In late September, the FBI released its annual Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) data for 2015. "Crime in the United States, 2015" 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.
The overall U.S. violent crime rate grew 3.1% in 2015 as compared to 2014, with 3.73 incidents per 1,000 inhabitants. Overall property crimes declined 3.4%, at 24.87 incidents per 1,000 inhabitants in 2015.
Three years ago, the crime rates were 3.87 (violent crimes) and 28.59 (property crimes), indicating the rates have declined overall over the last three years.
We took a look at the data for approximately 300 cities in the U.S. with populations of 100,000 or more. The cities of Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley ranked 4th and 5th in the U.S. and 1st and 2nd in California for the lowest overall crime rates among large cities in 2015. Congratulations! The top 10 are shown in the table below:
The cities of Oxnard and Ventura landed at 143 and 153 when ranked by lowest total crime rates.
Taking a look at solely violent crimes (murder, rape, robbery, assault), the list looks a bit different. Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley drop to 12th and 26th, respectively and other California cities - Irvine, Murrieta, Glendale and Temecula moved into the top 10.
Let's take a look at other Ventura County cities of all sizes to see where they stand. Keep in mind that this does not include unincorporated communities of Ventura County like Oak Park, Casa Conejo, Lake Sherwood and others.
The cities of Ojai and Moorpark held the lowest overall crime rates among Ventura County cities in 2015.
Overall, in 2015 Ventura County residents had an average of 22.84 total crimes for every 1,000 residents, including 2.56 violent crimes (31% below the national average) and 20.28 property crimes (18% below the national average).
As a comparison, the City of Los Angeles, with nearly 4 million residents, had an overall crime rate of 29.94 total crimes per 1,000 residents, including 6.3 violent crimes. The highest overall crime rates among large cities in 2015 were: Salt Lake City, UT (101.86 crimes per 1,000 inhabitants), Springfield, MO (91.51), St. Louis, MO (81.33), Birmingham, AL (81.05) and Spokane, WA (80.31).
Other nearby cities' 2015 crime rates in the UCR data includes Calabasas (11.71 crimes per 1,000 residents), Agoura Hills (15.5) and Westlake Village (the L.A. County side, with 8,522 residents) with 23.59.
Overall, there are nearly 9,400 cities measured in the UCR. Of these, 214 cities had a total of zero reported crimes in 2015. The average population of these 214 cities was 870.
* 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.