Top 20 Most Dangerous Cities in California: Crime Rates For 2023

Welcome to the dark side of the Golden State, where shadows starkly contrast the shimmering beaches and Hollywood glamour. California’s allure is undeniable, but not all that glitters is gold. From the urban jungles to quiet suburbs, danger can lurk in unexpected places.

In a place renowned for its beauty, an underbelly demands attention. At Safe and Sound Security, we delve into the ominous landscape, revealing the most dangerous city of California along with 19 other California cities with high crime rates.

Most Dangerous Cities In California Sneak Peak

CityCrime IndexViolent Crime RateProperty Crime Rate Aggravated Assault Rate Homicide Rate Robbery Rate Burglary Rate Motor Vehicle Theft Rate Gun Violence Incidents 
(per 1,000 residents)
Emeryville08.00123.931.560.195.618.8078.20NA
Oakland113.6464.5812.740.245.731.7518.79270
Commerce012.21103.463.340.177.852.1923.0725
Signal Hill17.9668.492.190.076.8913.6815.696
Marysville2912.9646.1112.050.255.4613.2225.1419
Vallejo49.6534.189.290.164.541.7322.2531
Stockton312.5933.6212.740.235.651.9952.26270
Modesto77.4127.327.440.096.928.1514.1931
Richmond49.2035.879.990.255.7611.7827.7553
Merced87.8225.935.760.114.7515.8116.9433
Fresno56.7733.585.750.155.534.7415.4789
Sacramento66.7431.937.550.096.658.4814.4177
Inglewood96.1925.817.440.097.038.2514.1931
Antioch95.1726.535.760.114.7515.8116.9333
Eureka26.8745.427.560.096.651017.1329
Red Bluff110.0849.017.590.177.5010.5710.6414
San Bernardino314.9130.6411.900.298.4614.7199.67145
Barstow310.7738.837.440.107.088.2614.2822
Bakersfield34.9442.805.760.124.7515.8116.9433
Salinas115.2824.105.770.105.2210.9318.2141

20 Most Dangerous Cities In California For 2023

Most Dangerous Cities In California

The rankings are based on a comprehensive crime index to determine California’s 20 most dangerous places.

Crime Index is a comprehensive measure that evaluates and compares the safety of communities across the United States.

The crime index considers various crime types, including violent and property crimes, and provides a numerical score to reflect the overall safety level of a particular area.

The crime index is based on the reported incidents of crimes per 1,000 residents. A lower crime index score indicates a lower crime rate and, by extension, a safer community. Conversely, a higher Crime Index score suggests a higher crime rate and potentially a less safe environment.

When multiple cities share the same crime index, the ranking prioritizes those with higher violent crime rates, providing a nuanced perspective on safety concerns across various communities in the state.

This approach offers a unique insight into residents’ potential risks, emphasizing the significance of considering overall crime prevalence and the specific nature of violent incidents.

The following California cities [1] are the most dangerous cities you can be in.

1. Commerce, CA

Commerce, CA

Violent Crime Rate: Commerce, CA, an unsettling reality unfolds with a violent crime rate that reached 12.21 incidents per 1,000 residents, sharply surpassing the national average. It puts the city with a tiny population at the top of this dangerous list. [5]

Population: With an estimated population of 10,851 as of July 1, 2023, Commerce, despite its relatively small size, grapples with a disproportionate burden of crime.

Most Prevalent Crimes: The most common crime in Commerce is property crime with a high rate of 103.46 incidents per 1,000 residents. Larceny and motor vehicle theft are the major contributors, making the city challenging for residents.

Why It’s Dangerous: Commerce grapples with high crime rates, encompassing both violent and property crimes. Murders, robberies, and aggravated assaults with frequency of common crimes add to the concerns. It emphasizes the city’s need for community-driven solutions.

“Commerce is struggling with elevated levels of crime, including both violent and property offenses. The frequent occurrence of murders, robberies, and aggravated assaults highlights the pressing need for solutions driven by the community.”

Safe & Sound Security

In 2022 alone, there were 25 gun violence incidents, including homicides and non-fatal injuries, highlighting the urgency for comprehensive measures to address the root causes of danger in Commerce.

2. Emeryville, CA

Violent Crime Rate: In Emeryville, the violent crime rate stands at 8.00 incidents per 1,000 residents, placing it high on the risk spectrum. [2]

The violent crime rate of Emeryville, California, is much higher than the state average of 4.4 incidents per 1,000 residents. It makes Emeryville the second most dangerous city in California, with a total crime index of 0.

Population: With a population of 12,913, this small city grapples to reduce crime disproportionate to its size, including common property crimes.

Most Prevalent Crimes: Most Prevalent Crimes: The highest crime rates in Emeryville are for property crimes. There were 123.93 property crimes per 1,000 residents, with larceny and motor vehicle theft being the most common.

Why It’s Dangerous: Factors like extremely high property and violent crime rates contribute to the heightened danger, making vigilance a necessity for residents.

3. Oakland, CA

Violent Crime Rate: Oakland City, located east of San Francisco, echoes the disconcerting rhythm of a violent crime rate at a staggering 13.64 incidents per 1,000 residents, per the latest data from the Oakland Police Department. [3]

Population: Oakland, with an estimated population of 428,999, grapples with the weight of its numbers when it comes to addressing crime and ensuring the safety of its residents.

Most Prevalent Crimes: The most prevalent specters haunting Oakland are property crimes. The city witnessed 64.58 property crimes per 1,000 residents. Among these, larceny and motor vehicle theft are the most common offenses. [4]

“Oakland was predominantly plagued by property crimes, with a rate of 64.58 incidents per 1,000 residents.”

Safe & Sound Security

Why It’s Dangerous: Oakland’s perilous status is rooted in the unsettling breakdown of crime rates. From a high violent crime rate to property crime rates that eclipse the national average, the city faces a multifaceted challenge.

Murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults punctuate the grim statistics, demanding a comprehensive and community-driven approach to address the underlying factors contributing to the city’s danger quotient.

Also read: Los Angeles Crime Statistics

4. Red Bluff, CA

Violent Crime Rate: Red Bluff grapples with a heightened level of violent crime, reaching 10.08 incidents per 1,000 residents. It is notably above the national and state averages.

Population: As of July 1, 2023, Red Bluff, CA, sustains a population of approximately 14,588.

Most Prevalent Crimes: The city’s crime landscape is predominantly shaped by property crimes, recording 49.01 incidents per 1,000 residents. Larceny and motor vehicle theft are prevalent, underscoring the need for strategic interventions to address and mitigate these issues.

Why It’s Dangerous: Red Bluff’s elevated crime rates are highlighted by a high murder and non-negligent manslaughter rate, robbery rate, and aggravated assault rate.

These rates point to specific challenges faced by the community.

Moreover, the presence of 14 gun violence incidents underscores the need for comprehensive efforts to enhance public safety and ensure the well-being of Red Bluff’s residents.

5. Signal Hill, CA

Signal Hill, CA

Violent Crime Rate: In the quiet hills of Signal Hill, CA, a disturbing reality surfaces with a violent crime rate of 7.96 incidents per 1,000 residents.

Population: Signal Hill, with an estimated population of 11,624, maintains a sense of community amidst concerns related to safety.

Most Prevalent Crimes: Signal Hill is shadowed by property crimes, marking a narrative of vulnerability in the city. There were 68.49 property crimes per 1,000 residents, with larceny and motor vehicle theft dominating the crime landscape.

Why It’s Dangerous: While Signal Hill’s danger profile is lower than that of some counterparts, the prevalence of property crimes indicates existing vulnerabilities that warrant attention.

Additionally, the city recorded six gun violence incidents, including suicides and non-fatal injuries, emphasizing the importance of a comprehensive approach to community safety.

6. Eureka, CA

Violent Crime Rate: Eureka, CA, reported a high violent crime rate of 6.87 incidents per 1,000 residents, surpassing the national average and highlighting the need for community-focused safety measures.

Population: As of July 1, 2023, Eureka, CA, is home to an estimated population of 26,489.

Most Prevalent Crimes: The city grapples predominantly with property crimes, recording 45.42 incidents per 1,000 residents. Notably, larceny and motor vehicle theft shape the city’s crime landscape, requiring strategic interventions.

Why It’s Dangerous: Eureka’s danger index becomes apparent when examining detailed crime rates. The crime statistics of Eureka provide a comprehensive understanding of Eureka’s crime landscape.

Additionally, the presence of 29 gun violence incidents emphasizes the urgent need for concerted efforts to enhance public safety and foster a secure environment for all residents.

7. San Bernardino, CA

Violent Crime Rate: San Bernardino, CA, faces a concerning level of violent crime, with a rate of 14.91 incidents per 1,000 residents. It starkly surpasses the national and state averages, raising critical concerns about public safety.

Population: As of July 1, 2023, San Bernardino, CA, sustains a population of approximately 222,017.

Most Prevalent Crimes: The city’s crime landscape is primarily defined by property crimes, registering 30.64 incidents per 100,000 residents. Larceny and motor vehicle theft are prevalent, underlining the need for targeted strategies to address and mitigate these challenges.

Why It’s Dangerous: San Bernardino’s heightened crime rates are underscored by high crime rates of various kinds. The figures in the table, sourced from local crime statistics, highlight the community’s challenges.

“San Bernardino faces significant challenges due to its elevated crime rates across various categories, as evidenced by the figures in the table derived from local crime statistics.”

Safe & Sound Security

Additionally, the presence of 145 gun violence incidents indicates the urgent need for comprehensive efforts to enhance public safety in San Bernardino.

8. Stockton, CA

Stockton, CA

Violent Crime Rate: In the heart of San Joaquin County, Stockton grapples with a violent crime rate of 12.59 incidents per 1,000 residents. This figure towers significantly above the national and state averages, creating a pressing narrative of safety concerns.

Population: Stockton, with an estimated population of 313,604 as of July 1, 2023, stands as a testament to the challenges faced by urban communities.

Most Prevalent Crimes: The specter of property crimes looms large over Stockton, as the city witnessed 33.62 property crimes per 1,000 residents. Larceny and motor vehicle theft take center stage in a crime landscape that demands attention and proactive measures.

Why It’s Dangerous: Stockton’s danger index is etched in its crime rates, with violent crimes painting a concerning portrait of the city.

Murders, robberies, and aggravated assaults contribute to an environment where safety concerns persist. The alarming prevalence of 270 gun violence incidents underscores the urgency for comprehensive and community-driven safety initiatives.

9. Barstow, CA

Violent Crime Rate: Barstow contends with a concerning level of violent crime, witnessing 10.77 incidents per 1,000 residents. This figure significantly surpasses the national average, indicating a heightened risk of violent incidents within the community.

Population: As of July 1, 2023, Barstow is home to an estimated population of 25,442.

Most Prevalent Crimes: Property crimes dominate the crime landscape in Barstow, with a rate of 38.81 incidents per 1,000 residents. Larceny and motor vehicle theft are particularly pervasive, emphasizing the need for targeted interventions to address and mitigate these prevalent criminal activities.

Why It’s Dangerous: The crime rates in Barstow reveal the danger of living in the city. Based on local crime statistics, these figures (in table) highlight specific challenges the community faces.

The occurrence of 22 gun violence incidents, encompassing homicides, suicides, and non-fatal injuries, emphasizes the urgency of implementing comprehensive strategies to enhance public safety in Barstow.

10. Bakersfield, CA

Violent Crime Rate: Bakersfield, CA, faces a significant challenge with a violent crime rate of 4.94 incidents per 1,000 residents. It surpasses the national average, signifying an elevated risk of violent incidents within the city.

Population: As of July 1, 2023, Bakersfield, CA, accommodates an estimated population of 407,615.

Most Prevalent Crimes: Property crime takes center stage as the most prevalent type of crime in Bakersfield, with a rate of 42.80 incidents per 100,000 residents. Larceny and motor vehicle theft are particularly pervasive, emphasizing the need for targeted interventions to address and mitigate these prevalent criminal activities.

Why It’s Dangerous: The crime rates in Bakersfield reveal that it is one of the worst cities in terms of crime. The figures (in the table) highlight specific challenges the community faces. The occurrence of 33 gun violence incidents shows the urgency of implementing comprehensive strategies to enhance public safety in Bakersfield.

11. Vallejo, CA

Vallejo, CA

Violent Crime Rate: In Vallejo, CA, the city faced a high violent crime rate of 9.65 incidents per 1,000 residents, emphasizing the need to address safety challenges urgently.

Population: Vallejo, with an estimated population of 119,417 as of July 1, 2023, grapples with the paradox of urban life, where diversity and vibrancy coexist with significant safety concerns.

Most Prevalent Crimes: Vallejo witnessed 34.18 property crimes per 1,000 residents, with larceny and motor vehicle theft shaping the crime narrative that affects residents’ daily lives.

Why It’s Dangerous: Vallejo’s danger profile is reflected in its crime rates, with violent crimes contributing to safety concerns. The prevalence of murders, robberies, and aggravated assaults creates an environment requiring attention.

“Vallejo’s safety issues are mirrored in its high crime rates, particularly violent crimes such as murders, robberies, and aggravated assaults.”

Safe & Sound Security

The city experienced 31 gun violence incidents, emphasizing the urgent need for comprehensive, community-driven safety measures. Vallejo stands at a crossroads, calling for proactive initiatives to transform its safety landscape and ensure a secure future for residents.

12. Richmond, CA

Violent Crime Rate: Richmond, CA, including the Iron Triangle neighborhood, experienced a high violent crime rate of 9.20 incidents per 1,000 residents, highlighting significant safety challenges.

Population: With an estimated population of 105,367 as of July 1, 2023, Richmond grapples with the interplay of community dynamics and crime rates, influencing the daily lives of residents.

Most Prevalent Crimes: Property crimes dominate Richmond, with 35.87 incidents per 1,000 residents. Larceny and motor vehicle theft play a central role in a crime landscape that requires strategic intervention.

Why It’s Dangerous: Richmond’s danger index is reflected in its crime rates, with violent crimes punctuating the community’s narrative. Murders, robberies, and aggravated assaults contribute to an environment of persistent safety concerns. The city experienced 53 gun violence incidents, emphasizing the need for comprehensive safety initiatives.

13. Fresno, CA

Violent Crime Rate: In the sprawling city of Fresno, CA, the pulse of danger beats steadily with a violent crime rate of 6.77 incidents per 1,000 residents, a stark contrast to the national average.

Population: Fresno’s dynamic urban landscape is home to an estimated 554,510 residents as of July 1, 2023.

Most Prevalent Crimes: The city is marked by the prevalence of property crimes, registering at 33.58 incidents per 1,000 residents. These crimes, often centered around larceny and motor vehicle theft, contribute to a complex safety landscape that demands attention and strategic intervention.

Why It’s Dangerous: Fresno’s danger index is woven into the fabric of its crime rates, with property crimes taking center stage. The city contends with additional high crime rates, including aggravated assaults, homicides, robbery, etc.

The stark reality is further accentuated by 89 gun violence incidents. Fresno stands at a crossroads, beckoning for proactive measures to transform its safety landscape and ensure a secure and resilient future for its residents.

14. Sacramento, CA

Sacramento, CA

Violent Crime Rate: Sacramento, CA, faced a notable violent crime rate of 6.74 incidents per 1,000 residents, surpassing the national average and indicating significant safety concerns.

Population: With an estimated population of 525,041 as of July 1, 2023, Sacramento grapples with the intersection of urban dynamics and safety challenges shaping residents’ daily lives.

Most Prevalent Crimes: Property crimes mark the city, with 31.93 incidents per 1,000 residents. Larceny and motor vehicle theft plays a central role in a crime landscape requiring attention and strategic intervention.

Why It’s Dangerous: Sacramento’s crime index is reflected in its crime rates, particularly property crimes. The city faces various challenges, including a breakdown of crime rates, including murder and non-negligent manslaughter. The reality is further accentuated by 77 gun violence incidents, encompassing homicides and suicides.

For residents seeking to enhance their safety, considering access control systems in Sacramento, CA can be a valuable option.

15. Modesto, CA

Violent Crime Rate: Modesto, CA, faced a significant violent crime rate of 7.41 incidents per 1,000 residents, surpassing the national average and painting a concerning picture of the safety landscape.

Population: With an estimated population of 218,423 as of July 1, 2023, Modesto stands at the intersection of urban life and safety challenges.

Most Prevalent Crimes: The narrative in Modesto is predominantly shaped by property crimes, with 27.32 incidents per 1,000 residents. Larceny, aggravated assault, and motor vehicle theft emerge as central figures in a crime landscape requiring attention and strategic intervention.

Why It’s Dangerous: Modesto’s danger index is reflected in its crime rates, particularly violent crimes, which are woven into the fabric of the community.

Murders, robberies, and aggravated assaults contribute to an environment where safety concerns persist. The presence of 31 gun violence incidents underscores the need for comprehensive and community-driven safety initiatives.

16. Merced, CA

Violent Crime Rate: Merced experienced a concerning violent crime rate of 7.82 incidents per 1,000 residents, significantly surpassing the state average and emphasizing prevalent safety challenges.

Population: As of July 1, 2023, with an estimated population of 89,308, Merced stands as a testament to the delicate interplay between community dynamics and safety concerns, influencing the daily lives of its residents.

Most Prevalent Crimes: Property crimes, totaling 25.93 incidents per 1,000 residents, predominantly shape Merced’s crime landscape. Larceny and motor vehicle theft are focal points requiring strategic intervention.

Why It’s Dangerous: Merced’s elevated crime rates, especially in violent crimes like murders, robberies, and aggravated assaults, contribute to an environment marked by persistent safety concerns.

“Merced is characterized by high crime rates, particularly in violent categories such as murders, robberies, and aggravated assaults, leading to ongoing concerns about safety.”

Safe & Sound Security

The occurrence of 33 gun violence incidents, encompassing homicides, suicides, and non-fatal injuries, underscores the urgent need for comprehensive, community-driven safety initiatives.

Merced is at a crossroads, urging proactive measures to reshape its residents’ safety landscape and secure a resilient future.

17. Inglewood, CA

Inglewood, CA

Violent Crime Rate: In the bustling city of Inglewood in Southern California, the undercurrent of danger is palpable, with a violent crime rate of 6.19 incidents per 1,000 residents.

Population: Inglewood is home to an estimated population of 105,581 as of July 1, 2023.

Most Prevalent Crimes: The city grapples with the prevalence of property crimes, registering 25.81 incidents per 1,000 residents. Larceny and motor vehicle theft loom large in a crime landscape that demands vigilant attention and strategic intervention.

Why It’s Dangerous: Inglewood’s crime index is etched into its crime rates, with property crimes dominating the narrative. The city contends with high crime rates for all kinds of crime. The stark reality is further underscored by 31 gun violence incidents.

Inglewood’s current stature beckons proactive measures to transform its safety landscape and ensure its residents’ secure and resilient future.

18. Antioch, CA

Violent Crime Rate: Antioch grapples with a significant violent crime rate, recording 5.17 incidents per 1,000 residents.

Population: The city is home to an estimated population of 114,794 as of July 1, 2023.

Most Prevalent Crimes: Antioch contends with a prevalence of property crimes, registering 26.53 incidents per 1,000 residents. Larceny and motor vehicle theft feature prominently, shaping the city’s crime landscape and demanding concerted efforts for mitigation.

Why It’s Dangerous: The danger index in Antioch is signified by crimes that include murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and burglary.

These figures, drawn from reputable sources such as FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) and NeighborhoodScout, provide a comprehensive understanding of Antioch’s multifaceted safety challenges.

Additionally, 33 gun violence incidents spotlight the imperative for community-wide engagement and strategic interventions to enhance public safety and well-being.

19. Salinas, CA

Violent Crime Rate: Salinas grapples with a concerning violent crime rate, recording 5.28 incidents per 1,000 residents.

Population: The population of Salinas is estimated to be 162,791 as of July 1, 2023.

Most Prevalent Crimes: Property crime takes precedence as the most prevalent type in Salinas, with a rate of 24.10 incidents per 100,000 residents. Larceny and motor vehicle theft are particularly prominent, highlighting a need for targeted efforts to address and mitigate these pervasive criminal activities.

Why It’s Dangerous: The crime rates in Salinas unveil specific challenges faced by the community. These figures (in the table), based on local and federal crime statistics, underscore the urgency of implementing comprehensive strategies to enhance public safety in Salinas.

Additionally, the occurrence of 41 gun violence incidents emphasizes the need for focused interventions and community engagement to address this critical issue.

20. Marysville, CA

Marysville, CA

Violent Crime Rate: In the shadow of the Sierra Nevada, Marysville grapples with a troubling reality—a violent crime rate of 12.96 incidents per 1,000 residents. [6]

Population: With an estimated population of 10,436 as of July 1, 2023, Marysville faces a paradox where the warmth of its community is juxtaposed against the stark challenges posed by crime rates.

Most Prevalent Crimes: The dark narrative in Marysville is predominantly shaped by property crimes. The city witnessed 46.11 property crimes per 1,000 residents. Larceny and motor vehicle theft emerge as the leading protagonists in this unsettling saga.

“In Marysville, the grim story of crime is mainly written by property offenses. The year 2023 saw the city experiencing 46.11 property crimes per 1,000 residents, with larceny and motor vehicle theft being the most common, adding to an unsettling trend.”

Safe & Sound Security

Why It’s Dangerous: Marysville’s crime rates, with violent crimes, are disconcerting. Murders, robberies, and aggravated assaults contribute to a landscape where residents grapple with safety concerns daily. The prevalence of 19 gun violence incidents in 2023, spanning homicides, suicides, and non-fatal injuries, emphasizes the need for a comprehensive approach to community safety.

FAQs

What is the most violent neighborhood in California?

The level of violence can vary, and it’s essential to refer to updated crime statistics for specific neighborhoods. In certain areas, cities like Oakland, Compton, and Stockton have experienced higher crime rates.

Is California the highest crime state?

California is among the most populous states but does not consistently hold the highest crime rate. Crime rates can fluctuate, and rankings may change over time.

What are the safest cities in California?

Cities like Irvine, Thousand Oaks, and Simi Valley are often cited as some of the safest in California. However, safety can vary within cities, and it’s advisable to check current data.

What city in California has the lowest crime rate?

Cities like Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, and Aliso Viejo are known for having relatively low crime rates compared to other areas in the state.

What city has the highest crime rate in the world?

The title of the “most dangerous” city globally can change, but historically, cities in countries with political instability and economic challenges often face higher crime rates.

Which US state has the highest crime rate?

Crime rates can fluctuate, but historically, states with larger populations, such as California and Texas, tend to report higher overall crime numbers.

What are the worst drug cities in California?

Cities like San Francisco, the Bay Area (in Alameda County), and Los Angeles have faced challenges related to drug-related issues despite the booming tech industry and a low poverty rate. However, addressing drug-related problems requires a comprehensive approach involving healthcare, law enforcement, and community support.

Key Takeaways

In navigating California’s diverse crime landscape, staying informed is crucial. Always refer to the latest crime statistics for accurate assessments.

If you have specific concerns or questions about safety in your area, consult local law enforcement or community resources.

Remember, knowledge empowers communities. Consider reaching out for a free consultation today for personalized insights or assistance.

Your safety matters. Proactive measures contribute to a safer, more secure community.

References:

  1. https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ca/
  2. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/emeryvillecitycalifornia
  3. https://www.oaklandca.gov/resources/police-incident-data
  4. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/oaklandcitycalifornia/PST045222
  5. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/commercecitycalifornia
  6. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/marysvillecitycalifornia

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