Total crime NAT. AVG.
Violent crime NAT. AVG.
Property crime NAT. AVG.
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Date & Last Updated: This data reflects the 2022 calendar year and was released from the FBI in September, 2023; this is the most current data available.
StatisticReportedincidents/100k peopleWatsonville/100k peopleCalifornia/100k peopleNational/100k people
Total crime1,261n/a (estimate)2,4482,8432,324
Violent crime302n/a (estimate)586500370
Vehicle theft211n/a409.6471.9282.7
Property crime959n/a (estimate)1,8622,3431,954

An Overview of Crime Rates in Watsonville, CA

When we analyze the latest crime report, the Watsonville crime rate is 5.3% higher than the national average. These incidents are classified into two primary categories: violent and property crimes. Violent crimes include assault, robbery, rape and murder. Whereas property crimes encompass theft, vehicle theft and burglary. In the case of Watsonville, there were 302 reported violent crimes, equivalent to 586 per 100,000 individuals, 58.5% higher than the national average. Additionally, Watsonville recorded 959 property crimes, amounting to 1862 per 100,000 residents, 4.8% lower than the U.S. average.

When assessing the overall crime rate in Watsonville per 100,000 people, it stands in the median range among all cities with reported crime data. Our analysis of total incidents, encompassing both violent and property crimes, underscores the close alignment of reported Watsonville crime rates with the national average as reported by other areas.

In the most recent release, Watsonville reported a property crime rate that closely aligns with the national average. In Watsonville, there were 1862 reported property crimes, a figure consistent with the national average of 1954 per 100,000 individuals. This positions the area as maintaining a level of safety and security on par with the typical city. The harmonious statistics underscore a balanced commitment to community well-being, offering residents a sense of stability and peace in their surroundings.

The surge in vehicle thefts is a concerning trend across the United States, and Watsonville is no exception, experiencing one of the nation's highest vehicle theft rates. Last year, Watsonville reported a total of 211 vehicle thefts, resulting in 410 stolen vehicles per 100,000 people. This places the city in the lowest 10% tier among all cities, indicating that 90% of cities have less stolen vehicles. The probability of a vehicle being stolen stands at 1 in 245, underscoring the need for heightened vigilance and security measures.

What Do the Locals Say About Crime in Watsonville?

What do the local residents think about crime in Watsonville? Well, based on a recent survey of 21 people (conducted by AreaVibes), 38% of Watsonville residents said that there was virtually no crime and that they felt safe walking at night. Another 62% of respondents said that there was too much crime in the area and they did not feel safe walking alone at night.

Is Watsonville a Safe Place to Live?

Determining whether Watsonville is a place to live may not always yield a simple answer, given the city's varying safety levels across different areas. Nonetheless, comprehending the city's overall crime rate can be a valuable asset. In broad terms, Watsonville has an overall crime rate that is 5% higher than the national average. When we take a look at crime on a daily basis, this translates into 3.45 daily occurrences, comprising 0.83 violent crimes and 2.63 property crimes. Scrutinizing these statistics provides a foundation for a more informed assessment of the suitability of Watsonville as a potential place to establish residency.

Has Crime in Watsonville Increased Since Last Year?

Examining year-over-year crime data provides insights into short-term trends with regards to the crime activity in Watsonville. This analysis involves comparing crime rates from one year to the next, enabling the identification of patterns and fluctuations in crime. Such information proves invaluable to residents seeking to make well-informed decisions about their choice of residence. In the most recent year, compared to the previous one, total crime in Watsonville has decreased by 11.9%. Specifically, violent crime has increased by 1%, while property crime has decreased by 15.3%. This data empowers individuals with a clearer understanding of the evolving safety landscape in Watsonville.

Potential Causes for Crime in Watsonville

High population density areas are often large urban centers with diverse economic opportunities. These areas can exacerbate income inequality, with pockets of poverty existing alongside affluence. Areas with economic disparities may experience higher property crimes and, in some cases, violent crimes. On the other hand, areas with low population density tend to see lower Watsonville crime rates. The population density in Watsonville is 7720.7 people per square mile, while the national average is 90.6 people per square mile.

Escalating cost of living expenses, encompassing exorbitant housing costs, grocery and healthcare expenditures, can induce financial strain on individuals and families, particularly those with limited financial resources. Such economic stress may propel individuals towards criminal activities, including theft or burglary, as a means of addressing their financial hardships. Conversely, cities characterized by a lower cost of living may alleviate economic pressures, potentially resulting in a reduced crime rate. In Watsonville, the cost of living is 31.23% higher than the national average, reflecting a more affordable economic environment that could contribute to a decrease in crime levels.

High rental costs can limit economic mobility, making it difficult for individuals to save money, invest in education, or access better job opportunities. This can perpetuate a cycle of poverty and increase the risk of involvement in criminal activities. In summary, high rental costs can create economic challenges, overcrowding, and neighborhood dynamics that may increase the likelihood of certain types of crime, particularly property crimes. In Watsonville, the average rental rates are $1,502 per month, compared to the national average of $949.

Watsonville crime map

The Watsonville crime map provides a detailed overview of all crimes in Watsonville as reported by the local law enforcement agencies. Based on the color coded legend above, the crime map outlines the areas with lower crime compared to the areas with higher crime. The Watsonville crime heat map offers insight into the total crimes on a block group level. Please note that the red areas on the Watsonville crime map does not always indicate that it is a dangerous area for its residents. Areas on the heat map could be inflated if they are located in high traffic areas like airports, sports centers or large parks. Other areas on the heat map could see increased crime rates if they are located in major tourist areas like the downtown core.
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Crime Quick Facts

  • Watsonville crime rates are 5% higher than the national average
  • Violent crimes in Watsonville are 59% higher than the national average
  • In Watsonville you have a 1 in 41 chance of becoming a victim of crime
  • Watsonville is safer than 16% of the cities in the United States
  • Year over year crime in Watsonville has decreased by 7%

Watsonville, CA Crime Quiz


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        Daily Crime In Watsonville (per 100,000 people)

        The chart above shows the number of daily crimes in Watsonville, CA per 100,000 people. In Watsonville, the number of daily crimes is projected to be 1.16 times less than the California average and 1.05 times more than the national average. The average number of daily violent crimes in Watsonville is 1.17 times more than the California average and 1.59 times more than the daily national average. With regards to property crimes, Watsonville has a daily crime rate that is 1.26 times less than the California average and 1.05 times less than the overall daily national average.

        How Safe is Watsonville (higher is better)

        How safe is Watsonville, California compared to other cities in California and the rest of the cities across the United States? The graphs above show that Watsonville is safer than 24% of the cities in California and 16% of the cities in the United States. These results are calculated by analyzing all cities in California and across the US as a whole and determining how many areas have a lower crime rate than Watsonville. Overall, Watsonville is ranked below average compared to all other cities across the United States.

        Chance of Being A Victim of Crime in Watsonville

        The chance of being a victim of violent crime in Watsonville is 1 in 171
        The chance of being a victim of property crime in Watsonville is 1 in 54
        The chance of being a victim of crime in Watsonville is 1 in 41
        Are you curious to know the likelihood of suffering from a crime in Watsonville? If you reside in Watsonville, the likelihood that you will become a victim of a violent crime is 1 in 171. Violent crimes include: murder, sexual assault, robbery, and physical assault. There is a 1 in 54 change that you will become a victim of a property crime. These sorts of crimes against personal property include: burglary, theft, and auto theft. In total, the likelihood of being victimized by a crime in Watsonville, is 1 in 41.

        Year Over Year Crime In Watsonville (per 100,000 people)

        The year over year change in crime per 100,000 people helps to understand whether crime in Watsonville, CA is on the rise or declining. The violent crime rate in Watsonville has increased by 6%, while the property crime rate in Watsonville has decreased by 11% year over year. Summing up the numbers, Watsonville has decreased by 7% with regards to total crimes year over year.

        Watsonville police department

        Item Watsonville California National
        Law enforcement employees (officers & civilians)8151,506558,732
        Police officers & civilians /1000 residents1.63.63.3
        There are a total of 81 Watsonville police officers. This results in 1.6 police officers per 1,000 residents which is 56.9% less than the California average and 52.2% less than the National average.

        Sex offenders in California

        State Total offenders California /100K National /100K
        There are a total of 79,891 sex offenders in California. This yields a total of 232 sex offenders in California per 100,000 residents which is 13% less than the national average.

        Nearby Cities With Low Crime Rates

        City Population Violent crime/100k people Property crime/100k people Total crime/100k people
        Pasatiempo, CA1,22670329399
        Corralitos, CA2,26078368446
        La Selva Beach, CA2,54478368446
        Aptos Hills-Larkin Valley, CA1,39786404490
        Day Valley, CA3,41495446542
        Elkhorn, CA998149698847
        Seacliff, CA3,580164769933
        Watsonville, CA52,3985861,8622,448

        Cities with similar population

        City Population Violent crime/100k people Property crime/100k people Total crime/100k people
        Stratford, CT52,3001131,8601,972
        Olympia, WA52,2905214,2044,725
        Edina, MN52,215921,9772,069
        Queen Creek, AZ52,1621459931,138
        Elkhart, IN52,6571,0662,8513,917
        Watsonville, CA52,3985861,8622,448
        Source: The Watsonville, CA crime data displayed above is derived from the FBI's uniform crime reports for the year of 2022. The crime report encompasses more than 18,000 city and state law enforcement agencies reporting data on property and violent crimes. The uniform crime reports program represents approximately 309 million American residents, which results in 98% coverage of metropolitan statistical areas.