If you check the following crime map:
you'll see that almost all of the crime falls into 3 categories--
(1) vandalism of property or auto
(2) drugs possession, or
(3) assault, with the vast majority of these being assault by a man against his wife or girlfriend in a domestic incident.
You'll also see that almost all of these offenses occur either in the Santa Cruz downtown, Live Oak, Watsonville or (for #1 and #2) the rural Ben Lomond areas, while there are essentially zero incidences of crime in Scotts Valley, and in the upper-income beach areas of Santa Cruz, Capitola, or Rio del Mar..
There are a lot of vagrants or homeless people living on the streets that make their way into the crime areas, and these are the ones that commit crime types #1 and #2. On the other hand, crime type #3 is mainly committed in lower-income households where finances and drugs lead to the altercations. If you stay out of those areas, and focus your housing search in the other higher-income, more affluent areas mentioned, you'll see essentially zero crime.