5 Apps & Websites To Help Determine Just How Safe a Neighborhood Really is
While Americans spend more than $20 billion dollars a year on neighborhood safety measures, a lot of it is based more on feelings than facts. One of the biggest catch-22s is that the people who are spending the highest for home security systems tend to live in some of the safest neighborhoods.
The cheapest way to ensure that you have neighborhood safety and security is to just use one of the many sites and apps that aggregate readily available data.
Here are just a few to help you find out how safe your new or current neighborhood is.
1. Next Door
If you want to know how safe or protected a neighborhood is, why not find out what the people who live in the neighborhood are saying about it? The site Next Door is a site that’s heavily moderated to ensure that only neighbors are posting on it about neighborly things.
While you might see things get spicy from time to time, it becomes a fast resource to get a feel for a neighborhood. After you’ve moved into a new neighborhood, you can use it as a resource. If you want to know the best place to buy spray paint or Thai food, you’ll get a wide range of opinions quickly.
NextDoor might also feel like the old days of the internet, where listservs churned out new posts on a constant basis. However, you might get the chance to see what the talk of the neighborhood is, whether dog poop, local politics, or best pizza.
2. Area Vibes
If you want to research a new city and its neighborhoods, one of the best ways to start is by using AreaVibes. The site has a proprietary scale for measuring liveability called a “Livability Score”. From zero to 100, you’ll find out just how good of a place it is to live.
Each town, neighborhood, or community will be ranked for the schools, crime rate, weather, cost of living, the overall housing market and what kind of amenities it has. Enter any address or zip code and you’ll get a detailed ranking. The “neighborhoods” tab is great for breaking down into specific information.
Safety is the top reason why people research a new neighborhood and AreaVibes has the stats to break things down. You get to see the neighborhood’s official crime rate and crime stats. You’ll also get a chance to compare that crime rate to the national average and the state average along with the chances you’ll deal with a crime there.
While Moving.com might seem like the place to go for information about basic moving details, it has much more than that. Their City Profile Reports contain everything you need to know about crime stats when moving to a new city. They contain comprehensive safety information with a free tool to help look at every aspect of a new city.
These reports contain information about crime as well as information about the quality of schools in the region. You’ll find general city statistics, residential information, climate data, and the cost of living.
These reports are updated every single year and will bring together a number of other reports to give you a good idea of what to expect.
You’ll find census bureau information mixed with info from the Bureau of Labor’s employment information, and then a mix of info from the IRS. The FBI and local police stats are thrown in to give a fuller view of crime information. Together, these reports all give an idea of what living in a region is like and how safe you’re likely to feel while living there.
4. City Project Crime Reports
While the other sites above give you lots of valuable information about living in a region or moving to a new place, they’re not all crime focused on checking neighborhood safety. If you want just the crime data on what’s happening in a specific area, you’re going to love CrimeReports.
City Project Crime Reports has an exclusive mapping tool that gives you the information you’re looking for in a specific area. According to the website, they’re calling themselves the “largest collection of law enforcement agencies” in an effort to offer transparency and a way for the public to access info.
Anyone can submit a crime tip to a law enforcement agency via the website. Local law enforcement agencies update reports on a regular basis, even up to the minute so that users get valuable crime information from the site. Even private citizens are allowed to offer up their own personal security cameras as a way for people to see what’s happening in the neighborhood.
This site is like NextDoor but for private security sleuths. If you want to get involved with your neighbors and share info on what’s going on, this is the site for you.
5. Spot Crime
Some people are looking for super-specific crime data and those people will love using SpotCrime. SpotCrime offers specific incident data and connects it to a Google Map. It creates one of the most user-friendly ways of finding information about a region ever made possible.
So if you are thinking about cruising your city bike through Mount Pleasant, DC you can check out the safety ratings!
It’s a lot like CrimeReports in that it will take local police data. It also includes news reports mixed with user-generated content. The owners of the company want to ensure that users get timely, geocoded information that feels useful.
Enter an address and let the tool do the rest.
Neighborhood Safety Is Easy to Come By
If you go to some of the biggest cities on the map, you’ll find that many are safer than ever. In fact, New York City is now the safest big city in America, a drastic change from the 1970s that many remember. That’s often thanks to changes organized efforts toward neighborhood safety.
If you really want to get to know a place intimately, why not try a scavenger hunt?