Is Oakland Safe?


With a high crime rate and a large amount of arrests, Oakland, California needs many good bail bondsmen.

Bail bonds, which are technically known as surety bonds, are a contractual agreement between a licensed bail bondsman and a signer/cosigner (which can sometimes be the defendant themselves or a related party) that guarantees that a defendant will appear in court. In exchange, the bail bondsman provides the funds required for the defendant to be released from jail until their hearing. The signer of the bail bond pays a fee (usually 10%) for this service.

Bail Bond Process

The bail bond process begins when a person is arrested. The defendant, or a related party (such as a family member or friend) contacts a bail bond agency. This agency collects information to determine the level of risk that the defendant will appear at their hearing. Questions include the charges, when the person was arrested, the relationship between the signer and the defendant, the employment of both the defendant and the signer, along with other questions involving their financial situation (similar to questions asked when applying for a loan).

Once the bail bondsman determines the level of risk involved in “bailing out” the defendant is in their favor, the bail documents will be processed. These documents include the application, the indemnity agreement, as well as the receipt. Once this paperwork is finalized, the bondsman will post the bond with the jailhouse in which the defendant is being held. Subsequent to this posting of bond, the defendant will be released.

Oakland, CA Crime Statistics

According to, Oakland, CA has a crime index of 1 (meaning that Oakland is only safer than 1% of US cities). This statistic means that Oakland has a relatively high rate of both property crime and violent crime.

Violent Crime

Oakland’s has over 7000 violent crimes a year. With a population of just over 400,000, this means the city has a per capita violent crime rate of 17 per 1000 people. Considering the national median of per capita violent crime is 3.8, this figure is above average. Specifically, the per capita murder rate is 0.2 per 1000 people, five times average than the US average of 0.04 per 1000 people. The rate of rape is double the national average, with 0.72 rapes per 1000 people, compared the national rate of 0.37 per 1000 people. The rate of robbery in Oakland is 8.47 per 1000 people, compared to the national average of 1.02 per 1000 people. Assaults are 7.62 per 1000 people, compared to the national rate of 2.32 per 1000 people.

Property Crime

Along with the high rate of violent crime, Oakland has a high property crime rate. There are nearly 25,000 property crimes a year in the city of Oakland, with a per capita property crime rate of 60.28 per 1000 people. The national median of per capita property crime in the United States is 26. The rate of burglary in Oakland is 9.72 per 1000 people, nearly double the national rate of 5.43 per 1000 people. The rate of theft is 34.48 per 1000 people (compared to the national rate of 18.37 per 1000 people). Motor vehicle thefts are 8 times higher than the national rate, with 16.08 car thefts per 1000 people, compared to only 2.16 per 1000 for the national average.

Chances of Becoming A Victim 

The chances of becoming a victim of violent crime in Oakland is 1 in 59. Compared to the chances of being a victim in the whole State of California (which is 1 in 252), your risk of being a victim is relatively higher.

For property crime, the chances of becoming a victim in Oakland is 1 in 17. For the whole State of California, the chances are only 1 in 41.

Crimes Per Square Mile

Given that Oakland is a densely populated city (as well as a city with a high rate of crime), it’s crimes per square mile rate is 17 times the national median, with 570 crimes per square mile. In the State of California as a whole, there are 83 crimes per square miles, the national median being 32.8.