Most Dangerous Cities in California in 2020 | Cove Security

Most Dangerous Cities in California in 2020

California is known as the Golden State. Each year, the Los Angeles county welcomes over 42 million tourists every year, with 7.2 million of the tourists visiting from other countries. The state has a population of 39.5 million people and is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. However, not everything about the Golden State is pristine. Some cities in California see high rates of yearly crime.

Is California Safe?

Crime rates, which are an indicator of the levels of reported crime in an area, are calculated annually by the FBI Crime Reporting Statistics. The FBI data allows citizens to learn more about the level of crime in their specific area. A crime rate can be calculated for a small town, large metro area, or the entire nation. Crime rates are calculated as "the number of crimes per 100,000 people." This means that you can compare the crime rate from a small neighborhood in Vallejo, California, to the crime rate of Los Angeles, California.

To determine whether an area is safe or not, we have to compare the area's crime rate to the national crime rate. If the crime rate is lower than the national average, the area is safer than average. However, if the crime rate is higher than the national average, the area is more dangerous than average. The national crime rate is separated into two main types of crime: violent crime and property crime.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, violent crime includes homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. The national violent crime rate is 382.9 violent crimes per 100,000 people. The violent crime rate can be broken down further into the specific crime rates for murder, rape, robbery, and assault:

  • National Murder Rate: 5 murders per 100,000
  • National Rape Rate: 43 rapes per 100,000
  • National Robbery Rate: 86 robberies per 100,000
  • National Assault Rate: 247 assaults per 100,000

The Bureau of Justice Statistics's definition of property crime is burglary, theft, arson, vandalism, and motor vehicle theft. The national property crime rate is 2,362.2 property crimes per 100,000 people. The crimes rate for burglary, theft, and car theft specifically are:

  • National Burglary Rate: 376 burglaries per 100,000
  • National Theft Rate: 1,595 thefts per 100,000
  • National Car Theft: 229 car thefts per 100,000

The overall crime rate in California is 2,828 crimes per 100,000 people. The violent crime rate is 447 violent crimes per 100,000 people. The crime rates for murder, rape, robbery, and assault are:

  • California Murder Rate: 4 murders per 100,000
  • California Rape Rate: 39 rapes per 100,000
  • California Robbery Rate: 137 robberies per 100,000
  • California Assault Rate: 266 assaults per 100,000

Those living in California have a 1 in 224 chance of experiencing violent crime. The property crime rate in California is 2,380 property crimes per 100,000 people. The property crime rates for burglary, theft, and car theft are:

  • California Burglary Rate: 416 burglaries per 100,000
  • California Theft Rate: 1,572 thefts per 100,000
  • California Car Theft: 392 car thefts per 100,000

Residents of California have a 1 in 42 chance of becoming a victim of property crime while living in California. The burglary rate in California is higher than the national average, meaning homeowners should place additional emphasis on home security. However, the overall crime rate in California isn't significantly higher than average. The average citizen shouldn't experience high crime rates as long as they avoid the crime-ridden areas of dangerous cities.

Top 10 Most Dangerous California Cities

Typically, violent crimes are concentrated within a five-block radius within a city or town. Residents should learn to avoid high crime areas in order to stay safe while living in a dangerous city. The top ten most dangerous cities in California are:

1. Emeryville

Emeryville is the number one most dangerous city in California. Emeryville has a population of 12,104 people and has a total crime rate of 18,192 crimes per 100,000 people. Emeryville is not a safe place to live, according to the crime rates reported by the police officials. Emeryville has the highest violent crime rate in California. The violent crime rate in Emeryville is 1,429 violent crimes per 100,000 people, meaning that residents have a 1 in 70 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime. The violent crime rate in Emeryville is 272 percent higher than the national average. The crime rates for murder, rape, robbery, and assault are:

  • Emeryville Murder Rate: 0 murders per 100,000
  • Emeryville Rape Rate: 74 rapes per 100,000
  • Emeryville Robbery Rate: 1,008 robberies per 100,000
  • Emeryville Assault Rate: 347 assaults per 100,000

The property crime rate in Emeryville is 16,763 property crimes per 100,000 people. Those living in Emeryville have a 1 in 6 chance of becoming a victim of property crime. The crimes rates for burglary, theft, and car theft in Emeryville are:

  • Emeryville Burglary Rate: 818 burglaries per 100,000
  • Emeryville Theft Rate: 14,648 thefts per 100,000
  • Emeryville Car Theft: 1,297 car thefts per 100,000

Property crimes in Emeryville are incredibly high. Those living in this town should take all necessary precautions to protect their homes and loved ones. Residents should install home security systems and carry pepper spray while walking through dangerous areas.

2. Oakland

Oakland, California, ranks as the second most dangerous city. It is located southwest of the Bay Area in Northern California. Residents in Oakland have a 1 in 16 chance of becoming a victim of either violent crime or property crime. AreaVibes, a crime ranking real-estate site, created a poll for Oakland residents. The poll asked, "How would you rate the amount of crime in Oakland?" About 61 percent of those who responded answered, "Awful. Crime is rampant in this area." The second question asked was, "Do you feel safe walking alone at night in Oakland?" Of those who responded, 59 percent answered, "Not safe at all. I never walk alone at night." Another 22 percent answered, "Not very safe. I avoid walking in most areas at night."

The violent crime rate in Oakland is 1,274 violent crimes per 100,000 people, which is 235 percent higher than the national average. The violent crime rates for murder, rape, robbery, and assault are:

  • Oakland Murder Rate: 16 murders per 100,000
  • Oakland Rape Rate: 104 rapes per 100,000
  • Oakland Robbery Rate: 609 robberies per 100,000
  • Oakland Assault Rate: 544 assaults per 100,000

The property crime rate in Oakland is 5,390 property crimes per 100,000 people. Residents have a 1 in 18 chance of becoming a victim of property crime in Oakland. The property crime rates for burglary, theft, and car theft are:

  • Oakland Burglary Rate: 556 burglaries per 100,000
  • Oakland Theft Rate: 3,655 thefts per 100,000
  • Oakland Car Theft: 1,178 car thefts per 100,000

Property crime in Oakland is viciously common. Compared to the national average, residents living in Oakland are nearly three times more likely to experience property crime. While living in Oakland, residents should monitor local crime maps to avoid high crime neighborhoods.

3. Commerce

Commerce is the third most dangerous city in California. Commerce has a city population of 12,808. It is located just south of Los Angeles in Southern California. Those living in Commerce have a 1 in 11 chance of becoming a victim of any crime (either violent crime or property crime). The violent crime rate in Commerce is 999 violent crimes per 100,000 people. The violent crime rates for murder, rape, robbery, and assault are:

  • Commerce Murder Rate: 8 murders per 100,000
  • Commerce Rape Rate: 70 rapes per 100,000
  • Commerce Robbery Rate: 375 robberies per 100,000
  • Commerce Assault Rate: 547 assaults per 100,000

The property crime rate in Commerce is 7,784 property crimes per 100,000 people, which is more than double the national average. Those living in Commerce have a 1 in 12 chance of becoming a victim of property crime. The property crime rates for burglary, theft, and car theft are: Commerce Burglary Rate: 843 burglaries per 100,000 Commerce Theft Rate: 5,052 thefts per 100,000 Commerce Car Theft: 1,889 car thefts per 100,000

Those living in Commerce are significantly more likely to face both violent crime and property crime. Residents and homeowners should protect themselves by installing necessary security equipment, avoiding walking alone at night, and carrying pepper spray. The high crime rates are sometimes attributed to the high poverty rate in Commerce. The poverty rate is 16 percent, while the national rate is 13 percent. Poverty can encourage crime in some areas.

4. Red Bluff

Red Bluff is a Northern California town located between Redding and Chico. The town has a population of 14,283 people, yet it has an overall crime rate of 6,427 crimes per 100,000 people. Residents have a 1 in 15 chance of becoming a victim of either violent crime or property crime. The violent crime rate in Red Bluff is 1,155 violent crimes per 100,000 people. There is a 1 in 87 chance of experiencing violent crime while living in Red Bluff. The violent crime rates for murder, rape, robbery, and assault are:

  • Red Bluff Murder Rate: 14 murders per 100,000
  • Red Bluff Rape Rate: 168 rapes per 100,000
  • Red Bluff Robbery Rate: 140 robberies per 100,000
  • Red Bluff Assault Rate: 833 assaults per 100,000

The murder rate in Red Bluff is three times higher than the national average. Homeowners should stay away from crime-ridden blocks while in Red Bluff. The property crime rate in Red Bluff is 5,272 property crimes per 100,000 people. The property crime rates for burglary, theft, and car theft are:

  • Red Bluff Burglary Rate: 1,057 burglaries per 100,000
  • Red Bluff Theft Rate: 3,249 thefts per 100,000
  • Red Bluff Car Theft: 966 car thefts per 100,000

There is a 1 in 19 chance of becoming a victim of property crime while in Red Bluff. Homeowners are four times more likely to experience burglary while living in Red Bluff than the national average.

5. Barstow

Barstow is a town of 23,973 found North of San Bernardino. According to AreaVibes, the crime rate in Barstow is 123 percent higher than the national average. When asked in a poll, "How do you rate the amount of crime in Barstow?" over 65 percent responded, "Awful. Crime is rampant in this area." The second poll question asked by AreaVibes was, "Do you feel safe walking alone at night in Barstow?" Over 64 percent responded, "Not safe at all. I never walk alone at night." The violent crime rate in Barstow is 211 percent higher than the national average. The violent crime rate in Barstow is 1,183 violent crimes per 100,000 people. There is a 1 in 84 chance that residents of Barstow will become a victim of violent crime. The violent crime rates for murder, rape, robbery, and assault are:

  • Barstow Murder Rate: 8 murders per 100,000
  • Barstow Rape Rate: 58 rapes per 100,000
  • Barstow Rate: 400 robberies per 100,000
  • Barstow Assault Rate: 722 assaults per 100,000

The property crime rate in Barstow is 4,610, meaning that residents have a 1 in 22 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime. The property crime rates for burglary, theft, and car theft are:

  • Barstow Burglary Rate: 1,452 burglaries per 100,000
  • Barstow Theft Rate: 2,445 thefts per 100,000
  • Barstow Car Theft: 713 car thefts per 100,000

Homeowners and renters in Barstow are four times more likely to become a victim of burglary. Crime in Barstow is high. Although not every neighborhood in Barstow is dangerous, homeowners should be wary and use security tips and devices to protect their homes and families from burglary, theft, and assault.

6. West Hollywood

The sixth most dangerous California city is West Hollywood. West Hollywood is more dangerous than most people tend to imagine. The area borders the rich neighborhood of Beverly Hills and has a population of 36,854 people. In fact, the area's proximity to Beverly Hills is partially the reason for the area's high crime rates. The violent crime rate in West Hollywood is 817 violent crimes per 100,000 people. Residents have a 1 in 122 chance of experiencing violent crime while in West Hollywood. The violent crime rates for murder, rape, robbery, and assault are:

  • West Hollywood Murder Rate: 8 murders per 100,000
  • West Hollywood Rape Rate: 109 rapes per 100,000
  • West Hollywood Robbery Rate: 345 robberies per 100,000
  • West Hollywood Assault Rate: 355 assaults per 100,000

The property crime rate in West Hollywood is almost double the national average, with 5,712 property crimes per 100,000 people. The property crime rates for burglary, theft, and car theft are:

  • West Hollywood Burglary Rate: 654 burglaries per 100,000
  • West Hollywood Theft Rate: 4,786 thefts per 100,000
  • West Hollywood Car Theft: 271 car thefts per 100,000

The main type of property crime reported in West Hollywood is theft. Those walking the streets should use theft-proof bags, and small business owners should work hard to protect their belongings. There is a 1 in 18 chance that a person in West Hollywood will experience property crime.

San Bernardino Considered Dangerous California City


7. San Bernardino

As you can see from the video above, there is some debate about which California city is the most dangerous. One thing that we agree on is that San Bernardino deserves a place on California's most dangerous cities top ten list.

San Bernardino is the seventh most dangerous city in California. San Bernardino has a fairly large population, with 215,941 people living within the city limits. Each year, there are around 12,700 crimes reported to the police. Of the crimes reported, 3,316 are violent crimes, and 9,391 are property crimes. The violent crime rate in San Bernardino is 1,536 per 100,000 people, nearly five times higher than the national average. Residents have a 1 in 65 chance of experiencing violent crime. The violent crime rates for murder, rape, robbery, and assault are:

  • San Bernardino Murder Rate: 23 murders per 100,000
  • San Bernardino Rape Rate: 74 rapes per 100,000
  • San Bernardino Robbery Rate: 470 robberies per 100,000
  • San Bernardino Assault Rate: 970 assaults per 100,000

Murders are almost five times more likely in San Bernardino, compared to the national average. The property crime rate in San Bernardino is 4,349 property crimes per 100,000 people. The property crime rates for burglary, theft, and car theft are:

  • San Bernardino Burglary Rate: 1,085 burglaries per 100,000
  • San Bernardino Theft Rate: 2,232 thefts per 100,000
  • San Bernardino Car Theft: 1,032 car thefts per 100,000

Residents are three times more likely to become victims of burglary than the national average. To protect homes in San Bernardino, homeowners should install home security equipment.

8. Santa Monica

The crime rates in Santa Monica are 131 percent higher than the national average. Santa Monica is located West of Los Angeles and borders the ocean. The area is popular for tourists to visit after sightseeing in Hollywood. Santa Monica attracts 8.4 million visitors every year, which could contribute to inflation in crime numbers. The violent crime rate in Santa Monica is 874 violent crimes per 100,000 people. Residents have a 1 in 114 chance of experiencing violent crime while in Santa Monica. The violent crime rates for murder, rape, robbery, and assault are:

  • Santa Monica Murder Rate: 8 murders per 100,000
  • Santa Monica Rape Rate: 66 rapes per 100,000
  • Santa Monica Robbery Rate: 305 robberies per 100,000
  • Santa Monica Assault Rate: 496 assaults per 100,000

The property crime rate in Santa Monica is 5,191 property crimes per 100,000 people. There is a 1 in 19 chance of becoming a victim of property crime in Santa Monica. The property crime rates for burglary, theft, and car theft are:

  • Santa Monica Burglary Rate: 729 burglaries per 100,000
  • Santa Monica Theft Rate: 4,201 thefts per 100,000
  • Santa Monica Car Theft: 261 car thefts per 100,000

Not every part of Santa Monica is dangerous. However, those visiting and living in Santa Monica should protect their homes and personal belongings from burglars and thieves.

9. Signal Hill

Signal Hill is the ninth most dangerous city in California. The area has a population of 11,555 and is located near Long Beach, California. According to the polls on AreaVibes, most people feel unsafe in this community. The total crime rate in Signal Hill is 6,733 crimes per 100,00 people. The violent crime rate in Signal Hill is 744 violent crimes per 100,000 people. There is a 1 in 134 chance of experiencing violent crime in Signal Hill. The violent crime rates for murder, rape, robbery, and assault are as follows:

  • Signal Hill Murder Rate: 0 murders per 100,000
  • Signal Hill Rape Rate: 87 rapes per 100,000
  • Signal Hill Robbery Rate: 320 robberies per 100,000
  • Signal Hill Assault Rate: 338 assaults per 100,000

The property crime rate in Signal Hill is 5,989 property crimes per 100,000 people, meaning that there is a 1 in 17 chance of becoming a property crime victim. The property crime rates for burglary, theft, and car theft are:

  • Signal Hill Burglary Rate: 926 burglaries per 100,000
  • Signal Hill Theft Rate: 4,085 thefts per 100,000
  • Signal Hill Car Theft: 978 car thefts per 100,000

Homeowners and renters living in Signal Hill are three times more likely to experience burglary than the national average. Theft and car theft are also incredibly common in Signal Hill. Protect your home and your belongings by using the appropriate alarms.

10. Eureka

The chances of becoming a victim of any crime (either a violent crime or a property crime) in Eureka is 1 in 14. This town of 26,998 people is located in the far north of California. The city limits border the ocean, making it a beautiful escape from the hot southern cities of California. However, the city also has a reputation for high crime rates. The total crime rate in Eureka is 6,534 crimes per 100,000 people. The violent crime rate in Eureka is 733 violent crimes per 100,000 people. The violent crime rates for murder, rape, robbery, and assault are:

  • Eureka Murder Rate: 11 murders per 100,000
  • Eureka Rape Rate: 96 rapes per 100,000
  • Eureka Robbery Rate: 237 robberies per 100,000
  • Eureka Assault Rate: 389 assaults per 100,000

The property crime rate in Eureka is 5,800 property crimes per 100,000 people. The property crime rates for burglary, theft, and car theft are:

  • Eureka Burglary Rate: 859 burglaries per 100,000
  • Eureka Theft Rate: 3,985 thefts per 100,000
  • Eureka Car Theft: 956 car thefts per 100,000

There is a 1 in 17 chance of becoming a victim of property crime in Eureka. Although not every part of Eureka is dangerous, it's important to take precautions while living in this town. Homeowners should regularly check their local crime maps and stay clear of areas where crime is more frequent.

Safety Tips for California Homeowners

Although California isn't necessarily dangerous, it's important to protect your home and family from any potential threats. Homeowners can protect their homes and families by following these safety tips for the home:

1. Use a Home Security System One of the best ways to protect your home in California is by using a home security system. According to a study conducted by North Carolina University at Charlotte, home security systems deter over 60 percent of burglars. The study noted that "indicators of increased security (alarm signs, alarms, dogs inside, and outdoor cameras or other surveillance equipment)" were likely to deter burglars. Homeowners looking to protect their homes should use a home security system.

**2. Lock Your Doors ** A recent study found that 20 percent of Americans don't always lock their doors before they leave their homes. Another 7 percent of Americans never lock their doors. These studies reveal insight into burglars' habits. A majority of burglars break into homes by simply walking through an unlocked door. Since on average, 27 percent of homes in the United States will have unlocked doors, burglars have a good chance of finding an easy target to burglarize. Homeowners should always lock their doors, even if they are planning on leaving the house for a short time. Burglars can break into a house, find valuables, and leave the house in under 10 minutes.

3. Leave a Light or Radio On
Most burglars only target empty homes. They look for homes without cars in the driveway or homes that are dark in the early evening. A survey done by an Idaho News Station showed that most burglars strike between 10 AM and 3 PM, when most people are at work or school. To deter burglars from targeting your home while you are away, leave the radio on. This will give burglars the impression that someone is home.

**4. Put Up a Fence ** It's no surprise that burglars go for easy home targets. In North Carolina University at Charlotte's study, they found that burglars avoid homes and buildings with "close proximity to other people (including traffic, those walking nearby, neighbors, people inside the establishment, and police officers), and lack of escape routes." By putting up a fence, you will limit the escape routes from the house.

Safety Tips for Traveling in California

Whether you live in the safest city in California or live in a large city like San Francisco, you should practice safe traveling. It's important to always follow these safety tips, no matter where you live in California:

1. Carry Pepper Spray One of the smartest things you can do while living in California is to carry pepper spray. Pepper spray is a small, portable device. When the user presses a safeguarded button on the top, the device sprays a stream of highly irritating chemicals. The device can shoot up to eight feet. According to SABRE, one of the leading brands for pepper spray, the attacker will experience the following symptoms:

  • Swelling of eyes, nose, and throat
  • Nasal and sinus discharge
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Drying of the eyes
  • Involuntary eye closure
  • Painful burning of the skin
  • Hyperventilation

Pepper spray can be lifesaving. Those who carry pepper spray have a way to defend themselves against an attacker who is potentially bigger and stronger than they are.

2. Download a Safety App A safety app is like an electronic personal alarm. A personal alarm is a tiny button that emits a severely loud sound. The sound emitted is louder than a gunshot, and is meant to alarm the attacker and alert those nearby that something is wrong. A safety app combines the benefits of a personal alarm and GPS tracking.

Some personal alarms also have other benefits, such as allowing guardians to track their location until they feel safe. Other personal alarms will call for help at the touch of a button. All people who travel alone to and from work should download a personal safety app on their phone for better protection.

3. Travel in Groups No matter where you live, you should always travel with another person. If it can be avoided, do not travel alone at night. Many assaults and rapes happen while the victim is alone. In fact, a majority of crimes can be avoided if the victim were to travel in a larger group. However, since it is not always possible to travel in a group, you should still carry pepper spray and a personal alarm.

4. Stay Away From Crime-Prone Areas Most cities allow residents to view the area's crime map. A crime map details all crimes that have occurred in the area. By looking at a crime map, the resident is able to know what crimes are happening where. This allows residents of dangerous cities to avoid the most dangerous blocks within the city. Gang violence, shootings, and robberies are typically centralized within a few blocks.

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