It doesn’t matter if you rent or own your home; living in a good neighborhood is important — especially if you’re raising children.
The last thing you want is to bring them up in a scary environment full of crime and shady activities going on behind the scenes. But how do you know what your neighbors are actually up to?
There are a few ways to check up on your neighbors, and some are more detailed than others. To help you and your family stay safe, let’s look at a few tips. Pay attention to the third, it could help save your life.
1. Basic searches only get you so far
Want details about the properties in your area? If there is a particular property you’re interested in, you can search real estate sites like Trulia or Zillow. You’re sometimes able to see what the inside of someone’s home looks like on these types of sites, but don’t expect to see criminal activity on display.
If you’re curious about who you’re living next to, you can do a basic search. Using sources like Whitepages for specific addresses can give you the name of the person living there, but what’s in a name? It doesn’t give you the kind of details that could help keep you safe. For that, you’ll need to dig a little deeper.
2. Social media has details on your neighbors, but be careful
Have you heard of the social media site called Nextdoor? It was designed for people who live in your area and comes with similar features to Facebook. But it’s more in tune with what’s happening down the street, not across the country.
In theory, this is a good idea. If you find a lost pet wandering the streets, post it on Nextdoor and hopefully the distraught owner will see it and give you a call.
Want to have a huge yard sale? No problem. Get the word out to everyone in the area through Nextdoor; however, while this platform can be a valuable resource for finding local help for a project, lost pet notifications or warning neighbors of suspicious activity, this networking site has seen its fair share of scammers profiting from innocent people.
A Buzzfeed report detailed the story of an elderly customer who paid thousands of dollars upfront only to have the “contractor” run off with her money without performing any work. Other tales of fraud on Nextdoor include a woman who stole the identity of a local nanny and proceeded to con families into hiring her as a childcare provider.
Then, of course, the stories of fake car sales continue to make headlines. Many buyers have been duped into paying for nonexistent vehicles, often with hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of gift cards.
3. Find all the information you’re looking for with an app you can trust
If you’re serious about safety, you’ll need to do more than social media and home listing searches. It’s time to turn to an app you can trust. We recommend the Crime and Place app, which is available for iOS devices in the Apple App Store.
Tap or click here to download Crime and Place, which won’t just tell you about crimes that have taken place over the past month. It focuses on providing well-established, long-term trends in criminal activity across the U.S.
This will give you a more accurate picture of overall crime levels in areas that impact you most. Whether you’re thinking about moving or just traveling to a particular area, knowing these trends will help you make a more informed decision.
The app makes understanding the level of crimes in a neighborhood easy by giving them a crime score. Once crime scores are calculated for each type of crime, the scores are aggregated based on customizable weightings to produce an overall score for each category.
Each type of crime receives an initial equal weighting; however, category weights can be modified within the app’s settings. If you change category weights in accordance to your priorities, the scores will dynamically update appropriately.
Here are some activities the Crime and Place app can help with:
- Taking local trips.
- Going to new venues.
- Checking out the safety of your daily commute, your own neighborhood or other areas you frequently visit.
- Knowing how safe your local parks and attractions are.
- Taking road trips.
- Figuring out how safe the area is around your work, home, shopping and parking areas are.
The Crime and Place app is available from Apple’s App Store for 33% off through Halloween (October 31). Tap or click here to start taking advantage of everything the app offers and start protecting your family today.