Back in June of 2009, I wrote CrimeReports.com: Cool Site of the Week ”“ an article about a site that graphically represented crime statistics. At that time, the only Phoenix Metro area that was covered was Gilbert. In the ensuing 1.5 years since that posting, the site (which is still in beta BTW) has added Mesa and ASU to its coverage areas. In addition, it looks like it now lists registered sex offenders across the greater Phoenix area.
Despite the lack of coverage, it’s still a wicked cool site, and worth a look if you are interested in crime statistics in Gilbert, Mesa or the ASU campus.
Today I was turned on to another graphic, map-based crime statistics site ”“ RAIDSonline.com (apparently RAIDS = Regional Analysis & Information Data Sharing).
RAIDSonline has coverage for Scottsdale and Tempe in the Phoenix metro area, and a smattering of other cities across the U.S.
Both sites allow you to register for crime alerts ”“ you’ll get an email if there is a crime reported within the radius you select of a specific address. Both sites also allow you to pick and choose which types of criminal activity you want to view (or get an email alert for) as well as set date ranges to investigate.
RAIDSonline has a nifty “density map” that graphically displays crime hot spots. Here is the density map for Tempe:
And here is the map with individual icons for each reported crime. On the site you can click on an icon for details, and pan and zoom on the map:
Why am I telling you this?
We get a lot, I mean a LOT, of questions about crime rates. And this makes perfect sense. If you are looking for a home, you should be investigating crime rates in the area. Sadly, no area is crime-free and if you think you can buy a home where crime doesn’t exist, you are mistaken.
But you can use tools like CrimeReports.com and RAIDSonline.com to investigate crime in areas you may be interested in.
Some other handy sites for researching crime rates:
Crime Reports by Zip Code (Phoenix Metro)
Arizona Department of Public Safety Annual Crime Reports
Arizona Sex Offender Information
FBI Uniform Crime Reports (national)
One of the best sources for information on crime is the local police department. Call the non-emergency number (not 9-1-1!) and ask for the Public Information Officer. They should be happy to speak to you and direct you to sources for researching criminal activity in whatever neighborhood you are investigating.
Charlene Kingston via Facebook says
Did you know that the Chandler police department will give the public a report on the crime for any quarter mile area in town? I did that before I put in an offer on a house in Chandler. It’s a great public service.
Tom Ryff says
Thanks for helping bring to light a few of the tools that citizens can use to see the local crime rates.
And thanks for pointing out when contacting the local police departments, the phone number is *not* 911!
Chief Tom Ryff
Tempe Police Department
Jay Thompson says
My pleasure Chief Ryff, thanks for stopping by!
Oh, there IS another number to call the police? lol
Useful info on crime, Jay.
BTW. I like the changes in the website design (You may have implemented them a while back. I normally follow your posts in my feed reader, so haven’t been on the actual site for a while … )
Jay Thompson says
Thanks Serhiy! I changed it up about six weeks ago. So far so good!
Max - Phoenix Homes Team says
Thanks for sharing Jay! I’m not sure though how helpful those maps/reports are… when I was relocating to Phoenix 6 years ago, I was looking for a place to rent and I needed a safe neighborhood… Before I moved, I lived in a small town on the beach where people don’t lock their cars nor homes. Literally. I used the same reports you shared and the were no help at all – any town/community looks like a war zone when you pull up a map with crime markers for a month. I pretty much ended up talking to people that live here where they thought was more or less safe… Just my $0.02 of relocation experience and looking at crime rates while at it.
Jay Thompson says
Max – I agree completely. We always advise clients to drive the neighborhoods at different times of the day and week and talk to potential neighbors. That (and calling the local PD) are the best ways to really get to know what an area is like.
The “map based” crime reports are better (to me) than charts and tables that report crime rates like, “Aggravated Assault: 1 in 743.8”. That has zero meaning to me.
I do think the density maps that RAIDSonline offers can be helpful. They eliminate the bazillion icons and that war zone look and can spotlight potential problem areas.
But it really boils down to someone considering an area to live in doing their due diligence and using whatever tools they like that they find useful.
It almost seems like there should be a dumbed-down comparison – think TV weather reports: 33F in downtown Phoenix – feels like 26F. People need know what it feels like – if you can take a walk after 8pm in a park, or should you have a taser gun and a bulldog companion 🙂
Jay Thompson via Facebook says
That is indeed a great service
Richard Paul says
I think this is very good theory – I just hope it doesn´t scare the type of client that is scared of their own shadow into buying in an area that seems from a map that it has a high rate of crime. Where in reality there has just been a spate of petty crimes in the area by one or two gangs over a short period of time. USA real estate market needs support in these tough times , i´m not so sure this crime mapping is going to help . I could wrong though!
Shelly Wagner says
Some great info on crime rates Jay and thanks for the link for the crime website, never heard of it before.
rob aubrey says
I had a buyer ask me if the area was a saf. I told, it would have to the police are here all the time
I wonder if they have API’s, and can get a map on our websites. I have the WalkScore, it would be cool to have a geo-local map of Crime.
Garrigus Real Estate says
Thanks for the head up on this website. Being in the real estate business I have been searching for a way to quickly investigate crime rates in neighborhoods. Thanks again Jay! Love your blog!
Broker Robin in Pensacola says
Wow – this is interesting information and the graphics are blow away. I am going to have to find out what sort of information we might have like this for our market area. Thanks for the informative post!
Pensacola Real Estate
ginny lacey gorman says
Jay, you have an amazing real estate site with lots of cool information. These crime stats with crimestats.com as well as the raidsonline.com I will explore for little ole RI..Customers are always asking and I direct them to the police department. Very helpful info..thanks
bill jones says
You may think all wireless phone providers are the same, but there are many different plan options, different Home Phone Service and different wireless providers offer different levels of coverage and quality of cellular service depending on your location and needs.
J Philip Faranda via Facebook says
When Ann and I were first expecting, I looked up sex offenders in our local zip code. Hundreds. I almost fainted. Then, when I saw the addresses, I was relieved: Sing Sing prison. Right downtown.
Liz Benitez says
I need one of these for my area. I am always directing clients to our sheriffs site that will give you stats on any neighborhood, but it is very hard and some what boring to read.
Jay, it’s amazing how inquisitive you are, and hownyou find the things you do. But whats more amazing is how un-inquisitive others are, and either can’t find things on their own, or who don’t care, and wait for others like you tondo it for them. That’s why you’re way up here while everyone else is wondering why they are always down there. Whyvare raptors always so “duh, I didn’t know about that”, when all they had to do was take the time to look for it. It’s what separates you from the rest. Cool!
vladimir gagic says
If someone wants to move downtown close to the Phoenix center, does it matter if they move to a “historic neighborhood’? are the well established areas safer or receive more police protection than other neighborhoods? the reason I ask is because I work downtown and i hate commuting, but by the same token, I want to be safe.