This is the safest of California’s 16 largest counties

This is the safest of California's 16 largest counties

With a 59% decrease in the overall crime rate over the last 28 years, according to a recent report, Ventura County has been named the safest large county in all of California.  

The 2023 State of the Region Report, which used data compiled by the California Department of Justice, measured crimes reported per 1,000 residents in the state’s 16 largest counties along with the crime rate over time. 

Crimes in the report were divided into two categories — violent crimes such as homicide, rape, assault and robbery, and property crimes such as theft, burglary and arson.  

The nearly 60% decrease in the overall crime rate occurred between 1994 and 2022, but the report also noted that the 2022 crime rate in Ventura County was the lowest in the county’s modern history.  

(Courtesy: Ventura County Civic Alliance)

“This doesn’t happen by accident, Ventura County District Attorney Erik Nasarenko said in a news release put out by the Ventura County Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee. “Ventura is a special place. We’re proud of the great working relationships amongst our local law enforcement agencies and we place great value in our community partnerships.”  

The county’s violent crime rate in 2022 was just below two reported crimes per 1,000 residents, and 30% below Orange County, which had the second-lowest violent crime rate among large counties.  

With property crimes in 2022, Ventura County saw 13.51 reported crimes per 1,000 residents. San Diego County had the second lowest property crime rate, though it was still 20% higher than Ventura County’s. 

(Courtesy: Ventura County Civic Alliance)

Thousand Oaks, Moorpark, Camarillo and Ojai got marks for cities in the county with the lowest overall crime rates.  

“Even cities with higher rates like Ventura and Oxnard are quite safe when compared to most cities in the rest of California’s large counties,” the report stated.  

In Oxnard, the county’s largest city, crime has trended downward for the past three decades, according to the report, and last year, the city had its third-lowest year in reported crime during this period.  

For the city of Ventura, the report stated that 2022 had the lowest overall crime rate in more than 30 years.  

Simi Valley had a lower crime rate in 2022 than it did in 1996 when it was designated “America’s Safest City.”  

While Port Hueneme had nearly a 10% decrease in violent crime, the Ventura County Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee said the slight increase in property crimes was primarily due to shoplifting and residents leaving vehicles unlocked.  

More about Ventura County’s crime rates and the State of the Region Report 2023, released by the Ventura County Civic Alliance, can be found here.  

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