There are so many things to consider when you’re looking for a new place to live — things like proximity to work, the quality of the local schools, amenities like shopping and entertainment and most importantly, safety. Social networking apps like NextDoor and Neighbors can help you stay in-the-know about crime in your are after you’ve already moved into a new home, but what about checking local crime reports and statistics before you move in? There are a number of apps and websites that you can use to get a feel the safety of different neighborhoods and cities. Here are some of the best crime maps and reporting platforms available to help you choose your new home safely.
The 5 best app or website crime maps
1. LexisNexis Community Crime Map
The LexisNexis Community Crime Map is a free tool that gives users instant access to the latest crime reports and data from local law enforcement agencies. With it, you can search a convenient map of police reports, and filter the results based on location, date range, and the type of offense. You can also sign up for free crime alerts and use the site to anonymously report tips to police. The LexisNexis Community Crime is created and updated with the participation of thousands of law enforcement agencies across the country, so you can rest assured its information is accurate and up-to-date.
Dig deeper in our full review of the LexisNexis Community Crime Map
2. Neighborhood Scout
This website helps user easily compare crime data for different neighborhoods and measure the crime rates in your neighborhood against similar areas in other cities and states. Users have the option of looking at the overall crime rate or viewing the specific rates of violent crime and property crime. You can view this crime data for free, but if you would like detailed information about specific crime reports or demographic information about your neighborhood, it requires a paid subscription, which starts at $39.99 per month and increases based on desired features. You can also use Neighborhood Scout to find information about local schools, as well as real estate data.
Check out our full review of NeighborhoodScout
3. Area Vibes
If you aren’t interested in paying a subscription fee, Area Vibes may be a good, free Neighborhood Scout alternative. The website analyzes various aspects of different cities and neighborhoods, including crime rates, the weather, school ratings, amenities, and the local housing market. Area Vibes can tell you how a neighborhood’s crime rate compares to the state and national average, as well as the neighborhood’s total crime rate. As a bonus, it also gives neighborhoods a “livability score” based on how they compare to other neighborhoods in all the areas it analyzes.
Find out more in our review of AreaVibes
SpotCrime is an app and website that pulls data from police reports, local news, and user reports to create neighborhood-specific crime lists and maps. SpotCrime shows incidents of theft, shooting, burglary, assault, and arrest. Because it is an aggregate of local data, it offers a real-time look at crime in any specific area, including suspicious activity that gets reported by users. To get more details about an incident, you simply click on the listing and it will take you to the report. You also have the option of signing up for crime alerts based on your address, so you can be notified via email of recent reports. Both the website and the Spotcrime+ app are free to use.
Check out our full review of SpotCrime
5. Family Watchdog
This site is a tool for those who are concerned about their proximity to registered sex offenders. By entering your address, you can view a map that shows the name, photo, and address of nearby sex offenders, as well as color coded markers that indicate the type of crime they committed. More detailed crime information is only available via a paid background check through a third party system, but the initial sex offender search is free. The website also allows you to sign up for alerts so you can be notified whenever a sex offender moves in our out of your neighborhood.
Read more in our full review of Family Watchdog
Making your choice
Choosing a new place to live is a huge decision, and it’s important that you have as much information about a desired city, neighborhood, and street address as you possibly can. In addition to your personal safety, crime rates can also affect car and home insurance prices, as well as local property values.
Using these websites and apps can give you a detailed picture of the different neighborhoods you’re considering. You can also check out the National Sex Offender Public Website or visit the local police department for more detailed information about crime rates in specific areas. Your home is the place you should feel most secure, so it’s important to do as much research on neighborhood crime rates as possible before you choose a new place to settle down. Even when you’ve moved into a safe neighborhood, make sure you avoid these things that attract burglars to a home.
This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.
Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.