Moving to the San Joaquin Valley but not sure if Modesto is right for you? Crime is one of many important factors to consider when choosing a new home.
Is Modesto safe? While crime in Modesto is higher than the national average, it’s safer than many large cities in California. There are also many safe, family-friendly neighborhoods in the city. Here’s everything you need to know about the Modesto crime rate.
Before exploring Modesto crime, it’s helpful to understand how crime rates are calculated – and their limitations. Most crime rates, including those below, are based on the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program with eight index crimes. This program was phased out in 2021, however, and the National Incident Based Reporting System is now used for more comprehensive reporting of 20 index crimes.
Modesto crime rates only consider select crimes that are considered very serious, but remember the limitations of crime rates:
Remember that the Modesto CA crime rate needs to be given context. The FBI also warns against using crime rates to make comparisons between cities.
The Modesto California crime rate is:
You have a 1 in 32 chance of being the victim of crime. Overall, Modesto crime is 37% higher than the national average with 91% more violent crime.
Below, you can see how the Modesto CA crime rate compares to the California and national average.
|2021 Modesto Crime Rate Comparison
(Crimes Per 100,000)
|Crime Rate||Property Crime Rate||Violent Crime Rate||Homicide Rate|
The 2021 Modesto violent crime rate is 734 per 100,000 residents. That’s 39.7% above the California average and 47.1% above the U.S. average. The Modesto murder rate is 7.4 per 100,000 people, 24% over the California average and 12% higher than the U.S. average.
In 2021, there were 1,603 violent crimes reported to the Modesto Police Department including:
The violent crime rate in Modesto CA may be higher than average, but it’s declined every year since 2016. There were 10 Modesto murders in 2021, the lowest number since 2007 when there were 8 Modesto homicide cases. Homicides reached a high in 2015 of 28. Throughout Stanislaus County, there were 30 homicides in 2021, the lowest number since at least 2009, the last year with data available. That was also nearly 24% lower than the average homicides of 39 over the previous 10 years.
5-year Modesto violent crime trend:
The 2021 Modesto property crime rate is 2,444 property crimes per 100,000 residents. That’s 12.5% above the California average and 19.9% above the U.S. average.
In 2021, there were 5,340 property crimes reported to Modesto police including:
5-year Modesto property crime trend:
Another way to understand Modesto crime is to put it in perspective. Comparing crime in Modesto to other cities of comparable size may be helpful.
Modesto is home to 219,000 people. Here’s how crime in Modesto CA compares to crime in other cities with 200,000 to 240,000 people.
Safer mid-sized cities include:
Similarly sized cities with less crime than Modesto include:
Here’s how the Modesto crime rate compares with other large cities in California.
|Crime in Modesto vs Other California Cities|
|City||Total Crime (per 100k)||Total Crime vs Modesto||Violent Crime (per 100k)||Violent Crime vs Modesto|
|Oakland||6,457||103% higher||1,291||76% higher|
|San Francisco||4,938||55% higher||544||26% lower|
|Bakersfield||4,520||42% higher||517||30% lower|
|Stockton||4,259||34% higher||1,277||74% higher|
|San Bernardino||4,202||32% higher||1,402||91% higher|
|Fresno||3,742||18% higher||665||9% lower|
|Riverside||3,431||8% higher||446||39% lower|
|Sacramento||3,428||8% higher||683||7% lower|
|Long Beach||3,253||2% higher||506||31% lower|
|Anaheim||2,872||10% lower||353||52% lower|
|Los Angeles||2,870||10% lower||722||2% lower|
|Moreno Valley||2,768||13% lower||387||47% lower|
|San Jose||2,741||14% lower||425||42% lower|
|Santa Ana||2,508||21% lower||429||42% lower|
|Oxnard||2,412||24% lower||354||52% lower|
|San Diego||2,213||30% lower||377||49% lower|
|Irvine||1,550||51% lower||51||93% lower|
|Santa Clarita||1,038||67% lower||131||82% lower|
Modesto Crime Map & Police Reports
The Modesto Police Department offers several tools to help you better understand crime in the city. The police department partners with CrimeMapping.com to provide an interactive map of Modesto crime. You can explore crime in Modesto CA by type of offense, date range, and distance from a specific address. The Modesto crime map is perfect for finding a safe neighborhood or learning more about crime near your home.
You can also check the Modesto Police Department activity log and department records for a more in-depth look at crime. The police chief’s monthly report is released online with a breakdown of each month’s calls for service, arrests, major crime statistics, traffic and DUI statistics, and other data collected by the Modesto CA police department.
Crime can happen anywhere, but certain areas of Modesto have higher crime on average. In general, Central Modesto (including downtown) and South Modesto (or South Side) tend to have the highest rates of crime in the city. These are the Modesto neighborhoods or areas with the most crime but keep in mind they can still be great places to live – serious crime may be more targeted or isolated in hotspots.
In general, the safest areas of Modesto are Northeast Modesto and Northwest Modesto. Most crime, especially violent crime, is concentrated in Central and South Modesto.
Here are some safe neighborhoods in Modesto to explore.
The Modesto Police Department, established in 1884, serves more than 218,000 residents over 37 square miles. According to the department’s 2021 Annual Report, it staffs 210 sworn officers, 104 civilian staff, and 38 volunteers. That’s 1.4 officers per 1,000 residents – lower than the California average of 3.6 officers per 1,000. The department responds to nearly 160,000 calls for service every year.
The Modesto CA police department participates in many community events including National Night Out, the Leadership Academy, and Hoops & Hot Dogs. They operate several unique programs to serve the community including the Community Health and Assistance Team (CHAT), the Homeless Engagement and Response Team (HEART), the Crime Free Multi-Housing Program, and Downtown Collaboration.
The city is divided into four quadrants or divisions with each Area Command overseen by a police lieutenant.
California has a higher crime rate than the national average and, like many larger cities, Modesto does have higher-than-average crime. Modesto is safer than many California cities like San Francisco, Oakland, Fresno, and Sacramento but the crime rate is 37% higher than the national average.
The crime rate in Modesto CA is 3,178 total crimes per 100,000 with 734 violent crimes and 2,444 property crimes per 100,000 people. By comparison, the US crime rate is 2,346 crimes per 100,000 with 388 violent crimes and 1,958 property crimes per 100,000.
Downtown Modesto is mostly safe, but certain crimes are more likely to occur here like theft, car thefts, and assault, especially in nightlife areas.
Is Modesto living in your future? Don’t be intimidated by the Modesto CA crime rate; there are many safe places to live in the city that are perfect for families, singles, and retirees. The friendly Modesto movers at Grace Moving Company are here to help with your relocation: call us today for a free, personalized estimate!
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