ADT Santa Cruz, California

The High Crime Rate in Santa Cruz, CA May Merit Installing an Alarm System
Santa Cruz, CA is known for its mild climate, liberal leanings and tourist attractions, including the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. However, it’s also known for its high crime rate. Although many people around the U.S. don’t bother to install alarm systems in their homes, in areas with particularly high crime rates, such as Santa Cruz, this is definitely something worth considering. Overall Crime Rate The overall crime rate in Santa Cruz is a whopping 122 percent higher than the average for the U.S., making it so the city is only safer than 7 percent of other cities in the country. Crime increased 7 percent between 2014 and 2015, so a resident of the city now has about a 1 in 16 chance of becoming a victim of some type of crime in any given year. there are about 62.77 crimes per 1,000 residents per year in Santa Cruz, or about 356 crimes per square mile each year. This is more than 10 times as high as the national average of 32 crimes per square mile each year. Violent Crime Rate The violent crime rate in the city is more than double the national average of 3.8 crimes per 1,000 residents per year at 8.11 crimes per 1,000 residents. Thankfully the murder rate is below the national average, but the assault rate is more than double the national average and so is the rape rate. The robbery rate is 1.84 crimes per 1,000 residents compared to a national average of 1.02 crimes per 1,000 residents. About 9 percent of all crimes committed in the city consist of assaults, with robberies making up another 3 percent of crimes. A resident of Santa Cruz has a 1 in 123 chance of becoming a victim of some type of violent crime in any given year. Property Crime Rate Property crime rates have been consistently climbing in Santa Cruz since 2013, and Santa Cruz had the 18th highest property crime rate per capita among California cities with populations of less than 100,000 in 2014. Property crimes increased another 9 percent between 2014 and 2015. About 68 percent of all crimes committed in the city are thefts, with a further 11 percent consisting of burglaries. The property crime rate in the city is more than double the national average of 24.9 crimes per 1,000 residents at 62.77 crimes per 1,000 residents per year. This means that there’s a 1 in 16 chance that a resident of the city will be a victim of some type of property crime in any given year. It’s recommended that people make sure to lock all windows and doors during the day when most burglaries occur and consider a home alarm system with camera surveillance. About 30 percent of burglars are able to enter homes through unlocked doors or windows. Pay particular attention to rear sliding doors and front doors, as these are two of the most common entry points. For the best protection, invest in a solid door rather than a hollow one and install a heavy duty dead bolt with a strike plate that has at least 3-inch screws. Safest Areas Although there is a lot of crime no matter where you live in the city, some areas are safer than others. These include the neighborhoods of Bonny Doon/Davenport, Soquel Drive/North Rodeo Gulch Road and Live Oak. Avoid the neighborhood of Laurel Street/Cabrillo Highway, as this is the most dangerous neighborhood in the city. The best way to reduce your risk of becoming a crime victim may be to move to a nearby city that has a much lower crime rate, such as Pasatiempo, La Selva Beach, Bonny Doon or Brookdale. While still somewhat high, the crime rates are lower in Capitola and Scotts Valley as well. Police Presence The Santa Cruz police department employs 119 people, including 94 police officers, resulting in a ratio of about 1.5 officers per 1,000 residents. This is less than half of the national average of 3.3 officers per 1,000 residents. Having fewer police officers can mean that response times are slower and case clearance rates are lower than average. These officers have dealt with over 100,000 calls for service every year from 2011 to 2015. Their overall case clearance rate is lower than the national average of 28 percent at 24 percent, and their burglary clearance rate is 9 percent compared to a national average of 12 percent. Installing a video verified security system can help ensure a faster police response time, as the video verification of what caused the alarm will push the call for service up to a higher priority than an unverified alarm. Unverified alarms are typically regarded as lower priority because over 95 percent of them turn out to be false alarms. Alarm Considerations People in Santa Cruz are required to register their alarm system with the police, which costs $25. Failure to register an alarm system can result in a $250 fine. While the first false alarm per calendar year is free, the second will cost you $125, the third will cost you $250 and any subsequent false alarms will cost $500. Take steps to minimize false alarms going to the police station, including training everyone allowed to enter the home on how to use the security system, making sure all doors and windows are secured before activating the system and quickly calling the alarm company to cancel the alarm in cases where the alarm is accidentally set off.