Santa Monica Officials Responds To Report
Santa Monica, a popular tourist destination in California, has recently been ranked near the bottom of the list of safest cities in the state in a new report from Safewise.com. This ranking has come as a shock to many residents and officials, who are working to improve safety in the city.
According to the Safewise report which looked at 230 cities in California, Santa Monica has a population of 90,474 and recorded 6.0 violent crimes per 1,000 people and 42.6 property crimes per 1,000 people. This puts the city at 224th place in the ranking, a decline from its position at 222nd place in 2021.
Janet McLaughlin, a lifelong resident of Santa Monica, expressed her disappointment and concern, stating “It’s humiliating. Terrible. That’s why we have a group called Santa Monicans Against Crime. We’ve been trying to get the word out. I feel really bad for people who don’t know, like tourists.”
City Councilman Phil Brock also acknowledged the issue, stating that “everyone is in a constant state of alertness and nervousness, it seems. Everybody’s looking over their shoulder.” He believes that an increased police presence, neighborhood watch groups, and efforts to keep people off the streets will help address the increase in crime.
In response to the ranking, the city provided a statement, acknowledging that Santa Monica is a unique city with a daily population of approximately 250,000 due to its role as a jobs center and popular tourist destination. They also pointed out that the Safewise ranking does not take into account the daily commuter and tourism metrics, which can have a significant impact on the overall perception of crime in the city.
Furthermore, the city cited the Santa Monica Police Department’s analysis, which showed a decrease in Part 1 crimes (Burglary, Arson, Murder, Rape et al) from 2021 to 2022. In February 2021, there were 740 Part 1 crimes reported, while in February 2022, there were 655 reported. This indicates that overall, there has been a reduction in violent and reportable crimes in the city in the past year.
However, the city and police department remain vigilant and committed to addressing any crime that occurs in the community. The SMPD’s Community Affairs team continues to engage with residents through neighborhood and business district meetings, events like “coffee with a cop,” and educating the community about crime trends in Santa Monica.
The Safewise report also ranked neighboring cities Compton and San Bernardino lower than Santa Monica, at 225th and 228th place respectively. In contrast, Rancho Santa Margarita and Moorpark ranked second and third, highlighting the varied profiles of cities within the state.
As McLaughlin noted, “That’s not the Santa Monica we all knew and loved. We still love it, but we want it to be safer.” The city and its residents are determined to not let this ranking define them and are working towards making Santa Monica a safer place for all.