Know Your Neighborhood: Crime Statistics by City

Relocating to a new city or state can be very stressful. In addition to the stress of packing and moving, you may also be nervous about moving to an unfamiliar area. To better understand their new community, some new residents or people interested in moving to a new city choose to review crime statistics in and around their neighborhood. Crime rate may also influence where people choose to live, raise their families and run their businesses; many potential new residents steer clear of cities with higher than average crime rates. To avoid unpleasant experiences during and after your move, review crime statistics for areas in which you may be interested in living prior to relocating. You can compare crime statistics of two cities by using Areavibes' crime comparison tool.

In general, prospective home buyers have the option of conducting research focused on the neighborhood demographics of a targeted home. Surveys reveal that the majority of interested parties divert their attention to property located outside of the most dangerous cities in the United States. A neighborhood trodden by an increased crime rate may negatively impact the value of one's property. For instance, a desirable four bedroom house may not fall into the cross hairs of a large family if a registered sex offender resides next door. Additionally, a mom-and-pop convenience store may opt for a storefront outside of a robbery-prone zone. To avert these problems, property owners can access multiple sources and municipal crime rate statistics to determine the value of their home or a home in an area in which they may be interested in living. Many of these sources retrieve their crime rate statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the United States Justice Department. Others may use local law enforcement agencies, public relations firms, and community policing departments to find the best area in which to live and work.

Nationwide databases provide statistical information about varying property and violent crime rates across the United States; each database displays how each neighborhood compares to other neighborhoods across the nation in order to make good decisions in accordance to the investor's needs. Investors can actively search these databases in relevance to the query. For instance, the investor can ask about the crime rate pertaining to property-related offenses, and violent-related offenses within a given demographic area. Most databases specify by distance around a city, or a specific address ranging between 1 and 75 miles in any direction. This narrowly targets the most dangerous cities in America and warns prospective buyers to stay away from specific areas.

Prospective home buyers can access detailed crime maps that show the number of crimes that occurred within a given distance. This may also include the frequency of a specific type of criminal offense. Each crime map contains a graph with a color key that visually displays the overall crime rate of the state, city, town, and neighborhood. These crime maps compare the neighborhood crime rate with the national median of the most dangerous cities in each U.S. state. The nationwide database calculates the crime density of a given area, and presents the information in a table for easy comparison of the safest cities in America.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) compiles its data from over 17,000 local law enforcement agencies to create a massive "crime index." The FBI's "crime index" seeks uniformity between federal and state statutes, a process that would produce standardized definitions of criminal offenses. The majority of standardized criminal offenses fall into two distinct categories, including serious and non-serious offenses. Some law enforcement agencies consider certain criminal offenses more serious than the next. The FBI divides criminal offenses by severity, or two classifications, including serious felonies and misdemeanors. Researchers can find both of these classifications in the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports. The first classification of criminal offenses mainly consists of misdemeanor offenses, including petit theft, trespassing, and underpaid traffic tickets. The felonious offenses mainly consist of the major crimes, such as homicide, robbery, aggravated assault, larceny, arson, grand theft auto, and forcible rape. The FBI recognizes these as some of the most notorious felonious criminal offenses in the nation. The FBI continually tightens its stronghold on criminals who intend to terrorize and destroy the safest cities in America by working in tandem with law enforcement agencies. The safest cities in America offer the highest earning potential, mainly because of the peace acquired by community policing, such as neighborhood watch programs. Each participant involved in the community watch program reports the criminal offense he or she witnessed to the local authorities. If the criminal trend continues, then it becomes noteworthy to the FBI and the United States Department of Justice. This enables federal and local authorities to network and combine resources to create the most dangerous cities in America to spots of refuge.

Business owners should beware that crime rates increase with an influx of tourists. The crime rate does not reflect offenses committed by nonpermanent residents in one's community. Local law enforcement agencies divide the permanent population by the number of crimes, which creates a crime rate per one thousand residents. Tourists increase the overall number of crimes without directly affecting the documented crime rate. Therefore, prospective property buyers and owners should always look at the actual number of crimes that occurred in the chosen neighborhood or community before making a commitment to a specific place.