In general, the safer "places" would be 2nd floor and higher without street access. And if you have street level access (windows, weak doors), make sure to secure it well, especially vulnerable spots are in backyard or behind plants (away from neighbors' sight).
As for each area is safer, there were some great places mentioned already. But the best way is always to drive by at night and try to look and feel it for yourself.
Coldwell Banker Star Realty
460 Pacific Coast Hwy.
Seal Beach, Ca. 90740
Looking at the crime website below will provide you the information about safety. And you can decide if this is the place for you. I lived at the Beach for 15 years and I loved it and my tenants who live there now rarely leave except when they are ready to buy their first home. Often if they can afford it is in those areas I mentioned. A friend of mine who was just 79 just sold her home in Naples where she lived 50 ft from the water for $675K and loved the area so much she bought a condo with an ocean view and a lovely balcony at the Fountain in Naples which she felt would be less responsibility than her home of 35 years.
I would love the opportunity to chat and share my 35 years of experience and help you find a wonderful place to live.
Barbara Robbins-Olexa, Broker,e-Pro(R), SRES(R)
Servicing Long Beach & Neighboring Communities for 34+ years
Although the question asks "safest" place to reside, it would be misinforming to select one property over another without projection of any time of crime and/or activity. I suggest to all when seeking a specific area to reside, consult with the local Police Department and/or internet with sites such as http://www.crimereports.com where you can input addresses and areas of your desired living may be and the reports will give you thefts, sex offenders, assaults, etc.
Hope I have been of some help to you. When you are ready to visit Long Beach to procure a rental home, please feel to call me at (949) 381-9847 and our team will be happy to take you out on tour!
Jim Dunn, MBA
TRI CROWN REAL ESTATE
Founded in 1992
Belmont Shore and Belmont Heights are definitely what you described in your question. Safe, friendly easy going people, walking distance to shops and restaurants but there are other parts of town that are good too. Depends on your budget, if you like a house or a condo and if you are renting or buying. I just gave a client a tour of Long Beach and introduced him to different areas. I'd be happy to do the same for you. This is a free service and never an obligation for you to use our brokerage. It will be our pleasure to show you the city. My contact information is below. Feel free to call anytime.
Address: 295 Redondo Ave, Suite 102, Long Beach, CA 90803