Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, West Hollywood: Where Can You Feel Safest?

Last year, for the first time since West Hollywood became a city, it had less crime than both Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. That is according to a new report by WeHo by the Numbers based on crime and population data published by the state.

West Hollywood had almost 2,000 reported “Part 1” violent or property crimes in 2017. That works out to an average 0f five per day. The FBI-defined list of Part 1 crimes includes homicide, rape, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft (also known as grand theft auto), and arson.

Thefts made up two-thirds of the crimes. Close to half of the thefts (or roughly 30% of all Part 1 crimes) were from vehicles. More serious crimes were less common. The city averaged one homicide a year and two rapes a month. The average week had two stolen cars, two aggravated assaults, two robberies and four burglaries. About a third of the robberies involved a weapon and half of the burglaries were of homes.

The report starts by using the crime rate to compare West Hollywood to nearby cities. The crime rate is the number of Part 1 crimes per 100,000 residents. The rates were roughly 5,600 for Beverly Hills, 5,500 for Santa Monica, and 5,400 for West Hollywood. The differences were not large, but it was the first time West Hollywood’s crime rate was lower than that of Beverly Hills. It was also the first time since 2001 that West Hollywood’s rate was lower than that of Santa Monica.

The report then switches to a metric that takes into account differences in the seriousness of each type of crime, such as homicide versus petty theft. If, for example, a city’s mix of crimes is 10% more serious than the state average, then the city’s crime rate is adjusted up by 10%. The adjusted rate is expressed per 10,000 residents.

In 2017, the adjusted crime rates were approximately 530 for Beverly Hills, 500 for Santa Monica, and 490 for West Hollywood. After taking into account the seriousness of crimes, West Hollywood still had somewhat less crime than Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. It was the first time that has happened since West Hollywood became a city.

The accompanying chart shows how the gap between West Hollywood and the two nearby cities closed over the last few years. For example, in the final year from 2016 to 2017, West Hollywood crime declined slightly (-2%), while it grew in Beverly Hills (27%) and Santa Monica (15%). Those percentages are based on adjusted crime rates, but growth in the actual crime counts was similar.

To find out more, see the full report, Is crime higher in West Hollywood than nearby cities?

  1. Dave, do you have any information about what was happening in 2012-2013 that resulted in that significant drop in crime in Weho? And then, what might have contributed to the rise in 2015-2016? Would be interested to know more.

  2. I’ve lived here for many years and in the last 3 years or so, I definitely feel less safe. I know what the report says but there’s is a definite change in the vibe – especially at night.

    1. I agree. Santa Monica Blvd. does NOT feel safe. The other night a guy high on drugs started yelling at me to get his attention. When I ignored him he started to approach me and said “hey you, come over here.” I walked quickly toward the gas station where there was more light, people, etc.

      This area needs a major clean up, especially Santa Monica Blvd. There are a lot of new developments (including a new design for the Beanery; I’m surprised WehoVille hasn’t reported that yet. I’m sure they will. It’s on urbanize LA and curbed LA right now). I think a more active, brighter, cleaner street will at least make people more likely to walk in the area. If the street doesn’t feel safe, people don’t walk it and the violent people are more likely to attack.

        1. Thanks for the link about the Beanery.

          Also, this development (not sure if it was reported on here yet).

          Mixed-Use Development to Replace West Hollywood Car Wash
          The four-story building would rise at 7617 Santa Monica Boulevard. (Urbanize LA).

  3. Clean up Santa Monica Blvd with new developments, cleaner streets/sidewalks, landscaping, lights, etc. It does not feel safe, especially at night.

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