20 Cities in California with the Most Improved Crime Rate

December 9, 2014

6. Hawaiian Gardens, CA

Located in the southeastern region of California just minutes away from both Anaheim and Long Beach, a few miles from the Pacific Ocean and Huntington Beach is the town of Hawaiian Gardens. With Los Angeles not too far to the northwest, Hawaiian Gardens is a growing community that has strived to make their community one of the safer in the area. Thanks to efforts by the local police department, the overall crime rate has fallen nearly 50 percent over the past five years. With programs like the neighborhood watch and anti-gang programs, Hawaiian Gardens has seen their violent crime rate tumble over 50 percents based on data provided by the FBI. Often the home of those who travel to the bigger portions of town for work, the community continues to provide a safe place to live and it’s getting better.

2007 Crime Rate: 35.85
2012 Crime Rate: 18.08
49.57% Decrease In Crime

7. Oakley, CA

Sitting on the western portion of California in Contra Costa County is the city of Oakley. On the banks of Big Break and just minutes from Oakland, Stockton and the Bay, Oakley is tucked away nicely from the “big city” but close enough to reap all the benefits of it. As one of California’s youngest cities, Oakley has grown significantly over the past five years, but according to data provided by the FBI they’ve been able to buck the trend and keep their crime rate not only low, but on the decline. Typically when a city sees a lot of growth in a short period, crime will have an uptick, but not in Oakley. The community and local police department have worked hard to keep the region safe, seeing a sharp decline in both violent and property crime in the area. Keeping crime low and continuously on the decline in a vibrant growing community is hard, but it just goes to show that with some intuitive crime prevention programs and an educated community it can be done.

2007 Crime Rate: 29.18
2012 Crime Rate: 15.46
47.01% Decrease In Crime

8. Galt, CA

Buried kind of in the middle of the state of California and south of Sacramento is the city of Galt. With the Eldorado National Forest not too far away, as well as the big cities just minutes away, Galt is a growing small town tucked just far enough away of the hassles of the big city. Galt has seen steady growth over a five year period based on data provided by the FBI, but unlike most cities that see an influx of growth, Galt has been able to drive down their overall crime rate. The local police department and the community have worked hard to keep Galt a safe town while it grows outside of the bigger cities.

2007 Crime Rate: 40.97
2012 Crime Rate: 21.89
46.57% Decrease In Crime

9. Temple City, CA

Located in the southern region of the state of California, Temple City sits just to the east of Los Angeles and just to the south of the Angeles National Forest. Temple City is right in the middle of everything and offers just about everything that the bigger cities on Pasadena, Glendale and Los Angeles but with a much lower crime rate. The local police department has seen the overall crime rate drop just over 45 percent and has seen the property crime rate drop nearly 50 percent over a five year period. Based on data provided to us by the FBI, Temple City ranks as one of the safer cities in the region and their efforts to improve is why they rank within the top 10 of our list of improved cities.

2007 Crime Rate: 20.29
2012 Crime Rate: 10.84
46.55% Decrease In Crime

10. San Ramon, CA

Tucked away a few miles east of Oakland and the Bay is the town of San Ramon, which rounds out the top 10 of our list of most improved cities in California. Being away from the big cities and just minutes from some beautiful natural attractions like Mt. Diablo, the Morgan Territory and the beach not far away, it’s easy to see why San Ramon has grown so much over the past five years. Even with that population growth however, San Ramon has seen their crime rate steadily decline according to data provided by the FBI. Violent crime has declined somewhat with the population growth, but the most notable change though is the property crime decline over the past five years. San Ramon has taken pride in making their growing community an attractive one so it continues its growth.

2007 Crime Rate: 21.99
2012 Crime Rate: 12.09
45.01% Decrease In Crime

11. El Cajon, CA

Just to the east of San Diego and just miles from both the beach and the Cleveland National Forest is the town of El Cajon. Located near the big city and just north of the Mexican border, El Cajon can see a lot of through traffic and travelers. They have also seen a big influx of population over the past five years, but unlike many cities that experience growth, El Cajon has managed to drive their crime rate down. With a sharp decline in property crime, the local police department and community understand that things like vandalism can hinder growth, so that has been a big focus and it’s seen a sharp decline. Violent crime in the area has also seen a sharp decline, which is impressive considering the overall population growth.

2007 Crime Rate: 48.70
2012 Crime Rate: 27.28
43.98% Decrease In Crime

12. La Habra Heights, CA

One of the safest overall cities to make our list of the most improved in California is the town of La Habra Heights, located just southeast of Los Angeles and north of Anaheim. La Habra Heights offers a nicer, quiet area just a few minutes from all the benefits of the big cities but without all the hassle. La Habra Heights hasn’t seen a lot of growth population wise over the past five years, but what they have seen is an overall crime rate decline of over 40 percent, most notably in the area of property crime. The area utilizes things like the neighborhood watch to make sure that the community stays informed and aware of what’s going on and it’s worked. Both violent and property crime have declined and is a big reason that La Habra Heights makes our list.

2007 Crime Rate: 16.32
2012 Crime Rate: 9.24
43.41% Decrease In Crime

13. San Anselmo, CA

Located just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean and on the hills of Mt. Tamalpais and the edge of the Lagunitas Forest is the town of San Anselmo. San Anselmo sits just north of San Francisco and Oakland on the other side of the Bay. With some beautiful natural surroundings like the mountain tops and some great hiking and camping areas, it’s no surprise that San Anselmo has grown and continues to be a stop for tourists heading up the coast. Even with that growth the local police department has been able to keep the crime rate low and have driven it even lower over the past five years according to FBI data. Violent crime has taken the sharpest decline, as programs like the neighborhood watch have helped the police department getting the community involved.

2007 Crime Rate: 25.59
2012 Crime Rate: 14.70
42.56% Decrease In Crime

14. Albany, CA

On the banks of the bay just north of Oakland is the small town of Albany. The town has grown at a steady pace over the past few years, being it’s just north of some major cities some move to the surrounding areas and drive into town for work. Albany used to have a concerning crime rate, but the local police department and community have put in a lot of work over the last five years and have done enough to place Albany firmly inside the top 15 of our list of most improved cities in California. The violent crime rate has taken a dip despite the increase in population, and thanks to programs like the neighborhood watch that get the community involved, the property crime rate has dropped nearly 30 percent according to data provided by the FBI.

2007 Crime Rate: 51.67
2012 Crime Rate: 30.17
41.61% Decrease In Crime

15. Calabasas, CA

Located in the southwestern region of California, right on the edge of Red Rock Canyon, the Palo Cornado Canyons and the Santa Monica Mountains is the town of Calabasas. With so many amazing natural attractions right on the edge of town and just miles from the big city of Los Angeles, it’s easy to see why Calabasas has been such a growing community. Calabasas was already one of the safer cities on our list of most improved, but the community has put an emphasis on keeping the town safe while it continues to grow. The local police department has seen the overall crime rate drop just over 40 percent over the past five years according to FBI data; most notably the property crime has taken the sharpest decline.

2007 Crime Rate: 18.02
2012 Crime Rate: 10.71
40.59% Decrease In Crime

16. Sierra Madre, CA

Just on the edge of the Angeles National Forest and at the foothills of Monrovia Peak and San Gabriel Peak is the town of Sierra Madre. Coming in just outside the top 15 of our list of most improved cities in California, Sierra Madre sits just outside of Pasadena and minutes from Los Angeles. With some beautiful views of the Sierra Madre Valley and some excellent places for camping and hiking, Sierra Madre is a quiet tuck away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. The crime rate in Sierra Madre wasn’t very high to begin with, but one of the big areas of improvement over the past five years according to data provided by the FBI is the violent crime rate, which has declined over 80 percent. Property crime has declined by a wide margin as well, but putting violent crime at such staggeringly low levels is why Sierra Madre has made the list.

2007 Crime Rate: 17.50
2012 Crime Rate: 10.45
40.26% Decrease In Crime

17. Newman, CA

Tucked away near the mountains, east of San Jose is the town of Newman. With some amazing mountain range views and the San Luis Reservoir and Wildlife Refuge not far away, Newman has many great things to do and experience the outdoors in the area. Be it hiking through the mountains or taking a scenic drive down Interstate 5, Newman is a growing community with some amazing natural beauty. Over the past five years Newman hasn’t grown too much, population wide, but the crime rate has taken a steady tumble based on data provided by the FBI. Newman comes in just inside the top 20 on our list of most improved cities in California mainly because of the local police department’s efforts in reducing property crime in the area, which has dipped nearly 40 percent. Keeping the view of Newman free from vandalism is protecting one of its best assets and helps the town continue to grow.

2007 Crime Rate: 35.07
2012 Crime Rate: 21.05
39.97% Decrease In Crime

18. Chula Vista, CA

Just south of San Diego on the coast of the Pacific Ocean and the San Diego Bay is the town of Chula Vista. Often the home of residents who commute to the big city for work and just minutes from the border of Mexico, Chula Vista can see a variety of residents and visitors traveling up the west coast. The town has seen significant growth over the past five years in population, but interestingly Chula Vista has seen their crime rate take a nice tumble and is why they rank just inside the top 20 on our list of most improved cities in California. The most staggering thing about Chula Vista’s crime rate is that the local police department has seen violent crime take a massive tumble, falling just over 36 percent over the five year period. With a growing community, Chula Vista has put a premium on keep their town safe and their hard work is producing results.

2007 Crime Rate: 37.49
2012 Crime Rate: 22.66
39.55% Decrease In Crime

19. Norco, CA

In the southern portion of California sits the town of Norco, which is nearly right in the middle of everything. With Los Angeles just a few miles to the west, San Diego not too far south and the Mexican border just a bit further, Norco is a hot spot for people who want to be right near everything, but not right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of big cities. Norco is also near some of the most naturally beautiful parts of California, so it’s easy to see why it’s an appealing locale. The local police department has utilized community programs such as the neighborhood watch with great success, seeing the violent crime rate fall just over 40 percent over a five year period according to FBI data, which is why Norco makes our list of the most improved cites in California.

2007 Crime Rate: 37.75
2012 Crime Rate: 22.84
39.51% Decrease In Crime

20. Moraga, CA

Just minutes from Redwood Regional Park and a few miles to the east of Oakland is the town of Moraga. Moraga is located right in the valley with some breathtaking mountain views, as well as some of the great state parks in the area. Moraga is tucked away just enough to keep the small town feel in California, but it’s also close enough to the big cities like Oakland and San Francisco that you don’t feel like you’re out in the countryside. One of the wealthier cities in the country, Moraga prides itself in keeping property crime low and violent crime lower. The local police department has seen the violent crime rate tumble 60 percent over the past five years according to FBI data and is a big reason why Moraga rounds out our list of the most improve cities in the state of California. Property crime has also been on the decline in Moraga, but the communities focus on keeping violent crime rates at some of the lowest in the area is why they make up the end of our list.

2007 Crime Rate: 15.85
2012 Crime Rate: 9.63
39.22% Decrease In Crime

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20 Most Improved Cities in California

Disclaimer: To improve the accuracy and usefulness of our list, we chose to exclude small communities with populations below 5,000 in our rankings.
Our rankings are determined by national crime statistics published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Our rankings are only as accurate as the local population and crime statistics officially released by the FBI.

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