There aren’t many reasons against living in Chula Vista with the incredible year-round weather, the proximity to the water and mountains, and the countless activities around. Let’s just say it’s not a coincidence that Chula Vista translates to ‘beautiful view.’ Chula Vista is the second-largest city in the San Diego metropolitan area, covering about 52 square miles. Even if it’s a beautiful place to live, you might be wondering, is Chula Vista safe? And is Chula Vista safer than San Diego? Whether you’re just changing neighborhoods or moving across the county, you’ll want to know if living in Chula Vista is safe. Well, great news, it is! Chula Vista is one of the safest cities not only in the San Diego metro area but in California as well.
We’ve made a complete Chula Vista crime rate guide, so you can understand a little bit more about the crime rate and figure out which neighborhood is best for you to call home.
Note: All data comes from the FBI Crime Reporting Statistics of 2019
Understanding the Chula Vista Crime Rate – How Are Crime Rates Calculated?
The most common way to determine if a city is safe is to look at the crime rate. Crime rates are calculated by totaling the number of crimes in an area divided by the total population of the area. This is then multiplied by 100,000 to get the scale of crime instances per 100,000 people per year. By doing this, it’s easier to compare the crime rates of different cities even if they have different populations. However, the FBI actually discourages using these crime rates to compare cities. To read more about that, check out FBI Discourages Using Crime Rates. You can find crime rates in the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics (UCR).
So, what’s included in the calculation of crime rates since not all crimes are equal? The crime rate doesn’t include all offenses, just the index crimes. These crimes are bucketed into two categories: property crimes and violent crimes. Property crimes are considered less dangerous than violent crimes and include things like theft, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, arson, shoplifting, and vandalism. Violent crimes, on the other hand, include things like murder, homicide, assault and battery, manslaughter, rape, sexual assault, robbery, and kidnapping. Many crimes, however, don’t have uniform definitions across states, leading to the subjective opinion of law enforcement.
It’s important to note that although crime rates might be a good start, they should not be used to determine if a city is safe overall. There are many things that may skew the crime rates which are important to keep in mind and consider. For one, not all crimes are reported to the police. There are many crimes that go underreported, including sexual assault and domestic violence. You also might have noticed that crime rates don’t usually include shootings alone, which is an increasingly difficult issue we’ve been seeing lately. Lastly, crime rates don’t consider unique factors, such as targeted crimes. Many crimes aren’t done meaninglessly, usually, there is a target where the victim and assailant know each other.
We’ve been discussing the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting system (UCR), but this is slowly being phased out and replaced with the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). The NIBRS collects more data on more crimes. The NIBRS has 20+ index crimes, compared to the UCR which only collects 8. While the NIBRS may collect more data, there are still drawbacks with this system as well, such as having misleadingly high and rising crime rates. As this system gets more adopted, we will see more differentiation between the two systems.
What is Chula Vista’s Crime Rate?
Let’s start with Chula Vista’s total crime rate. The total crime rate per 100k people in Chula Vista is 1,715. This means there is a 1 in 58 chance of being a victim of a crime. More broken down, the violent crime rate in Chula Vista is 328 per 100k people, meaning there is a 1 in 304 chance of being a victim of violent crime. For property crime, there is a crime rate of 1,386 per 100k people, which gives about a 1 in 72 chance of being a victim of property crime.
How do these rates compare to the state and national average? How does the safety of Chula Vista compare to the safety in San Diego? You’ll be happy to know that the total crime rate in Chula Vista is 38.1% lower than the state of California’s average and 30.8% lower than the country’s national average. In California, the total crime rate was 2,772 per 100k people, which is about a 1 in 36 chance of being a victim of crime.
The total crime rate in San Diego is 2,244 per 100,000 people while the total crime rate in Chula Vista is 1,715.
Chula Vista Crime Map and Crime Reports
The Chula Vista PD shares information and gives access to data for residents to view. To see a crime map of the general area where crimes have been committed, look here: Chula Vista Crime Map.
To look deeper into police reports, you can request a copy of a report in person during normal business hours. To get the form, you will need the date, time, and location of the incident, as well as the parties involved and the incident report number (if known).
Violent Crime in Chula Vista
The murder rate in Chula Vista per 100k people is 1, which is about 77% lower than California’s average and a whopping 80% lower than the national average. In 2019, there was a total of 3 murders and nonnegligent manslaughters in Chula Vista.
The violent crime rate per 100k people in Chula Vista is 328. Most of these crimes included aggravated assault and robbery, with only a few being rape, murder, and manslaughter. This rate is about 25% lower than the state of California’s average and about 10% lower than the national average.
The chances of becoming a victim of violent crime in Chula Vista is 1 in 304, which is less than the states and county average.
Around the U.S., crime rates are rising. Is Chula Vista safer than San Diego? Looking in San Diego County, violent crime has risen in 2021. Homicide has increased by about 3% and rape and aggravated assault have increased about 11%. However, it’s important to note that California is ranked #1 for gun safety by Giffords Law Center. The state saw 37% lower gun deaths than the national average.
Property Crime in Chula Vista
The property crime rate per 100k people in Chula Vista is 1,386, which is 40.5% lower than California’s average and about 34% lower than the national average. Most property crimes were categorized as larceny (theft) and motor vehicle theft.
The chances of becoming a victim of property crime in Chula Vista is 1 in 72. In San Diego county, the property crime rates have increased about 9% since 2020. However, property crime rates are still the second-lowest over the past 42 years.
Bad/Dangerous/High Crime Areas in Chula Vista
Although Chula Vista is generally a safe area, there are still a few neighborhoods that you should be cautious in since they are known to be dangerous. Listed below are the three most dangerous areas in Chula Vista to try to avoid:
- Village Center has 308% more crime than all of Chula Vista. In this area, there are 1,345 crimes per 100k people. The crime rate for both violent and property crimes is even higher than in California and the national average. Not only is the cost of living, housing, and employment pretty poor compared to other parts of Chula Vista, the crime rate in Village Center is the highest in the area. To stay safe, it’s best to avoid living in Village Center.
- Northwest, just like Village Center, is also a dangerous area to avoid. In this area, there are 780 crimes per 100k people. The total, violent, and property crime rates are well above California and the national average. On top of that, the schools and housing in the area are sub-par.
- Southwest, although better than Village Center and Northwest, still can be dangerous. In this area, there are 461 crimes per 100k people. While this isn’t too high above California or the national average, it’s still higher. This means, that if you don’t need to live here, there is no reason to.
Safest Neighborhoods in Chula Vista
The following three neighborhoods in Chula Vista are considered the safest, with crimes per 100k people under 200. These neighborhoods are very desirable in their housing, schools, and employment as well.
A desirable, family-friendly neighborhood, you’ll find many homes and mansions with large yards. The neighborhood features nature trails, lake and mountain views, and children living in this area attend the top-rated Eastlake Middle School.
A wealthy area, most families live in large 4 and 5 bedroom homes in Bonita Long Canyon. The Bonita Long Canyon Park is located in the neighborhood, a destination for fitness enthusiasts and nature lovers.
Homes are large in the Bella Lago neighborhood, with 5 to 6 bedroom homes the norm. Children in this neighborhood attend the top-rated Salt Creek Elementary School,
Chula Vista Safety Tips – How to Avoid Crime in Chula Vista
On top of everyday safety tips like walking in pairs, locking homes and cars, and staying alert, there are specific suggestions to follow to help you stay safe in Chula Vista:
- Streets with a high crime rate in Chula Vista to avoid: Plaza Bonita Rd., E St., Sweetwater Rd., College Blvd., and Joe Walker Dr.
- Make sure to be extra careful and vigilant if visiting the following places: Vista View Park, Sweetwater Reservoir, and the Tijuana Estuary/Border Lagoon area near the border. These areas are known to be high in crime and drug use.
- For college students at Southwestern College, it’s important to follow these safety tips:
- Stay alert of fake vendors and pickpockets
- Use a registered taxi company and check license plates of UBERs/Lyfts
- Don’t leave valuables in your car and make sure home and car are always locked
Want to feel even safer? The Chula Vista Police Department offers FREE self-defense classes to women and children of all ages. For more information call (619) 691-5151.
Chula Vista Police Department
- Total sworn officers in Chula Vista: 270. That is .8 officers per 1,000 people
- Chief of Police: Chief Roxana Kennedy was appointed in 2016
- The official site for the Chula Vista PD is linked here: Chula Vista Police Department. Here you can find police reports and more information on the PD
- Chula Vista PD headquarters is located at 315 Fourth Avenue Chula Vista, CA 91910, or see it on a map here Chula Vista Police Department Location
- For non-emergency incidents, please call (619) 691-5151
The Chula Vista police department has made great strides to ensure the safety of all residents. Some recent programs to take effect include body-worn cameras on all uniformed patrol, an open data initiative to provide transparency of the PD, and Opticom (a preemptive traffic light CAD integration for responding officers). Chula Vista is also one of the first PDs to integrate drones into the PD to provide airborne support to police operations. Learn more about the drone program here: Drone Program City of Chula Vista
Chula Vista Crime Rate FAQ’s
What are the safest neighborhoods in Chula Vista?
Three of the safest neighborhoods in Chula Vista are Eastlake Woods, Bonita Long Canyon, and Bella Lago.
Where is the Chula Vista police department located?
Chula Vista PD headquarters is located at 315 Fourth Avenue Chula Vista, CA 91910, or see it on a map here Chula Vista Police Department Location
What is the crime rate in Chula Vista?
The total crime rate per 100k people in Chula Vista is 1,715. This means there is a 1 in 58 chance of being a victim of a crime
Moving to Chula Vista?
Chula Vista is a great area in San Diego county with shops, restaurants, and endless entertainment. Chula Vista overall is a safe area to live in. When you’re ready to move, give us a call at 619-000-0000 for affordable help moving to Chula Vista.