It has become a pop cultural myth that Los Angeles and its surrounding suburbs have high crime rates and are unsafe places to live. However, statistics show again and again that crime rates in Los Angeles are low compared to many other major US cities and have been on the decline for many years.

Nonetheless, Los Angeles is very different from surrounding counties such as Ventura County, which has been a safe place to live, work, play and retire for many years. Ventura County crime rates, including the cities of Simi Valley and Westlake Village, paint a bright picture for older adults looking forward to using their retirement to engage in more social or civic activities, pursue interests, enjoy the company of grandkids or simply relax without the rigors and stresses of a work life.

Ventura County Crime Statistics

Crime rates vary across the state of California, however, the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) reports that the property and violent crime rates in California are falling. They’re even lower than they were 50 years ago. That means that, as a whole, California is becoming a safer place to live and retire.

According to the PPICs latest figures, the lowest rates of crime – property and violent – were on the South Coast, naming specifically Imperial, Orange, San Diego and Ventura Counties.

The Ventura County crime rate is lower than the national rate. On a scale of 1 (low crime) to 100 (high crime), violent crime in Ventura County is 16.6 compared to the national rate of 22.7. Violent crime in California is rated at 25.2. This means that Ventura County crime rates are substantially lower than the state itself. The county’s property crime is 30.2 compared to the state’s 37.1 and the national rate of 35.4.

With lower average crime rates, Ventura County is one of the safer places to live both compared to the state of California and to the United States as a whole.

When looking at the Ventura County crime statistics provided by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, violent crime and property crime have seen an overall decrease in the last several years. Those statistics get even better when you start comparing life in individual towns within Ventura County. Two of residents’ favorites are Westlake Village and Simi Valley.

Westlake Village Safety

According to, Westlake Village is #17 on the list of best places to retire in California. With a small population of 8,424, Westlake Village offers a sparse suburban feel and is home to many retirees.

If you want to know how safe a community is, just listen to what people who live in it are saying. On, Westlake Village resident describes the community as the “best city in the world,” saying “it really is a great place to live if you are looking for a nice balance of social/recluse life.”

Another resident shared this about Westlake Village: “Consistently rated as one of the safest towns in the country. Great sense of community and self-policing, as well as police/emergency services.”

With safety as one of its top recommenders, Westlake Village also offers residents a beautiful location near the water – both a lake and the ocean. It’s a short drive from several natural spaces as well, which residents can enjoy without worrying about safety.

Simi Valley Safety

Just north of Westlake Village is Simi Valley, which lists as the #7 in the best places to raise a family in Ventura County.

One resident shared this about their experience of life in Simi Valley, “This town has always had a history as one of the safest cities in America. I have loved growing up in a small community where you will always see someone you know when you go out to a restaurant or bar.” Another resident even said, “I appreciate the stable and reassuring environment. I feel like I could leave my doors open and not worry about someone coming to steal from me.”

Simi Valley borders several open space parks, which give its residents beautiful views that they can enjoy from their homes or while enjoying public areas. Residents rarely worry about safety while at home or out and about.

Retire Safely in Ventura County

Ventura County is a safe place to live for both young families and older adults, and it is getting safer year by year. Do you want to know something even more comforting? Ventura County residents of retirement age – those over the age of 50 – have the lowest rates of violent crime victimization of any other age group in the nation.