Is Costa Mesa Safe? (Crime Rates And Crime Stats For 2022)


Costa Mesa is one of the most vibrant cities in Orange County. The food and shopping options are damn near unlimited and there is so many things to see and do.

If you are thinking about visiting Costa Mesa and have qualms about the safety of the city, we got you covered. We deep dived into the statistics, crime rates and talked to the residents of the city to give you a better understanding of how safe the safe the city really is.

Is Costa Mesa safe?

is costa mesa safe

Statistically speaking, Costa Mesa is a safe city as indicated by its crime rates. In 2021, Costa Mesa had a violent crime rate of 591.42 per 100,000 residents, which is 48% greater than the national average. Costa Mesa’s had a similar crime rate to Long Beach and Santa Ana.

Here’s a scale to give you some perspective on Costa Mesa’s crime rate

costa mesa crime rate

Costa Mesa Crime Rates And Crime Stats

The most recent, complete set of crime statistics comes from the FBI UCR and cross referenced with the Costa Mesa PD and are for 2020 and 2021:

Costa Mesa police reported a total of 4,410 offenses in 2021, compared with 4,098 in 2020, which is a 7.61% year-over-year decrease.

2020

2021

% Change

Homicide

4

1

-75.00%

Rape

64

67

4.69%

Robbery

116

145

25.00%

Aggravated Assaults

304

442

45.39%

VIOLENT CRIME TOTALS

488

655

34.22%

Burglary

512

507

-0.98%

Larceny

2,698

2,801

3.82%

Motor Vehicle Theft

369

425

15.18%

Arson

31

22

-29.03%

PROPERTY CRIME TOTALS

3,610

3,755

4.02%

TOTAL CRIME

4,098

4,410

7.61%

Violent Crime Rate

In 2021 Costa Mesa reported 655 violent crimes and had a violent crime rate of 591.42 per 100,000 residents. Costa Mesa’s violent crime rate is 81% less than the national average.

Year over year violent crime increased 34% and the majority of the increase can be attributed to aggravated assaults which increased 45% and robberies which increased 25%.

You have a 1 in 169 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime in Costa Mesa.

Violent crimes include; homicides, rape, robbery and aggravated assaults.

Here’s a graph showing you how violent crime has trended in Costa Mesa in the last 12 years.

violent crimes in costa mesa graph

Property Crime Rate

In 2021 Costa Mesa reported 3,755 property crimes and had a property crime rate of 3,390.52 per 100,000 residents. Costa Mesa’s property crime rate is 73% higher than the national average.

Year over year property crime increased 4%.

You have a 1 in 29 chance of becoming a victim of property crime in Costa Mesa.

Property crimes include; burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.

Murder Rate

In 2021 Costa Mesa reported 1 murders and had a murder rate of 0.90 per 100,000 residents.

Year over year murders decreased 75%.

You have a 1 in 110,750 chance of becoming a victim of property crime in Costa Mesa.

Costa Mesa Crime Map

Here’s a map showing you all the locations of violent crime (homicides, assaults and robberies) in Costa Mesa from 6/4/2022 – 6/18/2022 via Costa Mesa PD

costa mesa crime graph

Costa Mesa’s crime rate vs other cities in California (2020)

Here’s how Costa Mesa’s crime rate compared to other cities in California. Costa Mesa had the lowest crime rate of all cities listed.

 

Population

Violent Crime Rate

Oakland

440,646

1,347.34

Stockton

320,804

1,254.04

Los Angeles

3,898,747

727.39

Sacramento

524,943

675.69

Fresno

542,107

656.70

Costa Mesa 110,750 591.42

San Francisco

873,965

556.89

Long Beach

466,742

501.99

Bakersfield

403,455

497.45

San Jose

1,013,240

431.78

San Diego

1,386,932

382.35

Anaheim

346,824

357.82

Mission Viejo 95,638 74.24

Costa Mesa’s Crime Rate Comparison

Here’s a list of the top 23 most dangerous cities in the United States ranked by violent crime rates. Costa Mesa’s violent crime rate is 5 times less than Monroe, Louisiana, the most dangerous city on the list.

City

Population

Violent Crime Rate per 100,000 people

Monroe

47,702

2,932.79

Memphis

633,104

2,418.24

Atlantic City

38,497

2,335.25

Saginaw

44,202

2,327.95

Detroit

639,111

2,248.44

St. Louis

301,578

1,995.17

Alexandria

45,275

1,877.42

Pine Bluff

41,253

1,808.35

Little Rock

202,591

1,805.11

Milwaukee

577,222

1,733.13

South Bend

103,453

1,706.09

Cleveland

372,624

1,689.10

Camden

71,791

1,632.52

Birmingham

200,733

1,577.22

Kansas City

508,090

1,558.58

Baltimore

585,708

1,460.11

Albuquerque

564,559

1,406.41

Chattanooga

181,099

1,382.67

San Bernardino

222,101

1,365.59

New Orleans

383,997

1,358.08

Oakland

440,646

1,347.34

Costa Mesa 110,750 591.42

Is the public transportation in Costa Mesa, CA safe?

The public transportation system in Costa Mesa is handled by the OCTA, which offers many routes that interweave throughout the entire city.

The OCTA is generally a safe option to use during the day and night.

Is Downtown Costa Mesa safe?

Downtown Costa Mesa (Triangle Square) is safe during the day and at night. It is a well populated area and there is usually a good police presence.

The only thing you really need to worry about is some drunk idiot coming out of a bar and trying to start a fight.

Is Costa Mesa, CA safe at night?

Costa Mesa is safe at night. The westside of the city can get a little sketchy at night, so we advise you to not walk by yourself in that area at night. The area is highlighted in red.

westside costa mesa

What do residents of Costa Mesa say about it’s safety?

is costa mesa safe

  1. Costa Mesa is safe. There are some areas that are sketchy at night but this is Orange County and efven the worse areas in OC arent really that bad.
  2. Anyone that tells you that Costa Mesa is bad, lives in a suburban bubble and has no perspective outside that bubble.
  3. The westside of Costa Mesa gets a bad rap because a lot of residents are Hispanic, but its not bad at all.
  4. West Costa Mesa is know as the ‘bad area’ but only because it isn’t as affluent as the East Side.
  5. When it comes to safety, Costa Mesa is in the middle. It’s not as safe as Irvine and its not as dangerous as Stanton or Santa Ana.
  6. Costa Mesa is the middle ground of Orange County. There are affluent areas and there are some not so great areas, and sometimes, they overlap.
  7. The area around Victoria/Placentia is the sketchy area but its being gentrified rather quickly.
  8. I live in the westside I am a middle-aged white lady and I never felt in danger while living here. All our neighbors are working class families and are super friendly.
  9. I was born and raised here and I can confidently say that Costa Mesa is safe. Never encountered any serious crime. The only thing thats happened to me is having some stuff stolen from my car, but that’s about it.
  10. Costa Mesa is pretty safe. The westside has some homeless there and a large hispanic population and some people will tell you that it is unsafe for one of those reasons. But I have never encountered problems there. It might have been bad in the 90s but its really cleaned up and is rapidly being gentrified, for better or worse.

Tips to stay safe while visiting Costa Mesa, CA

  • Familiarize yourself with the city before you arrive. Figure out what parts of the city are safe and what parts are sketchy and plan your trip with that knowledge
  • Avoid walking by yourself at night, especially around the westside of Costa Mesa.
  • Don’t leave valuables in your car. Put anything worth value in your trunk. Make your car as uninviting to thieves as possible.
  • Always keep an eye on your drink. Don’t accept drinks from strangers unless it comes directly from the bartender.
  • Don’t engage with homeless people. Avoid them and keep walking.

Facts about Costa Mesa, CA

is costa mesa safe

  • The population of Costa Mesa in 2020 was 110,750 and is the 58th most populous city in California.
  • The city covers a land area of 15.81sq mi.
  • The median age was 33.6 years.
  • 85.8% of residents 25 and older is a high school graduate. 41.1% of residents 25 and older has a bachelors degree or higher.
  • The median income for a household in the city was $90,370. The per capita income for the city was $44,291.
  • 10.3% of the population live below the poverty line.
  • The median home value in Costa Mesa is $1.25M in 2022.
  • In 2022, the average rent for a Costa Mesa 2-bedroom apartment is $2,695.

Mariska Lee

Mariska is a recovering attorney who gave up her professional job to discover new perspectives of life while traveling in a 2009 Ford Transit. She has been living the van life for 3 years and has not looked back since.

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