Finding neighborhood crime statistics and safety ratings online is easier than ever thanks to these helpful websites. Remember, you don’t just live in a house, you also live in a neighborhood. Being aware of your area’s crime can help you best protect your family as well as your property.
CrimeReports. Ranked in 2014 by Time Magazine as one of the 50 best websites, CrimeReports works with thousands of law enforcement agencies to publish crime data and improve communication with the public. You can enter an address or use the advanced search option to discover crime statistics up to the last six months or by a date range. Another option is to search by specific crimes. Or, if you know about a crime, you can submit a crime tip to alert others. You can also sign up for daily, weekly or monthly crime alerts. All of these services are available for free, including the CrimeReports iPhone app.
SpotCrime. Gathering data about crime incidents from law enforcement agencies, news reports and user tips, SpotCrime plots them geographically using Google Maps. Every crime is assigned an icon, so you’ll get a clear picture of the types of crimes in a community. Access to the crime maps is free (just type in an address or zip code) and users can sign up to be alerted to criminal activity in their area via text message, email, Facebook or Twitter. Like CrimeReports, SpotCrime offers a free iPhone app. Their blog also offers lots of good information on crime awareness, new cities covered by SpotCrime and how to get the most value out of the site.
NeighborhoodScout. This web-based search engine uses FBI and U.S. Justice Department stats to build neighborhood and city profiles to compare crimes as well as other lifestyle characteristics. You can search by a specific address or use the advance search tool to find a neighborhood that best matches your lifestyle criteria. The neighborhood is then described in detail and linked to information that’s valuable to a newcomer. A paid monthly or annual subscription is required to access the crime data, which includes information on a location’s overall, property or violent crimes as well as an individual’s chance of becoming a victim of crime within any neighborhood.
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