Central Coast cities rank among least safe in California

August 31, 2016

SLO_City_Emblem_fullcolor_neutralbkgSanta Maria, San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach rank among the 30 least safe cities in California, according to a report released by a research and analysis website. The rankings are based on a variety of FBI crime metrics, and they factor in population size. [Patch]

Out of 417 cities statewide, Santa Maria ranked the 13th least safe city on the list produced by ValuePenguin.com. San Luis Obispo ranked 23rd least safe, and Pismo Beach ranked 26th least safe.

No other cities in San Luis Obispo or Santa Barbara counties ranked among the 100 least safe in the state. ValuePenguin ranked the city of Reedley in Fresno County as the least safe city in California.

No cities in SLO County made the 100 safest list. Four Santa Barbara County cities made the 100 safest list: Guadalupe (24), Solvang (56), Goleta (59) and Carpinteria (60).

ValuePenguin ranked Imperial, which is located about 15 miles north of the Mexican border, as the safest city in California.

The rankings take into account property-based crimes, like burglaries and vehicle thefts, and violent crimes, such as rape, robbery and aggravated assault. Analysts retrieved the data from the most recent FBI crime report and adjusted the scores for population size. Only cities or communities with populations of at least 5,000 were included in the rankings.



  1. Resident says:

    Go read the police blotter.. It’s the huge number of homeless people who have nothing better to do all day (and increasingly all night) who are flocking into SLO County because of the shelter/services and weather who are causing a majority of the crime.

    SLO PD seems uninterested in ever stopping the homeless “petty” crimes, such as stealing $250+ shopping carts and dumping them wherever they feel like.

    Heck, steal a shopping cart, and you can hook your sign onto it, and then you don’t even have to hold your sign anymore and you’re even more visible. Panhandling 101- More visible = more money! and you don’t even have to hold your sign, so it’s a win-win.

    Turn a blind eye to all the people with stolen shopping carts all around town, and you have suddenly given homeless people carte blanche to do whatever “petty” crimes they feel.. and you’ve got the makings of “it’s ok to steal, if you’re poor enough” mentality.

    SLO PD refuses to even warn people walking around with stolen shopping carts.. That leads to an atmosphere of general lawlessness.. More homeless being bussed into town are realizing the Police here essentially let them do whatever they want.

    On a side-note.. has anybody else almost hit the chronic J-walker around Foothill (and the rest of town)? The “Smiling” homeless guy with super baggy pants, headphones on, with the beard constantly walking into the street, and walking into people’s yards along CASA street to get into the creek? Can SLO PD perhaps go and have a “talk” with that fine gentleman regarding the use of crosswalks and littering (seen him drop trash on a few occasions) and trespassing?

    (5) 11 Total Votes - 8 up - 3 down
  2. sweethome says:

    Good point!

    (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
  3. sweethome says:

    Oh by the way; do the SLO Police Officers and the former police Chief who were arrested/fired/incarnated count as part of the statistics of crime rate here?

    (9) 11 Total Votes - 10 up - 1 down
    • paragon says:

      Don’t forget the CHP Captain, SLO Undersheriff, CHP officer, CMC officer and several other LEOs who were all arrested for DUI in this county. The cops get arrested more often per capita in this county than the Cal Poly students do!

      (7) 7 Total Votes - 7 up - 0 down
  4. sweethome says:

    If Cal Poly disappeared tomorrow, San Luis Obispo would just blow away. Without the slum lords making fortunes from the students income, they might have to get real jobs. Without students and homeless people, the police would have to get real jobs instead of harassing people. And the downtown merchants wouldn’t be able to gouge the students. Tourism? What tourism? There’s nothing here but Denny’s and a collusion of gas stations gouging everyone.

    (4) 14 Total Votes - 9 up - 5 down
  5. OtisCampbell says:

    It’s all in the numbers. I’ve lived in SLO county for 30 years and regularly drive to the L.A. area. There’s been an obvious increase in the traffic and people numbers in SLO county over the past five years or so.

    SLO is attractive for criminals for a variety of reasons.(i.e. low ratio of law enforcement to population, folks with money, nearby rural areas, quick access/departure etc.)

    As the City of SLO (& other municipalities) encourage growth and ‘build-out’ it’s not going to get better.

    (9) 13 Total Votes - 11 up - 2 down

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