Sustainable City Progress Report

Crime Rate

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Per Capita Crime Rate
2003 - 2009
Incidence of Hate Crime
2000 - 2009
Comparative Crime Rates


Crime rate per capita – by neighborhood and by type (property, violent, hate)


This indicator looks at crime rate per capita for given types of crime (property, violent and hate) for the city overall.  The target is naturally to have a downward trend in crime rate.  In future, we hope to report this information by neighborhood, reporting district, in addition to the citywide information currently available.


During 2009, violent crime was up down to the lowest level per capita since tracking this indicator. Stated another way, during 2009, there was roughly one violent crime per year for every 228 Santa Monica residents.  Property crime rose 12.5% from 2007 to 2009.  Property Crime per capita dropped 3.6% to 3.4% this year. That represents approximately one property crime annually for every 28 residents in 2009.

Reported hate crime in Santa Monica was 5 in 2000, rose to 29 in 2001 and since has remained low at 3 in 2009.


Violent and Property Crime
Santa Monica’s violent crime rate per 100,000 population exceeds that of all the larger jurisdictions with which it is geographically contiguous except the City of Los Angeles. Santa Monica’s property crime rate per 100,000 population exceeds all its larger jurisdictions.
Crime Rate per 100,000 Population
  Violent Crime
Property Crime
United States
455 3,213
California 504 2,940
Los Angeles
Santa Monica
536 2,904
Crime continues its downward trend nationally and statewide since 2006.  The U.S. and California violent crime rate dropped between 3% and 4%.  Santa Monica’s violent crime dropped dramatically during that time, 25%.  A similar trend between 2007 and 2009 occurred regarding property crime: the national property crime rate dropped 2%, statewide 4% and in Santa Monica, 20%.

Hate Crime
Hate crimes are not separate, distinct crimes, but rather traditional offenses motivated by the offender’s bias. Hate crime data are collected by capturing additional information about violent and property crime already reported.

Santa Monica reported a six-fold spike in anti-Islamic hate crime following 9/11 than the corresponding increase in hate crime experienced on the state and national level during that time period.   It’s possible that Santa Monica applied more stringent standards than other cities and jurisdictions for the classification of a given crime as a hate crime during that period.  If that’s true, the spike may reflecting a reporting anomaly rather than an actual substantial change in frequency of hate crimes.  In any event, hate crime returned to its 2000 levels in 2002.   The hate crime level has risen lately, increasing from 1 to 3 occurrences between 2007 and 2009.

Gang-Related Crime
The city began developing its comprehensive gang prevention strategy in 2003, when the City Council selected as one of its three Community Priorities to “Enhance the quality of life, safety, and community involvement of residents of the Pico neighborhood.” In doing so, the city committed significant resources to develop services that involve residents, businesses, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and religious and cultural institutions. As a part of that effort, the Santa Monica Police Department began classifying crime as gang-related.  In 2009, the Part I, or more serious, crimes found to have been gang-related dropped 18 to 27 in 2007, a 33% improvement.

Neighborhood Resource Officer Program
In January 2008, the Police Department implemented the Neighborhood Resource Officer Program , a way to link the public and the police, to have one officer responsible to those who live, work or visit a given beat area. New patrol beats went into effect in January 2008, and are aligned for a more efficient patrol pattern.  The new beat design includes linking merchant groups and neighborhood organizations within the same patrol beat boundaries. This new program should facilitate reporting on a neighborhood basis going forward.






The federal Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program divides offenses into two groups, Part I and Part II crimes. Each month, participating law enforcement agencies submit information on the number of Part I offenses reported; those offenses cleared by arrest or exceptional means; and the age, sex, and race of persons arrested for each of the offenses. Contributors provide only arrest data for Part II offenses. “Part II” crimes include embezzlement, fraud and identify theft are not reported in this indicator, since, as stated above, they only get reported when an arrest is made. The classification of crimes as violent or property crimes aligns with UCR definitions and is summarized in the chart below. Please review the FBI website on the topic for more detailed crime definitions.
Violent Crime
Property Crime
Homicide Burglary (Entering a structure, with or without force, to commit a felony)
Rape Larceny Theft (Taking an object, which is not in a structure)
Robbery (Taking something of value by force from a person)
Motor Vehicle Theft
Aggravated Assault (Attack intended to inflict harm, often using a weapon)


View source material in Excel: HD4_CrimeRate.xls 
Email contact for data source inquires: 


Last updated: Thursday, 09/09/2010


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Santa Monica Office of Sustainability and the Environment
1685 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90401 · (310) 458-2213 · TTY (310) 917-6626