Author Topic: Determining safety of places to move to  (Read 3367 times)

Shajenko

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Determining safety of places to move to
« on: April 07, 2015, 09:12:36 PM »
I am looking into the whole idea of moving much closer to work to save money on commuting.  Problem is, the whole town has a reputation for crime.  I have one colleague whose house was robbed repeatedly.

How can I try and find the few safe-ish places that might exist in the town?  How do you check the crime rate of neighborhoods where you purchase houses?

Learner

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Re: Determining safety of places to move to
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2015, 04:30:04 AM »
Depending where you live, the police might have crime stats that are displayed.  Try googling something like "cityname crime heat map" (or even omit the heat portion).  Just keep in mind that those will be reported crimes, so the actual amount could be a fair bit higher.

If you're not extremely rushed, try walking through the neighbourhoods that you are considering as well, at a variety of times of day. 

deborah

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Re: Determining safety of places to move to
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2015, 04:42:17 AM »
I used to live in an area that had a high burglary rate, and I was burgled seven times while I lived there. However, I found that having a "back to base" monitored alarm, and stickers on EVERY window saying this helped a lot. The last burgler we had decided that the one window without a sticker was obviously unprotected.

I went to a few of the "neighourhood watch" meetings, where they told us the statistics for the area, and gave tips and tricks.

Living in an upstairs (rather than a ground level) apartment certainly helps, and a street full of apartments tended to be burgled more than a street of mainly houses. There were also more other crimes in apartment streets - car theft... Having a dog reduces risk, and shrubs and trees hiding the front of the house are magnets for crime (the criminal has cover).

Le Poisson

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Re: Determining safety of places to move to
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2015, 05:26:57 AM »
A couple ways.

1. Call the police. Seems obvious. They will tell you what they think of the area. Its not stats driven, and cops have the same bias as everyone else, but they will know.
2. Stop by a pizza place near where you want to move to and ask the delivery guys what areas they are most careful in. As a pizza dude you see a lot of stuff go down in a lot of areas.

okonomiyaki

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Re: Determining safety of places to move to
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2015, 07:38:44 AM »
Heatmap. Police. Go and check out the neighbourhood. Also, try commuting to see what it's actually like.

Also, is crime always just == break-ins? Or can mugging or other, arguably more serious and potentially life-threatening crimes happen? Because it's always a cost-benefit, and for me losing my crap is much less scary than losing my health (I have the wonderful experience of stopping the bleeding on my father's head when he was hit by a crowbar on the way home from work when I was 15. If he were less tall, he would have probably been dead. And this was in an "OK" neighbourhood.)

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Living in an upstairs (rather than a ground level) apartment certainly helps, and a street full of apartments tended to be burgled more than a street of mainly houses. There were also more other crimes in apartment streets - car theft... Having a dog reduces risk, and shrubs and trees hiding the front of the house are magnets for crime (the criminal has cover).

In cities where I've lived /east coast US, now Oz - not specifying more since the combo is relatively unique and hence identifiable/, a non-ground-floor apartment -without fire escapes - has always been safer than a house, because there are other people around that can  notice burglars. And I would take a retired elderly neighbour over a guard dog or monitored alarm any day...

Shajenko

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Re: Determining safety of places to move to
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2015, 09:58:28 AM »
I'm looking at the crime map on Trulia, and the whole town appears green, as in no crime.  I somehow don't believe that in the slightest. 

I don't have a specific place or even a specific neighborhood in mind at the moment, so I'll use the other tips when I do.

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Determining safety of places to move to
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2015, 04:29:07 PM »

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Determining safety of places to move to
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2015, 04:35:56 PM »
did you check the actual police department website? obviously not all towns will have the crime map but ours is pretty sweet.

I also agree that elderly neighbors (or just neighbors at home) are awesome. my coworker's house was burgled a couple years ago. one of her neighbors is a stay-at-home mom... she saw the crooks and called her husband at work, he called their other neighbors who are a retired couple, and the man stepped outside his house to look just as one of the burglars (a young woman) was coming outside to meet a car that pulled up. maybe a little dangerous on his part, but he asked, "can I help you?" and she said something like, "oh, I'm just here helping a friend..." he asked who the friend was and she got into the car and drove away. some of their jewelry and smaller stuff was gone, but the TVs were all unplugged so they think the first two thieves showed up on foot and then had a friend coming to meet them in a car to get the big stuff. so the neighbors were a huge help!

Eric

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Re: Determining safety of places to move to
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2015, 04:39:26 PM »
I'm looking at the crime map on Trulia, and the whole town appears green, as in no crime.  I somehow don't believe that in the slightest. 

Trulia is a real estate website, yes?  Their job is to sell houses.  Maps of crime ridden areas would work against that goal.  Find a better source.