How to figure out Crime Statistics in a Town

If you want to get an idea of how safe or crime-ridden a town may be, do some casual observing including at night:2H

  • Are women walking or jogging alone at night?
  • Are people hanging out in the evening having a good time?
  • Are children mysteriously absent on a sunny weekend afternoon?
  • Are there a lot of “for sale” signs among the houses?
  • Do many houses have security signs in their yards?
  • Are there any other tell-tale signs that the town is safe—or seedy? Like many taverns and only one recreation center?

Before moving to a particular town, you should also chat with its residents. Maybe you shouldn’t reveal you’re thinking of moving there, as they may tell you things you want to hear. Pretend you’re a resident and strike up a conversation at the local diner or some place like that, a comment that would lure someone into giving information about the safety—or danger—of the town.

But of course, you can just be more upfront and honest and flat-out ask about the crime rate, safety, etc. Ask if it’s safe for children to walk to and from school by themselves (I don’t mean six-year-olds, of course).

Ask if there’s a neighborhood watch and why it was established. Inquire about safety measures the townsfolk are taking.

Safety also means the condition of roads and sidewalks, not just for motor vehicles but bicyclists and pedestrians. Are roads in good condition? Are intersections well lit? Are stop signs easily visible?

If your move is long-distance and you can’t in-person visit the town:

  • It’s time for some googling. Type in “city of (name of town)” to view its website and various stats such as “crime rate.”
  • Also visit the town’s police department’s website. See if it has a Facebook page. A lot of local buzz is reported on a police department’s Facebook page.
  • Read the town’s major online newspaper to see what’s usually cooking.
  • Find out what the town’s news station is and visit its site.
  • Are the sites laden with crime stories? Over time, have there been a lot of sexual assaults or home robberies?
  • Any continuous complaints about the schools?

For more comprehensive research, visit the following:


Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

A Sherriff Issues Holiday Crime Prevention Tips

A Florida County Sheriff via The Recorder issued the following tips to prevent holiday crime. I’m going to break them down and shorten them up to keep it concise.

“We are coming up on one of the most festive times of the year for families with the celebration of several holidays. However, joy and fun can quickly turn to disappointment and sorrow when someone becomes a victim of a scam, burglary or online fraudulent holiday shopping scheme.”
Scams: Holiday cyber-crimes including fraudulent auction sites.  

Protect: Do business with known sites. Look for high ratings and user approvals.

Scam: Resale of stolen or counterfeit gift cards

Protect: Only buy gift cards from well established retail environments and immediately check the card balance.

Scam: Reshipping merchandise purchased with stolen credit cards.

Protect: Generally reshipped stolen merchandise is much cheaper when sold online. If it’s too good to be true it’s hot!

Scam: Using an auction site or classified pages to advertise an item at a bargain price and the crook will charge your legitimate credit card for the order then use a separate stolen credit card to purchase the product and have it shipped.

Protect: Pay with PayPal so your credit card number and personal information is not shared with the seller.

Scam: Thieves break into cars in mall parking lots.

Protect: Lock your purchases in the trunk or out-of-site.

Scam: Purse snatchers are looking for easy money.

Protect: Carry purses with the strap going over one shoulder under your coat.

The holidays are a time to enjoy and get together with loved ones. An ounce of prevention can prevent holiday heartache.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist toHome Security Source discussing Home Security on NBC Boston. Disclosures.