The preliminary crime data for 2009 released Monday shows that Irvine last year experienced just 0.7 violent crimes — murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault — per 1,000 residents.
New York City, by comparison, had 5.5 violent crimes per 1,000 residents, and Los Angeles had 5.8.
Irvine had 14.6 part 1 crimes — murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, vehicle theft and arson — per 1,000 residents, 6% lower than last year and the lowest in the city's history.
"Being safe means being engaged as a community," Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang said in a press release. "This is an achievement that can be shared by all of our residents."
The number of violent crimes reported in Irvine actually rose last year, from 129 in 2008 to 151 in 2009.
The FBI released the preliminary numbers in its annual uniform crime report. Nationwide, law enforcement agencies reported a 5.5% decrease in the number of violent crimes.
Santa Ana was the Orange County city with the most violent crime last year, with 5.1 incidents per 1,000 residents reported.
Violent Crimes in O.C.Anaheim, 3.5 incidents per 1,000
Costa Mesa, 2.8 incidents per 1,000
Fullerton, 4.0 incidents per 1,000
Garden Grove, 3.3 incidents per 1,000
Huntington Beach, 1.9 incidents per 1,000
Orange, 1.2 incidents per 1,000