Each year the FBI releases its annual Uniform Crime Report that compiles crime data from law enforcement agencies throughout the United States. The data includes violent crimes, consisting of murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault, and property crimes such as burglaries and thefts. Overall, the data has shown continuous improvement since 1993, with a violent crime rate that has dropped by nearly 50% in 20 years (3.87 incidents per 1,000 people last year) and property crime rate drop of 40% (28.59 incidents per 1,000 people in 2012).
Based on this FBI data, the City of Thousand Oaks recently announced that for 2012, the City was ranked the #1 safest city in California and the 4th safest city in the United States out of 279 cities with a population over 100,000. Great news! Simi Valley ranked 3rd in California (Irvine was 2nd) and 7th in the U.S. Oxnard was the 34th safest large city in the country! Nice!
But WAIT! The FBI published 2012 crime data for nearly 9,500 cities throughout the U.S. and, guess what...there are other cities in Ventura County with crime rates that are even lower than Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley!*
- Moorpark: 10.57 (total crimes per 1,000 residents)
- Fillmore: 14.51
- Camarillo: 15.28
- Thousand Oaks: 15.44
- Simi Valley: 16.24
- Santa Paula: 22.78
- Ojai: 23.01
- Oxnard: 23.16
- Port Hueneme: 24.03
- Ventura: 38.66
Overall, in 2012 the 10 cities of Ventura County had an average of 21.43 total crimes for every 1,000 residents, which is about 33% lower than California and U.S. rates. And in 2012, violent crimes stood at 2.03 occurrences for every 1,000 residents, roughly half the California and national rates. Always room for improvement but, way to go, Ventura County!
Nearby cities of Calabasas (10.71 crimes per 1,000 residents), Agoura Hills (12.00) and Westlake Village (the L.A. County side) (18.68) also fared well. Interestingly, in 2012 Santa Barbara was higher than the national average for both violent crime and property crime rates perhaps because it is such a popular tourist destination.
* The FBI cautions comparative use of this data for drawing conclusions by making direct comparisons between cities. Comparisons lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting communities and their residents. Keep this in mind when reviewing this data, which is summed up here for informational purposes only.