It depends on where you are and what time of day it is. I would not want to be a female walking alone in the wee hours of the morning in South East SD, Logan Heights, Chula Vist. National City or San Ysidro (near the border). However, downtown SD, (there are homeless) and most other areas of SD are really quite safe. Lots of cops are around. especially in the tourist areas. North City areas, such as Mira Mesa, Scripps Ranch, PQ, RB etc as well as the Northern Beach communities are safe (Del Mar, Cardiff-By-The-Sea, Encinitas etc) are really safe. Watch yourself in Ocean Beach. You need to stay alert in Pacific Beach (PB) and Mission Beach). Coronado is really safe. I would be kind of careful in Point Loma late at night. Clairmont is OK. Linda Vista can be unsafe at night. Generally, I would say that San Diego is a really beautiful and fairly safe city for it’s size, population, ethnic diversity and popularity. La Jolla, of course is (usually) very safe, even late night, though it is a beach area. Where I lived I rarely locked my door when I was home. I did have an alarm system with a motion detector however. I feel much less safe, here in Butte, Montana than I ever did in San Diego.
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