Bakersfield is the largest city in Kern County, California with a population of 388,080. It is in the San Juan Valley and Central Valley, at the junction of highways 58 and 99. Bakersfield is located about 100 miles northwest of Los Angles with a drive time averaging under 2 hours. National parks surround the city to the east and the west, with a drive of about 2 hours to enjoy the beach. Bakersfield is infamous for the “country music Bakersfield sound.” The area is also known for its detailed history, having been home to Native Americans, Spanish, and those searching for gold. Bakersfield was incorporated as a city in 1873.
The Bakersfield job market boasts vast opportunities for those in agriculture and energy production both in the field and in administration. Other employment areas of Bakersfield residents include the County of Kern, hospital staff, insurance, and education. Since Bakersfield has such a diverse and rich history, it boasts many opportunities for exploring historical and cultural venues. If Bakersfield is being considered for your next home, you’ll want to be informed about the safety of the city. Is Bakersfield a safe place to live?
Year over year crime in Bakersfield has decreased by 1% and it is safer than 14% of cities in the United States, with crime rates in Bakersfield being 85% higher than the national average. The growth Bakersfield experienced from the late 20th century to the early 21st century has made it one of the fastest growing cities in California. Considering a move to Bakersfield? Our in depth look at crime in Bakersfield will allow you to look at the safest areas, the areas with the most crime, and more.
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Understanding the Crime Rate in Bakersfield
So how are crime rates interpreted and reviewed? When cities, researchers, and law enforcement calculate crime rates, the number of crimes reported is divided by the city’s population, then that figure is multiplied by 100,000. Total crime is calculated and also separated into two categories, property crime, such as burglary, and violent crime such as assault. The data comes from the FBI Uniform Crime Statistics – 2019.
Here’s a quick look at total crime rates in Bakersfield:
- Bakersfield total crimes: 17,992
- Bakersfield total crime rate: 4,666 per 100,000 people
- Chance of being a victim of a crime in Bakersfield: 1 in 21
- Crime in Bakersfield fell 3% from 2018 to 2019
Every city’s police department and/or government website releases crime data. It’s a useful way to get a detailed look at the Bakersfield crime trends. Click here to review crime statistics from the Bakersfield Police.
Violent Crime in Bakersfield
Violent crimes in Bakersfield are something that many future residents are worried about. It’s one thing to have something stolen, but another to be hurt physically by violence. Violent crimes include homicide, murder, assault, manslaughter, sexual assault, rape, robbery, negligence, endangerment, kidnapping (abduction), extortion, and harassment, so it’s important to know the Bakersfield violent crime trends. Violent crime in Bakersfield has decreased overall since 2004. The overall violent crime rate in Bakersfield is 491 per 100,000 which is slightly higher than both the national average of 381 per 100,000 and the rate in California as a whole of 447 per 100,000. The chance of becoming a victim of violent crime in Bakersfield is lower than in Las Angeles, Fresno, and San Francisco.
- Bakersfield Murder Rate: 8 per 100,000 people
- Bakersfield Total Violent Crimes: 1,895
- 1 in 203 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in Bakersfield
Gang Activity in Bakersfield
One thing that many residents are worried about is the increase in gang activity throughout Bakersfield. This is because there have been a few cases of innocent people getting killed by gangs’ crossfire. Though the Bakersfield Police Department has a group dedicated to gang violence, there has still been an increase year by year in Bakersfield.
Property Crime in Bakersfield
Property crime may be more of a nuisance than anything else, but you want to be sure that your belongings are kept safe. Property crime in Bakersfield includes burglary, arson, theft, and vandalism. In Bakersfield, similar to the rest of the country, property crime rates are higher than violent crime rates. Property crime in Bakersfield is about 50% more prevalent than in the rest of the United States, however it has declined in Bakersfield since 2004 at a rate similar to that of the United States and California. The most common property crime in Bakersfield is theft.
- Bakersfield total property crimes: 16,097
- Bakersfield Property Crime Rate: 4,174
- 1 in 24 chance of being the victim of a property crime in Bakersfield
Dangerous Neighborhoods of Bakersfield
Every city is separated into neighborhoods, and crime rates can be significantly different when compared to other neighborhoods in the same city. The majority of Bakersfield’s crimes take place in the underserved and lower-income neighborhoods, which is a trend across the country. In Bakersfield, the least safe neighborhoods are:
- Population: 17,277
- Crime rate: 167% higher than the Bakersfield average
Lakeview is one of the bigger neighborhoods in Bakersfield on the southeast side of downtown. Cost of living is 15% below the average in Bakersfield and the real estate prices are 61% below the average for Bakersfield.
- Population: 15,785
- Crime rate: 79% higher than the Bakersfield average
East Bakersfield is also a large neighborhood. The cost of living is 16% below the Bakersfield average and real estate prices are 68% the city average.
- Population: 8,448
- Crime rate: 77% higher than the Bakersfield average
Laurel Glen is a midsize neighborhood on the southwest side of Bakersfield. It has an equal cost of living to the whole of Bakersfield and real estate prices are 5% lower.
Safest Areas in Bakersfield
Bakersfield is divided into 8 districts, and each district is broken down into numerous neighborhoods. Many of these neighborhoods are considered very safe! Here is a look at some of the most safe and secure neighborhoods in Bakersfield:
Csu (California State University) Bakersfield
- Population: 2,176
- Crime rate: 60% lower than the Bakersfield average
The cost of living in the CSU neighborhood is 7% higher than the Bakersfield average. The median household income in CSU Bakersfield is $73,200. The median home price there is $330,000, the real estate market in Edison Park is very competitive as many homes get multiple offers.
- Population: 4,178
- Crime rate: 43% lower than the Bakersfield average
Tevis Ranch cost of living is 1% higher than that of the whole of Bakersfield. More than half of the residents have children under the age of 18 in their household and the median age is 32. The median household income is $83,800 with the average sale price for homes at $283,000.
- Population: 2,438
- Crime rate: 35% lower than the Bakersfield average
Stockdale Estates cost of living is 23% higher than Bakersfield as a whole. The household income has a median value of $125,300, which is higher than most other areas of Bakersfield. Median home sale price is $415,000. The area is called home to professors, executives, and sales associates. The Stockdale Country Club offers its members a relaxing venue with country club activities right down the street.
Bakersfield Safety Tips – How to Avoid Crime in Bakersfield
- Travel in numbers
- Get involved in neighborhood activities
- Always be aware of your surroundings
- Uber or Lyft are usually safer than a taxicab
- Try not to go out in dangerous neighborhoods at night
- Gang violence has occured during the day as well, but it’s most often at night, so keep indoors once the sun sets
- Use the City of Bakersfield crime map regularly to stay up to date with current criminal activities in the city
Bakersfield Police Department
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The Bakersfield Police Department was formed in 1898. The city council formed the marshal’s office with the first marshal being Thomas Baker. The population of Bakersfield is 388,080 and there are 559 law enforcement employees with 380 of those being officers. This calculates to 1 officer per 1,000 residents of Bakersfield. The arrest data for the city can be requested through the Kern County Sheriff. The Bakersfield Police Department has a small holding area for inmates, but for those who are convicted, they’ll go to the Lerdo Detention Facility instead. The current Chief of Police in Bakersfield is Greg Terry.
Bakersfield Police Headquarters
1601 Truxtun Avenue Headquarters Bakersfield, CA 93301 (661)327-7111
Bakersfield Crime Rates FAQ
What is the crime rate in Bakersfield, California?
Bakersfield’s total crime rate is 4,666 per 100,000 people. There is a 1 in 21 chance of being a victim of a crime in Bakersfield.
What are the worst areas of Bakersfield?
The most dangerous areas in Bakersfield include Lakeview, East Bakersfield, and Laurel Glen.
Is Bakersfield safer than Los Angeles?
Total crime rates in Los Angels are higher than total crime rates in Bakersfield.
Considering a move to Bakersfield? Make sure you’re working with professionally trained movers, like Mentors Moving, throughout your relocation. Call us today at 661-215-6023 for your free quote!