Crime in California: Why It Happens and What You Can Do About It


California, the most populous state in the United States, is grappling with a significant crime problem. With a population of about 40 million people, approximately 1.2 million arrests are made every year. This translates to a crime happening every 10 seconds. But why is this happening, and what can we do about it?

The Current State of Crime in California

In recent years, California has seen an increase in violent crime. The state’s violent crime rate increased by 5.7%, from 468 crimes per 100,000 residents in 2021 to 495 in 2022. Aggravated assaults were 67% of reported violent crimes; 25% of violent crimes were robberies, 7% were rapes, and 1% were homicides.

The state has also seen pronounced increases in gun-related violent crime. Compared to 2019 pre-pandemic levels, homicides jumped by 33.9% and aggravated assaults by 25.3% in 2022, with gun-related homicides and aggravated assaults surging by 37.7% and 61.1%.

Why Does Crime Happen?

The reasons for committing a crime include greed, anger, jealousy, revenge, or pride. Some people decide to commit a crime and carefully plan everything in advance to increase gain and decrease risk. Others commit crimes on impulse, out of rage or fear.

The desire for material gain leads to property crimes such as robberies, burglaries, white-collar crimes, and auto thefts. The desire for control, revenge, or power leads to violent crimes such as murders, assaults, and rapes.

What Can We Do About It?

Preventing crime involves not only traditional law enforcement and criminal justice but also an integrated, long-term approach that addresses the root causes and drivers of crime. Here are some strategies:

  1. Treat violence as a public health concern: Develop campaigns and technology to reach every child and family. Parenting interventions, family interventions, wellbeing campaigns, and early childhood education can help.
  2. Localize programs: Comprehensive programs that tie up elements driving violence, building local frameworks, gun-free zones, and fostering civic culture can reduce violence.
  3. Focus on hotspots and ‘hot people’: Scientific evidence suggests that focusing on hotspots and individuals most likely to commit crimes can prevent or reduce violence.
  4. Create well-targeted programs: If the goal is to reduce homicides, then program selection should be located in hotspot areas and focused on the population group most likely to commit violent crimes, often young males between 10-29 years old.
Partnering with Security Professionals

While it’s possible to manage some aspects of security in-house, partnering with a professional security firm like American Global Security can provide added peace of mind. We offer a range of services tailored to your specific needs, helping you identify and address security vulnerabilities effectively.


While the crime rate in California is a pressing issue, understanding the root causes and implementing strategic prevention measures can help mitigate this problem. It’s a collective effort that requires the participation of not just law enforcement, but also communities, families, and individuals.

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