The 50 Safest Cities in California—2017 | SafeWise

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The 50 Safest Cities in California—2017

California is known for its beautiful beaches, award-winning wineries, and vibrant high-tech industry—but many people don’t realize it’s also home to dozens of safe cities. In fact, according to the most recent FBI crime report, the fifty safest cities in California reported about thirteen crimes per 1,000 people in 2015, compared to the national average of nearly twenty-nine crimes per 1,000 people.

Not only that, but several of these cities—Imperial, Laguna Woods, Canyon Lake, Los Altos, Moraga, Orinda, Palos Verdes Estates, and Mill Valley—also cited fewer than ten total violent crimes, and Hillsborough reported just one. Taking a closer look at the data, we found that altogether the cities on our list reported thirty murders. We want to be clear that even one murder is too many, but this is remarkably few considering these cities represent a population well over two million.

California’s fifty safest cities boast exceptionally low property crime rates, too. For instance, approximately half of these cities reported fewer than 100 burglaries, and only one city on our list reported more than ten arsons.

We were impressed to find that all but eleven of the cities on this year’s list also appeared on our list last year, which indicates these cities are committed to long-term crime prevention. What’s more, we applaud the citizens and law enforcement officers of Canyon Lake, Yorba Linda, and Truckee, as these cities moved up considerably in rank.

SafeWise reached out to Truckee’s chief of police, Robert Leftwich, to find out how his department keeps crime under control. Leftwich said, “We’re honored to be one of the state’s safest cities, but we didn’t get here on our own; maintaining a safe environment is a community undertaking.” He added, “To that end, we’re always looking for opportunities to build trust and further enhance the collaborative relationship we have with our citizens.”

Review our list to find out if your city is one of the safest in the Golden State. Then refer to our California Safety Directory for home security tips, safety resources, and a color-coded map of the state’s most and least burglarized counties.

How We Chose the Safest Cities in California

To identify the fifty safest cities in California, we reviewed the 2015 FBI crime report statistics and population data. We eliminated all cities with fewer than 10,000 residents as well as any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI.

From there, we evaluated the remaining cities. We narrowed the list down based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) in each city. To level the playing field, we calculated the likelihood of these crimes occurring out of 1,000 people in each city.

Learn more about how we rank our Safest Cities reports.

1. Imperial 

Previous Rank: Not ranked

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.29
Property Crimes per 1,000: 3.11

2. Rancho Santa Margarita

Previous Rank: 2

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.88
Property Crimes per 1,000: 6.09

3. Aliso Viejo

Previous Rank: 3

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.63
Property Crimes per 1,000: 7.15

4. Laguna Woods

Previous Rank: Not ranked

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.30
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.54

5. Canyon Lake 

Previous Rank: 36

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.63
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.37

6. Foster City

Previous Rank: Not ranked

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.60
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.07

7. Yorba Linda ↑

Previous Rank: 23

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.57
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.46

8. Moorpark 

Previous Rank: 5

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.98
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.38

9. Truckee ↑

Previous Rank: 26

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.22
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.67

10. Hillsborough 

Previous Rank: 6

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.09
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.90

11. Poway ↑

Previous Rank: 16

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.87
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.17

12. Los Altos 

Previous Rank: 21

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.20
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.88

13. Laguna Niguel 

Previous Rank: 11

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.74
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.46

 14. Saratoga ↓

Previous Rank: 13

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.58
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.76

15. Danville 

Previous Rank: 18

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.36
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.04

 16. Sierra Madre 

Previous Rank: 9

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.98
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.42

17. Walnut 

Previous Rank: 20

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.02
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.56

18. Calabasas 

Previous Rank: 25

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.61
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.10

19. Mission Viejo 

Previous Rank: 10

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.88
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.10

20. Moraga ↓

Previous Rank: 8

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.40
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.69

21. Orinda ↓

Previous Rank: 15

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.26
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.86

22. San Ramon 

Previous Rank: 17

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.35
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.76

23. Lake Forest 

Previous Rank: 12

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.35
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.24

24. Palos Verdes Estates 

Previous Rank: 7

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.51
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.30

25. San Clemente 

Previous Rank: 27

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.20
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.73

26. Thousand Oaks ↑

Previous Rank: 41

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.05
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.13

27. Simi Valley

Previous Rank: Not ranked

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.37
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.87

28. San Juan Capistrano ↑

Previous Rank: 32

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.80
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.70

29. Clayton 

Previous Rank: 14

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.93
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.63

30. Rancho Palos Verdes 

Previous Rank: 29

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.95
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.82

31. Soledad 

Previous Rank: 24

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.11
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.00

32. Fillmore 

Previous Rank: 22

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 5.28
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.15

33. Lincoln 

Previous Rank: 19

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.60
Property Crimes per 1,000: 13.84

34. La Puente 

Previous Rank: 48

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.91
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.79

35. Chino Hills 

Previous Rank: 47

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.90
Property Crimes per 1,000: 13.84

36. Temple City 

Previous Rank: 38

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.81
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.98

37. La Canada Flintridge 

Previous Rank: 57

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.96
Property Crimes per 1,000: 13.82

38. Newman

Previous Rank: 75

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.47
Property Crimes per 1,000: 13.51

39. Diamond Bar

Previous Rank: 42

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.02
Property Crimes per 1,000: 14.08

40. Maywood 

Previous Rank: 31

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.60
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.75

41. Mill Valley 

Previous Rank: 43

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.28
Property Crimes per 1,000: 15.21

42. Agoura Hills 

Previous Rank: 30

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.72
Property Crimes per 1,000: 14.78

43. Santa Clarita 

Previous Rank: 40

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.66
Property Crimes per 1,000: 13.85

44. Irvine

Previous Rank: Not ranked

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.56
Property Crimes per 1,000: 14.98

45. Placentia

Previous Rank: Not ranked

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.44
Property Crimes per 1,000: 14.14

46. Carpinteria 

Previous Rank: 60

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.80
Property Crimes per 1,000: 14.90

47. Cudahy 

Previous Rank: 76

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 3.20
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.58

48. Windsor ↓

Previous Rank: 34

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 3.08
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.77

49. Goleta 

Previous Rank: 50

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.52
Property Crimes per 1,000: 14.48

50. Coronado ↑

Previous Rank: 165

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.03
Property Crimes per 1,000: 15.08

Didn’t see your city rank in the top 50?

Check the remaining cities below, and take a look at the most recent FBI crime data here.

51. Murrieta 52. Cupertino 53. Eastvale
54. Santa Paula 55. Imperial Beach 56. Oakley
57. Sunnyvale 58. Folsom 59. Santee
60. Hercules 61. Avenal 62. Ripon
63. Belmont 64. Encinitas 65. San Marcos
66. Hollister 67. San Gabriel 68. Farmersville
69. San Marino 70. Laguna Hills 71. Wildomar
72. Camarillo 73. Glendale 74. Morgan Hill
75. Seaside 76. Dublin 77. La Mirada
78. Daly City 79. Pacific Grove 80. Dana Point
81. Cypress 82. Twentynine Palms 83. Piedmont
84. Benicia 85. Atascadero 86. Menlo Park
87. Pacifica 88. Duarte 89. La Palma
90. Monrovia 91. King City 92. Chula Vista
93. Carlsbad 94. Fremont 95. Novato
96. Los Alamitos 97. Rocklin 98. Torrance
99. Lafayette 100. Lawndale

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.

To learn more about the home security options available to you, check out SafeWise’s picks for Best Home Security Systems of 2018 or select the city nearest you in the drop down menu below.

If you would like to contact a SafeWise Safest Cities Analyst, please email safestcities@safewise.com.

Alexia Chianis

Find out more about Alexia, here.

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