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How Safe is My Neighborhood?: Top 8 Best Apps & Sites to Find a Secure Home in 2020

How Safe is My Neighborhood?: Top 8 Best Apps & Sites to Find a Secure Home in 2020

Debra Broxton
September 14, 2020

The global pandemic and all-out hysteria around COVID-19 has led to a world depression, which, in turn, caused a spike in crime. Walking on the streets is not safe nowadays not only because of the risk of being infected but also the danger of being attacked and robbed. People rushed to the Internet trying to find out how safe their particular residential area is and whether it is reasonable to move to another place of living to have peace of mind that their family remains safe and secure. An elevated violent crime statistics may dissuade from making a wrong relocation decision and, who knows, even save you zip code or your loved one’s life. The Web abounds with nifty tools that perform a detailed crime analysis of a given location, and we picked the most useful sites and apps to help you find a secure home in the United States.

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Crime statistics by zip code: the most helpful apps and site to find a safer place

Even the most prestigious and flourishing communities may not be completely free from violence, illicit drug distribution, street shoot-outs, and other offenses that compromise the safety of inhabitants. Your desire to move may be driven by security concerns, but you definitely do not want to end up in a neighborhood that is even more dangerous than your previous place of residence. It is wise to scrutinize index crimes in the current and desirable habitation to make a comparison and never trade bad for worse. The following applications and websites provide detailed crime statistics by zip codes.

AreaVibes: evaluating neighborhoods by livability

This website is on a mission to help users find the best place for living using a unique algorithm called The AreaVibes Livability Score. This tool exploits dozens of parameters such as crime rate, cost of living and education, nearby amenities, median household income, level of unemployment, and many others to calculate a total score out of 100 for any neighborhood across the United States. By taping a zip code, address, city, or state in the search bar, you will get a 360-degree view of the place and its surroundings with users`  ratings and comments.

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How to use

Made with user-friendliness in mind, the AreaVibes website is intuitive and convenient, yet powerful and insightful. You only need to enter an address, zip code, neighborhood, or state in the search bar to know the ins and outs of a given location including the overall livability score, crime rates, real estate prices, demographics, and residents’ reviews. Clicking on the livability score icon will reveal even more information about this place, including comparisons with the rest of the country and chances of being a victim in this specific area.

Key findings

Overall livability score, population, crime statistics (based the latest FBI uniform crime reporting), cost of living, real estate prices, rental prices, employment, amenities, schools, user ratings.

Service cost

Free

Where to find

Neighborhood Scout: revealing the truth about every neighborhood in the USA

The platform represents a location search engine. Neighborhood Scout’s proprietary methodologies screen area profiles, allowing individuals and businesses to immediately find the best neighborhood with national coverage. Having accumulated an enormous database of community statistics and their characteristics, the engine helps users find exactly what they are looking for in a neighborhood by applying lifestyle filters and keywords. The search result will provide a map of the most relevant neighborhood profiles with granular details and local information a prospective mover may want to know.

Neighborhoods profiles are generated based on over 600 characteristics, including crime rate and forecasts, the risk to become a victim of a certain crime type, income levels, education quality, the density of buildings, the spoken languages, economic situation, unemployment trends, and hundreds more, allowing everyone to get the true picture of a place they are interested in. The data used in neighborhood profile assessment algorithms are provided by authoritative government agencies, such as the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the National Center for Education Statistics, the FBI uniform crime report, to name a few, to bring insights about every city, town, neighborhood, and addresses all across America.

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How to use

By entering a keyword into the search bar, you will get limited (yet pretty extensive) information about this place, such as overview, crime statistics, and several explanations concerning transportation, income, ethnicity, and employment. A more detailed profile with exact statistics, market trends, investment opportunities, and condition alerts is blocked for occasional visitors and requires a paid subscription to use Neighborhood Scout to the max.

Key findings

Vital statistics, condition alerts, real estate, demographics, crime, schools, trends, forecasts, investment opportunities, scout maps.

Service cost

Free for limited overviews, and as little as $39.99 per month for unlimited access to Neighborhood Scout databases

Where to find

National Sex Offender Public Website: Promoting The Safety Of Children And Adults

NSOPW standing for the National Sex Offender Public Website is the first-of-its-kind public safety information resource proving access to the national database of sex crime statistics, thus revealing the most and least safe regions from this perspective. Run by the U.S. government, NSOPW collects data about reported sex abuse cases in one national search platform. Individuals, businessmen, job seekers, and all other concerned people can use NSOPW to find about sex offenders in a specific neighborhood and its surroundings. The website also provides extensive information on how to prevent and fight sexual abuse and how to identify and respond to such incidents. The NSOPW engine performs a search by zip code, city, town, county, address, and even by name nationally or within a specified jurisdiction.

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How to use

The tool performs a sex offender search across all states, territories, and Indian Country. By entering a key work like the name of a city and narrowing the search radius, the search results will provide a crime map of registered felonies and offenders. Browsing through the list, you can see names of sex offenders associated with the defined area, and clicking on the offender’s name, it is possible to know more about the arrests he/she had.

Key findings

Safety and education materials, search filters, reported incidents

Service cost

Free

Where to find

Nextdoor: equipping your neighborhood with a private social network

Nextdoor is a holistic neighborhood system meant to help neighbors create and support trustful connections and exchange valuable information such as news and tips, as well as for selling goods and services. The platform was developed to help neighborhoods become more friendly and united, fostering safety and kindness within and outside the community. Having a neighbor you can safely rely on is a big thing and one of the ways to stop the spread of criminality. The app has come of use not only in the United States but in Canada, Australia, and most countries of Europe, including France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, and Germany.

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How to use

Building a strong, safe, and friendly neighborhood with Nextdoor is pretty easy. All it takes is signing up and downloading the app on your PC or mobile device. Though it is not the best tool to compare violence rates by zip codes, it is still a powerful solution to find a reputable contractor, local business, a service provider, or a babysitter. Since the app allows for posting alerts and incidents, users will be able to monitor the criminal offenses and aggressive deviant behavior events in the locality.

Key findings

Buy/Sell stuff, local services, crime and safety alerts, neighbors/businesses reputation, local events, tips and recommendations, help map, and much more.

Service cost

Free, registration required

Where to find

Family WatchDog: registered sex abuser maps

Family Watchdog presents a free online tool showing visitors a complete registry of rapists and sex abusers in the community in question. The website’s manifesto is to promote sexual assault awareness and educate people on how to prevent and combat such an offense. Subscribing to the Family Watchdog’s newsletter will ensure that you receive the latest notifications and alerts on offenders that left/moved in your neighborhood. A powerful interactive map, Family Watchdog pinpoints the names of registered sex offenders by state, city, or zip code. Clicking on the icon will provide a volume of information about an abuser, including the name, photo, convictions, address, and more.

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How to use

Once landed on the home page, you will see a search bar with filters to find offenders associated with a certain address, school, or city. The results will be presented in the form of an interactive map with icons indicating various offenses such as sexual touch, rape, or pedophilia cases. Combing through the icons, it is possible to get more info about a particular criminal, such as committed felonies, suffered sentences, and even an actual address.

Key findings

Sex offense interactive maps, crime statistics, safety tips free alerts

Service cost

Free

Where to find

CrimeReports: reports of hundreds of state departments at your disposal

A robust crime mapping application, CrimeReports is a massive collection of reports from major law enforcement agencies. Not only does the tool provide an up-to-date crime situation by zip code, but it also encourages users to submit proposals and tips to local police departments, get offense alerts, and register an observation camera. CrimeReports is links residents and law enforcement establishments to create safer communities together. Mobile-friendly, CrimeReports lets you keep tabs on the crime level and sex offense in a chosen neighborhood.

The tool allows you to access official crime reports, observe current crime trends, sex offender data, and statistics shared by over 1000 participating law enforcement authorities across the entire country. With that app installed on your smartphone, you can easily search the latest information about criminal activities near your neighborhood, home, school, or work. The search results can be narrowed by crime type, date, address, and other filters.

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How to use

With a pretty intuitive, nothing-in-excess design, the website of CrimeReports offers you to immediately proceed to exploring the level of crime in any place in America. You just need to specify a town, zip code, or name. This will pull up an interactive map dotted with numerous icons, each of which indicating a type of offense such as murder, robbery, aggravated assault, rape, and other felonies. Some icons will show you misdeeds associated with property crimes, illegal drugs, and vehicles. The search results can be even more insightful if you apply day, week, or time filters.

Key findings

Crime info by location, date, and type of offense, crime statistics, and trends for featured agencies, sex offender data, crime updates on a neighborhood level.

Service cost

Free

Where to find

SpotCrime: City, County, And Neighborhood Crime Map

The website represents crime statistics aggregator. The solution pinpoints felony incidents on Google Maps and sends alerts to you via email, SMS, and a couple of social networks, provided you are signed up. The relevant data flows from various national law enforcement establishments, police departments, the FBI uniform crime reports, and news reports. A completely altruistic initiative, SpotCrime tracks down criminal occurrences, allowing everyone to get deeper insights about the crime rates and trends of any neighborhood, city, or street by zip-code, as well as to know about the most wanted malefactors across the country.

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How to use

SpotCrime crime maps help users find out about the crime profile of any neighborhood. The aggregator collects the latest crime reports from police departments and other trusted sources, like the drug enforcement administration (DEA), and plots them in on Google maps as surely as sending daily and weekly crime alerts. This tool also analyses delinquency trends in a specified community, allowing you to know more about your risk to become a victim near any address. Entering a zip code into a search bar is enough to get full information about crime in your locality. Registering for free with SpotCrime will let you stay abreast of all the thefts, burglaries, assaults, murders, and shootings in your area.

Key findings

Location crime profile, interactive crime maps, listings of felony reports, most wanted announcements.

Service cost

Free

Where to find

MyLocalCrime: Mapping Crime In The United States

The website and the self-titled app make it easier to track the criminal patterns around your home, school, neighborhood, zip code, and a city. While it is impossible to predict violence with certainty, MyLocalCrime shows criminal trends in a given location to empower your safe decisions. Along with bringing up crime maps, the tool also lets you know about the most wanted evil-doers in your city and easily submit a report or a tip to police departments. Safety starts with awareness, and by using MyLocalCrime, you will get up-to-the-minute statistics on crimes in a particular area including shootings, robberies, aggravated assaults, arrests, arson incidents, acts of vandalism as well as receive daily and weekly crime alerts to your inbox. This solution scours the entire territory of America, the United Kingdom, and partly Canada. Crime statistics are provided by leading law enforcement institutions like DEA agents, the FBI uniform crime reporting, District Attorney’s agencies, police departments, or reports submitted by citizens.

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How to use

Entering a zip code, address, or town in a search bar is all it takes to get a detailed crime picture of a place. As simple as that.

Key findings

The area’s most wanted criminals, crime stats by time, date, and location, weekly news and tips

Service cost

Free

Where to find

Is My Neighborhood safe & How Can I Check It?

Every neighborhood can be plagued with violence, brigandage, and depredation no matter if it is in a small rural township or a booming urban district. While it is not possible to completely eradicate lawlessness (because most crimes are committed due to envy and hate, which are psychological problems), individuals can take safety into their hands and invest in powerful home and property security systems as well as learn how to repel an aggressor and avoid dangerous situations. Here are also some tips on how to check crime rates in your locality.

Take advantage of neighborhood safety tools (check crime stats by zip code)

Any of the apps and websites mentioned above is a great helper in terms of finding a secure home or checking a crime level of an area. They allow getting crime rates by zip code or a keyword so that you are cognizant of the overall safety of a given locality or any other area you are interested in.

Look At Public Records On The Internet

Crime statistics and trends per state, city, or zip code are publicly available online. National Sex Offender Website and other similar resources get their offense data from official records published by the FBI National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), local and regional police departments, DEA agents, and other law enforcement services to spot criminal delinquency based on location.

Delve into the community’s real estate picture

If there are suspiciously many homes for sale in an area, it may indicate a bad criminal situation in the place and around it, especially if the real estate prices are surprisingly low as if owners hurry to sell their properties and abandon the neighborhood as quickly as possible.

Inspect the region by yourself

One of the proven ways to get a feel for the location is driving there by yourself and seeing everything with your own eyes. If the place is full of run-down houses, uncared-for front yards, or poor-conditioned vehicles, it means there are too many poor people here, and poverty is one of the key causes of crime.

Know your neighbors 

While driving around the neighborhood, take some time to get to know the locals. Engage in a conversation with the cashier or pay attention to how next-door neighbors communicate with one another. Stop by public places like school, park, or café to see how residents behave.

Frequently asked questions

What is the safest zip code to reside in?

Neighborhoods in the United States have different livability score which is calculated based on numerous factors, such as property and violent crime rates, cost of living, ethnic, generational and economic diversity, household income, unemployment level, walkability, climate, education affordability amongst others. The best zip codes to stand apart from others in terms of public safety and peacefulness are 48084 (Troy, Michigan), 10001 (New York, New York), 94306 (Palo Alto, California), 46032 (Carmel, Indiana).

Do The Police Make Their Reports Publicly Available?

Local police departments have to send reports to NIBRS, upon which the Federal Bureau of Investigation annually generates uniform crime reports freely available for download on the establishment’s official website. There are also dedicated sites akin to NSOPW that publish the names of sexual abusers of a given location. However, sometimes reports contain graphic information that cannot become publicly available. In this case, you may apply to a local police department for further inquiries.

How can I ensure my safety in a rough neighborhood?

If you cannot move to a safer place, consider equipping your property with a decent home security system. Observation cameras, motion sensors, and alarms will make prospective burglars and troublemakers steer away from your property. Refraining from night walks also makes sense if you live in an unsafe district. Never forget to properly lock all the windows and doors in your home and car and always have a pepper spray at hand, just in case. Even if you are a wealthy person, try to keep your prosperity in secret and never demonstrate expensive jewelry, accessories, and gadgets in public.

What is an unsafe neighborhood?

An unsafe neighborhood is one with an elevated criminal activity which, in its turn, often stems from a high unemployment grade and low education level. When people do not have enough job opportunities, they get depressed, irritable, and aggressive, which may eventually push them to commit crimes. Such locations suffer from violence, sex offense, burglary, home break-ins, kidnapping, vandalism, and murder.

What is the Safest City in the USA?

According to the Wallethub recent analysis, Americans feel safe and sound in
  • Warwick, Rhode Island, with its one of the lowest assault statistics in the country;
  • Chandler, Arizona where most households have with emergency savings (68%);
  • Virginia Beach with its lowest unemployment rate in the nation;
  • Plano, Texas that is currently experiencing a market boom, which drives its safety status up;
  • Columbia, Maryland is the safest city in America with its excellent scores for home and community safety.

What is the Safest State in America?

According to the FBI reports used to create this guide, the TOP 5 most secure states in America are Maine, Vermont, Minnesota, Utah, and Wyoming where the personal and residential safety rank is the highest, compared to the rest of the country.

Safety is of paramount importance

No doubt, families and individuals want to reside in a safe and friendly neighborhood to have peace of mind with the fact that their loved ones are out of danger no matter what hour the clock shows. When too many districts in America are plagued with violence and hostility, it is hard to keep your family and property out of harm's way. Relating well to neighbors and equipping your home with a robust security system may help to scare the trouble away. Tools and websites mentioned in this guide will also allow you to keep track of crime trends in your area.

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About the author 

Debra Broxton

Debra is highly-competent, scrupulous, and hard-working. As a journalist, Jane relies both on the rich experience and deep researching. When working on new articles and reviews, she strives to scrutinize topics thoroughly and provide readers with all the crucial facts.


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