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.

Man beheaded in break-in, missing Wife’s Body found

In Putnam County, Georgia, a crazed killer may be on the loose (if he’s not already in another state by now). He (and maybe he had an accomplice) beheaded Russell Dermond, 88. Nobody knows why. At the time his decapitated body was found, his wife, Shirley, 87, was missing. But two weeks later her body was found near a dam, dead from blunt force trauma.5H

Dermond’s head has not been located.

Dennis Higgs is the fisherman who discovered Shirley’s body in the water. He first believed it was a buoy, but as he approached, he realized it was something to back away from, and called 9-1-1.

The body was five to six miles from the Dermond home. Gary McElhenney, the Putnam coroner, announced that the completion of a toxicology report on the body will take two or three weeks, possibly three months. Meanwhile, dental records will verify the identity of the woman’s body. Until then, the sheriff and McElhenney are “pretty certain” that the body is that of Shirley’s, due to the general appearance and some tell-tale surgical scars.

It is believed that the murder of Russell Dermond occurred between 4:30 p.m. on May 2 and 4 p.m. on May 3. Oddly, there are no signs of any forced entry or even a struggle inside the house. Authorities are vexed over who could have done this. It may have been the work of one person, maybe a group, maybe even involving a female accomplice.

No clues have been turned up in the area or at the lake vicinity. No leads exist.

If this act was random, just for some psychopath’s kicks, the killer will likely strike again. A crime like this can’t be a singular event—someone with this kind of evil will surely develop another fix to satisfy.

On the other hand, if this was a personal attack, this still shows a derangement that indicates that the killer will strike again anyways—either choosing a victim he knows or a random victim. When one gets this savage, anything goes.

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

Crime Is On The Decline. I Didn’t Notice

According to the figures released by the FBI, the estimated number of violent crimes in the Nation declined in 2009 for the third consecutive year. Property crimes also declined in 2009, marking the seventh straight year that the collective estimates for these offenses dropped below the previous year’s total.

What has always bugged me about these reports is the sense of relief some get, but in reality how little crime actually declines. Generally it’s anywhere from 5 percent to 6 percent for either category. So maybe there were 22,000 murders gone down from 25,000 murders. That’s still lots of grieving families.

Much of the decline in crime can be attributed to better police work and support from various federal agencies. Over the years law enforcement has gone from whistles and Billy clubs to sophisticated programs based on community involvement coupled with innovation and technology.

In addition to better police work I believe the public has a higher degree of security intelligence. Over the past 10 years our collective consciousness in regards to protecting ourselves, has increased. The tragedy of 9/11 raised awareness that we must take some degree of responsibility for our personal security.

While might have dropped a tick and we are more aware, we still have lots and lots of work to do. Remember, there always has been, is now and always will be criminals seeking their next target.

For example a study in Connecticut showed that 12 percent of burglaries occurred through an UNLOCKED door and that in 41 percent of alarmed homes that were burglarized; the security system was not turned on.

These kind of stats just makes me mental. Even though property crimes have declined, there are still over 2 million burglaries.

Here are some tips from a police department

Be proactive with the help of wireless home security. New interactive smart home solutions go beyond traditional home security to provide a new level of control, accessibility and connection.

Wireless home security provides with anywhere, anytime access to your home via smart phones or personal computers, including iPhone application to:

• Arm and disarm their home security system.

• Get notified of alarms and selected events via email and text messages as well as video clips.

• View their home through cameras and watch secure real-time video or stored video clips of events from monitored areas of the home.

• Access lights and appliances or set schedules to automate them.
Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing Home Security on NBC Boston.