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Everyone wants to live in safe communities, and data show California continues to experience crime rates well below historical peaks. The property crime rate — the number of property crimes per 100,000 residents — was 2,314 in 2022, far below the peak of 6,881 in 1980. The violent crime rate was 495 per 100,000 in 2022, less than half the 1992 peak of 1,104.

Crime rates increased across the nation as the COVID-19 pandemic took its toll. Any rise in crime is concerning, but policymakers should avoid overreacting as crime rates remain at historic lows in California.

Instead of resurrecting the failed, incarceration-focused policies of the past, state leaders must advance strategies to reduce youth violence, strengthen families and communities, and target the longstanding structural barriers to opportunity — such as poverty and housing instability — that disproportionately impact Black, Latinx, and other Californians of color.

Despite recent increases, shoplifting remains below pre-pandemic levels in the state. Learn how California's current shoplifting rate compares to previous years.

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