr. Phil show as a leader in the nation for its proactive efforts to fight heroin use and addiction, and its Task Force on Heroin Prevention enjoys strong support from the community. Plus, the Simi Valley Police Department offers The Parent Project, a nationally acclaimed workshop to help caregivers handle difficult adolescent behavior. The Simi Valley Police Explorer Postgives kids the chance to learn more about policing while developing close ties with local officers. If you’re a parent who wants to raise your kids in a family-oriented community, you may have found your next home.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.04
Property Crimes per 1,000: 13.54
Image: Alfred Twu; CC0
42. Canyon Lake
The gated, master-planned community of Canyon Lake is part of Riverside County, which is known for its blooming job base, new homes, and quality schools. Canyon Lake also boasts an impressively high home ownership rate of 81 percent, and a median household income of almost $70,000. Above all, Canyon Lake is considered one of California’s safest places to live.
FBI Crime Report data reveals that Canyon Lake cited just three violent crimes in total, all of which were aggravated assaults. Canyon Lake reported no murders, forcible rapes or robberies, which is a claim only one other city on our list (Hillsborough) can make.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .27
Property Crimes per 1,000: 14.34
The waterfront community of Benicia blends a vibrant cultural scene with small-city charm to create a truly spectacular place to visit and even better place to live. In fact, Benicia was recognized by the “Sacramento Bee” as the “Best Kept Little Secret in the San Francisco Bay Area” and noted as an “artists heaven” by “The Los Angeles Times.” Rest assured, you can bet Benicia will exceed your expectations.
All this, and you’ll feel safe walking the streets Benicia’s famous downtown.Benicia’s number of reported violent crimes was reduced by 10 from our last report, going from 40 to 30 incidents.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.08
Property Crimes per 1,000: 13.89
Surrounded by gently rolling hills, vineyards and orchards, it’s easy to see how Oakley bloomed from a small farming town into a 21st century city on the move. Recognized as one of the Golden State’s youngest cities, Oakley offers new housing, quality schools, and well-planned commercial development. From online courses to creative afterschool programs, Oakley’s Recreation Division is one of the most comprehensive and diverse we’ve ever come across.
Need one more reason to pack the moving van for Oakley? It’s also safe, reporting less than two incidents of violent crime per 1,000 residents and a property crime rate that’s half the national average.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.85
Property Crimes per 1,000: 13.13
Image: LPS.1; CC0
43. La Canada Flintridge
A small community in north Los Angeles County, La Canada Flintridge is big on keeping crime under control. According to FBI Crime Report data, La Canada Flintridge cited only 12 incidents of violent crime; three robberies and nine aggravated assaults.
La Canada Flintridge earned the distinction of being designated as a Tree City USA, and maintains almost 10 parks, one of which is a skate park. Make La Canada Flintridge your home and your family will never get bored of exploring miles of the community’s trails.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .58
Property Crimes per 1,000: 14.72
Measuring just 1.18 square miles, Maywood is a small, yet dynamic community located in southeast Los Angeles County. Maywood was incorporated in 1924 and, although today it is surrounded by much larger cities, it retains its small town ambiance. Since our last safe cities in California report, Maywoodmanaged to reduce its overall reported incidents of violent crime from 155 to 112, and its robberies from 54 to 32. Way to go, Maywood!
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 4.03
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.53
45. Agoura Hills
Recognized as the gateway to the Santa Monica Mountains, Agoura Hills is a dynamic suburban community situated in Los Angeles County. Dedicated to preserving its historical past while embracing the future, Agoura Hills offers residents a high quality of life that isn’t easy to find these days. Its safe streets add to its appeal as a fantastic place to put down roots.
According to FBI Crime Report data, Agoura Hills reported 19 violent crimes, which is less than 70 percent of the safest cities on our list reported. Plus, its property crime rate was about half of the national average.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .91
Property Crimes per 1,000: 14.73
46. La Puente
Drive 20 miles east of downtown Los Angeles and you’ll arrive at La Puente. Besides its enviably low crime rate, what caught our attention about La Puente is the way it cares for its children. La Puente’s Self-esteemThroughActivities Recreation and Sports (STARS) program provides elementary school children with a diverse assortment of after-school activities. La Puente’s Teen V.O.I.C.E. program is a volunteer based program for teens ages 13 to 18, and its Tiny Tot program helps build the self-esteem of three to five year olds.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 3.53
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.19
Murrieta is consistently ranked as one America’s safest cities, and its citizens and law enforcement intend to keep it that way. We admire the vast assortment of community related programs the Murrieta Police Department offers. From its Police Activities League to its Ride-a-Long program, its Citizens Police Academy to its Explorer Program, Murrieta police go to great lengths to get to know the community they serve.
Murrieta’s community-police partnership may be one reason the city enjoys a low crime rate. FBI Crime Report data tells us that the chance of being a victim of violent crime in Murrieta is nearly 95 percent less than it is in the typical American city.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .64
Property Crimes per 1,000: 15.21
Image: C12435768999; Public Domain
Beach goers and nature lovers flock to Pacifica to enjoy its coastal location, between San Francisco and Half Moon Bay, while its friendly atmosphere and safe streets get them to stay. Beyond the outdoor activities, Pacifica also offers a wealth of other things to do, including taking personal enrichment classes offered by the Parks and Recreation Department or enjoying a local play put on by the Pacifica Spindrift Players. Overall, Pacifica’s violent crime rate is 55 percent lower than most cities in the U.S., and its property crime rate is half the national average.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.71
Property Crimes per 1,000: 14.81
There’s a reason why Dublin was recognized as one of Alameda County’s fastest growing cities for the last several years. For starters, it is located 35 miles east of San Francisco and its downtown area is booming. Offering new transit-oriented developments, plus first-class entertainment and shopping venues, commuters are attracted to downtown Dublin. A study by the Urban Land Instituteconfirms that Dublin has amazing potential for growth. Dublin’s low crime rate makes it even that much more appealing to those looking to thwart the hustle and bustle of big city life.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.40
Property Crimes per 1,000: 14.84
Incorporated as a city just 13 years ago, Goleta is working hard to serve its residents. Its Project Goleta website keeps community members up to date on a wealth of city projects, from park upgrades and bike paths to traffic roundabouts and road extension projects. Goleta’s violent crime rate is 62 percent lower than the crime rate of the typical American city, and its property crime rate is 46 percent lower, which is extremely impressive.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.41
Property Crimes per 1,000: 14.83
How safe is your home?
Wherever you live, feeling safe in your home can bring greater peace of mind and happiness. Whether your city made our list or not, we recommend adding extra security to your home with monitored security services provided by the nation’s leading home security providers.