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Do I Need a Home Security System for my California Home?

What are Crime Rates in California?

Violent crime in California reached a 42-year low in 2010, yet burglary rates have remained relatively steady.

The State of California Department of Justice recorded 163,957 incidents of violent crime in 2010, the most recent year for which data is available. That translates to about 420 incidents of homicide, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault per 100,000 people.

The 2010 rate was a considerable decrease from 2009 - when more than 450 incidents per 100,000 people were reported. It represented the lowest violent crime rate since 1968. In general, violent crimes in California peaked in the early 1980s and have since been on the decline.

Incidents of burglary, on the other hand, declined only slightly in 2010. The justice department recorded 589 burglaries per 100,000 residents, down from 596.4 in 2009. Other property crimes, including vehicle theft and larceny, also saw slight declines.

Burglary Rates in Major Cities and Counties

Not surprisingly, Los Angeles saw the highest rate of burglary of any California city, with 17,410 incidents reported in 2010. However, that figure represented a steep decline from earlier in the decade, when more than 25,000 burglaries were reported.

The chart below shows burglary rates for California’s 20 most populous cities in 2001 and 2010. As you can see, half of the 20 largest cities saw an increase in burglary rates over the nine-year period, while the other half saw a decrease. The cities highlighted in gray saw increases over the period.

City Burglaries in 2001 Burglaries in 2010 Change
Los Angeles 25695 17,410 -8,285
San Diego 7219 6,387 -832
San Jose 2939 3,940 1,001
San Francisco 4243 4,557 314
Fresno 5203 5,262 59
Sacramento 5068 5,027 -41
Long Beach 3232 2,929 -303
Oakland 3696 4,961 1,265
Bakersfield 2035 4,235 2,200
Anaheim 1798 1,594 -204
Santa Ana 1398 1,116 -282
Riverside 2225 2,068 -157
Stockton 2871 4,482 1,611
Chula Vista 1109 760 -349
Fremont 1000 1,167 167
Irvine 904 480 -424
San Bernardino 2299 2,318 19
Modesto 1829 2,171 342
Oxnard 917 785 -132
Fontana 746 804 58

Source: State of California Department of Justice

California Home Security Systems

Regardless of crime rates, research has proven that homes with security systems are far less likely to be burglarized. A respected 1998 study published in the Journal of Economic and Social Measurement concluded that the probability of a burglary is virtually nil in homes with burglar alarms. The study, The Use of Household Survey Data: The Probability of Property Crime Victimization, was based on questionnaires sent to more than 20,000 households, both with and without alarms.

Home security systems also go a long way in providing peace of mind. You’ll sleep better and feel safer knowing that your family is protected.

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