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Whether you're a homeowner or you’re deciding where to live, safety is of the utmost importance. You need to understand the precautions you should take given the area you live in and know ways to improve the safety of you and your family.
Thankfully, several tools can help you understand the safety of your neighborhood. These apps and websites will help you understand the types of crime commonly reported in your area so you know how to best secure your home and stay safe in your neighborhood.
Use these tools in conjunction with an alarm system, video doorbells, smart locks, and alarm monitoring services to keep your property and family safe, as well as give you greater peace of mind at home.
These tools can also be helpful when you’re looking at potential neighborhoods to live in. You can explore neighborhood features like crime rate, schools, and walkability before you even begin looking at houses or apartments there.
Whether you’re looking to stay safe in your own neighborhood or searching for a new one, here are nine apps and websites to help you determine how safe your neighborhood is.
CrimeReports offers a focused approach to area security. You can search for crime reports by entering a specific address, making this website ideal for investigating potential areas to move to or checking what’s happening around your current home. Local law enforcement agencies regularly update the information online to ensure users have access to the most recent crime information.
CrimeReports has two additional helpful features: Users can submit crime tips to local law enforcement, and they can sign up to receive crime alerts so they are always aware of crime in their area.
Access to the website is free, but CrimeReports does require you to sign up as a member to receive alerts.
If you’re looking for an easy and efficient way to get a general overview of a neighborhood, check out AreaVibes. It factors in multiple data points—such as schools, cost of living, and crime rates—to give areas an overall “liveability” score out of 100. The app provides a simple way to get a sense of the community you're living in or considering moving to.
To use AreaVibes, visit the website and enter the address, neighborhood name, or zip code of the area you’re searching for. You can also find specific information through the Neighborhoods section, such as the local crime statistics and how they compare to the national averages.
Although it is necessary to create an account, the AreaVibes app is free to use.
FamilyWatchdog is a free service designed to help users identify registered sex offenders in their neighborhoods. The website is easy to use and comprehensive. Users can search by area or by entering the names of specific individuals.
If you search by area, the site will generate a map with color-coded pins to indicate the different types of sexual offenders located within that zone. Clicking on these pins gives you more detailed information, including pictures (when available) of the registered sex offenders.
A standout feature of the FamilyWatchdog website is the option to sign up for its notification service, which will alert you when a sex offender moves to your neighborhood.
Once you create an account, you are able to join your neighborhood's Nextdoor group. Here, you can discuss local events, make recommendations, and share crime and safety information by posting about incidents in the area. You can also use a filter for streamlined viewing if you only want to see posts about crime.
Typically only residents of a community have access to a neighborhood’s Nextdoor, so it’s not ideal for scouting potential new locations to live in. However, if you want to connect with your existing neighbors and stay up-to-date about your community, then Nextdoor is the site for you.
NeighborhoodScout is an accessible website that aims to increase your knowledge of the area you live in. You can create custom searches for real-time information about a specific area. The site also provides any relevant information pertaining to the searched area, including violent crime, property crime statistics, and local school information.
When you request information, NeighborhoodScout compares the search to other neighborhoods in various cities, as well as to state and national averages. This means the information is relevant and can help you make more informed decisions. While access to the website and information on a state and city level is free, NeighborhoodScout charges a monthly subscription for neighborhood and school information.
SpotCrime is a free platform you can use to view crime data within a city or suburb. It collects, interprets, and shares data with users by mapping out crimes and providing relevant information about them. SpotCrime collects its data from local law enforcement agencies, news reports, and local users.
The mapping clearly marks the types of crimes and where the crimes occurred with an easy to understand index. SpotCrime displays reports ranging from arrests and arson to burglary and shootings. This platform also alerts users via email and social media to any new crimes that occur within specified areas.
The National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW) is a user-friendly website that’s especially helpful when parents are looking at possible neighborhoods to move to. When you search for a specific area, you’re able to see up-to-date information about registered sex offenders nearby, and you can even view their photographs. The website is also helpful for parents who want to be aware of registered sex offenders in their current neighborhood.
Both the app and the website are free to use, and both provide clear and concise information on how to navigate the platform. NSOPW further provides parents with crucial pieces of advice on how to protect themselves and their kids from any potential harassment that they may experience.
Moving.com’s City Profile Reports provides users with free, detailed, and relevant information about any neighborhood. The profile reports allow you to see info on local schools, crime statistics, the average cost of living, and other crucial information.
Moving.com allows for easy comparisons between cities, making it a great tool to use if you’re considering a move. This comparison helps users understand how their new neighborhood compares to others.
Moving.com ensures that information is up-to-date by updating its databases annually from several sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, Internal Revenue Service statistics, local law enforcement agencies, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Multiple law enforcement agencies voluntarily upload their crime information to CrimeMapping.com’s database, which lets you search for crimes around an address or in a state near a particular agency. Searches can be filtered by date, area, and type of crime.
You can also set email alerts for certain types of crimes in any area.. CrimeMapping.com is continuously updated, and the number of contributors is growing.
You have several choices of apps, websites, and technologies that can help you stay safe in your neighborhood. Now, all there is to do is to pick one!
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