by Matt Hermes
on Thursday, January 16th, 2020 at 9:53am.
Whether you're moving to a new neighborhood or curious about how safe your current area is, there are some great online tools available to help you research your neighborhood's safety level.
But remember, being safe includes more than just awareness. These tools can also help you take action by alerting you to new safety issues and allowing you to quickly share concerns with your neighbors. From safety overviews to monitoring to simply being a good neighbor, these online safety tools have got you covered.
This map-based site shows you up-to-date data on crimes that have recently occurred in your area. It’s as simple as typing in your address or ZIP code and seeing what pops up on the map. Their reporting covers a wide range of incidents from property theft to assault to drug use. It even has easy-to-read icons to help you quickly identify what’s going on around you. When you click on an incident you’ll get a brief list of the details, as well as notes about which local agency handled it. That way if you want to dig a little deeper, you can contact your local law enforcement agency.
In addition to helping you scope out crime in a specific area, like work or home, CrimeReports offers a few extra features to help keep you safe.
Share incident maps on Twitter, Facebook, or via email
Set alerts to notify you about future crimes in the area
Submit a tip to help agencies respond to local criminal activities
Register your security camera as a resource for local law enforcement
AreaVibes provides a livability score for your ZIP code which ranks your area on 7 factors that include housing, amenities, education and crime. Since we’re talking safety here, let’s focus on the crime score. AreaVibes makes it easy to understand your neighborhood’s top safety issues by showing you crime trends in the area and how that compares to national crime statistics.
One of the coolest things about this site is that you can read reviews about your neighborhood and hear about safety concerns first-hand. AreaVibes also shows you the number of incidents in these categories below, to help you get a feel for just how safe your neighborhood is.
As you dig into the details of local crime, Family Watchdog can help you narrow your focus by pinpointing the addresses of registered sex offenders in your neighborhood. Their easy-to-navigate map uses color-coded pins to identify specific sex crimes like sexual battery, rape, and crimes against children. When you select a pin, you’ll see a photo of the sex offender and can research further to learn about their criminal background. You can even search specific offenders by name.
Family Watchdog is extra helpful in that it lets you sign up for alerts, so you’ll be notified when a registered sex offender moves in or out of your neighborhood.
This tool isn’t just great for locating sex offenders, it helps you educate your family members about possible dangers in places that you visit often. Be sure to search beyond your home address to areas near local schools, parks or favorite dining and shopping locations. Don’t miss their blog — it has great neighborhood safety tips!
Ready to get hyper-local and start helping your neighbors protect each other from crime? Check out the Nextdoor app. This private social network requires you to sign up as a member and you can belong to one neighborhood at a time. But it’s worth it. Joining Nextdoor allows you to participate in real-time conversations between you and the folks living around you — the most personal alert system there is.
Typically, members of the neighborhood group are quick to report suspicious vehicles, activities or people in the neighborhood. You’ll know if packages are getting stolen from porches or cars are broken into. Nextdoor is also an easy place to ask questions about safety, report concerns, and even start a Neighborhood Watch group.
One final helpful feature about Nextdoor is the ability to filter community posts to only ones related to crime and safety. That helps you see the hottest issues at a glance.
Once you get the scoop on how safe your neighborhood is, you can use the ADT Go app to keep your family secure — no matter where they go in the area. This app is free for existing ADT customers and offers neighborhood safety features like:
SOS Emergency Response: If anyone in your family feels unsafe, they can simply hold the SOS button to notify ADT. The ADT response team will contact you to make sure everyone is okay and they’ll alert emergency responders if necessary.
Family Location Sharing: Want to make sure everyone is safe and sound? View your family members on a map and get alerts when your loved ones arrive at home, school, work, and more.
Local Crime Data: Stay in the loop and get the most up-to-date neighborhood crime data at a glance. Plus, view crime history from the past year.
Now you’re armed with a well-rounded set of online tools to help you become more informed about possible criminal activity in your current or future neighborhood, as well ways to be proactive in reporting crime. Want to feel even safer in your home? Consider getting a new security system or surveillance cameras.