Monday, July 9, 2007

Where to find crime statistics for your neighborhood (or a neighborhood where you want to move)



Is a neighborhood (or city) safer because they have more police, or do they have more police because there is more crime to fight?

I found an interesting web site on AZCentral.com, where you can view the reported crimes for any city or zip code, overlaid onto a Google map, and color-coded by type of crime (violent or property). If you want to know more about your area, or about an area you're considering moving to, check it out at http://www.azcentral.com/CrimeMaps/ . There's a bug in the web site, so here's what you'll need to do: click view map. you'll get an error message saying IE cannot open the site. click OK. then click your browser's "back" button, and the map will appear.

I'm going to warn you - when you first see the results you're going to be startled. There's a lot of crime! I've lived in several parts of Phoenix (having been here almost my whole life), and I've always lived in relatively good neighborhoods, but all of my neighborhoods are showing more crime than I ever would have expected.

Keep it in perspective – my current neighborhood in Peoria (North Of Beardsley – www.northofbeardsley.com) has about 5,200 houses in it, and showed 10 violent crimes over the last three months. Well, on a map it looks like a lot of crime. But when you consider that's about 3 crimes per month, which equates to about one violent crime for every 1,733 houses (about 0.06%), it makes me feel a lot better!

- Chris Butterworth