Peter Blair | November 4, 2022 | Criminal Defense
San Diego is known for its gorgeous weather and is home to one of the largest U.S. Navy installations in the world. It’s a military town, a college town, a city with a diverse economy, and a border town close to the U.S-Mexico Border. As one of the largest cities in California, it’s expected that the area will have a mix of safe and dangerous neighborhoods.
Where should you look if you’re planning to buy a home for your family in San Diego? Which places are the roughest?
San Diego Crime Rate
The crime rate in the San Diego metro area is 42.97 per 1,000 residents in a standard year. Many residents consider the central part of the city to be the safest and the southwest part to be among the riskiest. Your chances of being involved in a crime average about 1 in 13 for this location, while in the central part of town, your chances are much less, 1 in 33.
However, when looking at crime rates in specific areas, it’s important to note that the rate of crime per resident could look inflated in places where people may visit during the day but not live. For example, crimes are more common in retail blocks or shopping malls, where few people live, but the area is a lure for thieves, purse-snatchers, and carjackers.
The Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in San Diego, CA
Residents consider the area east of downtown on the west and east sides of State Highway 94 to be one of the most dangerous parts of San Diego. A chief reason for this is the prevalence of gangs, with an estimated 5,000 members in the area.
East San Diego isn’t all gangland, however. As one of the older parts of town, it’s home to many original and restored Craftsman homes and some of the city’s best — and longest-operating — restaurants.
However, use caution when venturing into these East San Diego neighborhoods:
- Lincoln Park
- Valencia Park
- Bay Terraces
- Market Street
While these areas are known to be gang territory, they aren’t considered as dangerous as the worst parts of LA or Chicago. The greatest danger is fighting between rival gangs, not violence against outsiders perpetrated by gangs.
The Safer Neighborhoods of San Diego, CA
Like any large city, San Diego’s enclaves have different characters, from the laid-back Pacific Beach district to the lively Gaslamp area, known for entertainment and nightlife.
Some of the safest neighborhoods in San Diego include:
Del Mar Mesa
Del Mar Mesa is a family-centered community with an urban feel. It has a very high safety rank and some of the best public schools in the state.
Via de la Valle
Via de la Valle is popular for retirees and people starting a family. There are plenty of parks, walkable trails, a great safety rating, and various restaurants and cafes.
San Pasqual Valley
San Pasqual Valley is one of the northernmost communities still considered part of the San Diego metro area. It’s east of I-15, near the San Pasqual Valley Agricultural Preserve and several avocado and citrus farms.
La Jolla may be at the top of your list if you’re planning to live near the coast. There are beautiful views of the rugged coastline and beautiful hiking trails, plus sub-neighborhoods with residents of all ages and demographics.
These aren’t the only safe areas of San Diego. Each family will have its own pros and cons of the different areas of the city.
Finding the Right Place To Live or Visit in San Diego, CA
Like any major city, San Diego has its fair share of crime. However, knowing the areas to use caution in or try to avoid can keep you safe.