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How Safe is Your Neighborhood?

How Safe is Your Neighborhood? Tools for checking crime data

8 Tools for researching crime data in your neighborhood.

The internet makes it very quick and easy to research your neighborhood’s crime data. Armed with crime stats can help you decide what area of a city you want to live in, move to, or open your business in. It’s a great idea to do this research, as being aware of potential crime and security risks help you create a security plan and decide what kind of security measures you might want to take.

You can find tools that show you crime statistics for your state, city, or local neighborhood. Often, research and data area based on zip codes. While all tools will help you find and gather data; some tools are websites and some are apps. There are also hyper-local and neighborhood-based information-sharing apps that you can use to informally access a neighborhood’s safety and “vibe.” These allow you to make connections and send users alerts; some allow video sharing should an incident happen near you or you’re curious about something going on near you.

Take a look at frequently-used tools and see which work best for your needs:

Crime Information and Data Tools

AREA The Area Vibes website helps U.S. and Canadian users “find the best places to live” by address, neighborhood, zip code, city, state or province. AreaVibes shows users a Livability Score which is created by using a their algorithm that analyzes many characteristics in nine categories that include amenities, commute, cost of living, crime rates, employment, health & safety, housing, and schools as well as accessibility of health care facilities, affordable housing, affordability and cost of living, air quality, availability of public transit, low crime rates, low unemployment rates and user rating.

NEIGHBORHOOD Neighborhood Scout is a subscription-based service and allows users to search for crime date for large areas such as a state or city, a zip code or address, down to very specific latitude/logitude coordinates. The site offers crime information whether you’re moving or investing, and covers demographic, housing, school performance and real estate trends

SPOT Spot Crime is a crime mapping website that allow users to see city, county and local crime statistics. Crime data is collected from police agencies and other trusted sources and plotted on a Google map. Use Spot crime on their website or app to find crime data, get a crime report, or submit a crime tip. Sign up for daily or weekly email crime alerts.

    FBI CRIME DATA EXPLORERThe Federal Bureau of Investigation‘s crime data explorer website allows you to see crime trends (specify a time span), search for a state and type of crime (person, property or specific crimes such as hate crimes), crimes in certain locations (an address, a structure) and committed by whom. As it takes some time to aggregate national crime statistics, the FBI’s 2022 estimated crime statistics are based on data from 15,726 of 18,888 participating law enforcement agencies in the U.S.

    Especially Important Tools for Families

    FAMILY Family Watchdog is an free online service whose goal is helping keep families safe by locating registered sex offenders in areas you live in or frequently visit. Users enter an address, city, state or zip code to find information. The site offers safety information and FAQs regarding offenders to educate users on possible dangerous people in your area. Family Watchdog also sends users alerts when offenders move into or out of areas, as well as monthy safety tips. The site does show advertisements for public records and background searches should you need to delve deeper.

    NATIONAL SEX OFFENDER PUBLIC – Use the website or download the NSOPW app to search sex offender registries through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. Territories, Indian Country and tribal governments. The Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW) provides users with the public safety data and the whereabouts of sex offender to increase the safety of adults and children. Search by for information by name, location, and town using a distance from 1 to 3 miles. NSOPW offers safety and prevention information on sexual abuse and assault.

    Neighborhood Information Forums Via the Citizen app, users are able to monitor their neighborhoods and according to Citizen, “connect and live more safely.” By using the Citizen app, users can create a personal safety network and access 911 alerts; using the premium membership, users can get help from crisis responders and use the safety tracking function for friends and families. Users are able to upload videos of what’s happening as well.

    NEXT Next Door is a forum-type site (or download the app) where users exchange news and information from neighbors, businesses and public agencies in real time. Crime data is one aspect of safety research; connecting with people and developing personal connections can give users another facet of a neighborhood. Being a forum, users can alert neighbors to a happening (lost pet, power outage, street closer or accident), use a marketplace, get recommendations and more.

    The best thing a human being can do is to help another human being to know more.

    Charles Thomas Munger (January 1, 1924 – November 28, 2023),
    American businessman, investor, and philanthropist.

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