Looking into Your Neighborhood’s Safety

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In many ways, your neighborhood is an extension of your home. It’s where you stroll along the sidewalk, splash around in the community pool and play outside with your kids. That means you should consider the safety of your neighborhood just as important as the security of your home. So, how can you be sure your neighborhood is a safe place for your family?

Check out the sites listed below for important insights about potential threats to your neighborhood and family’s safety. When it comes to security, information is your best resource.

Neighborhood Scout

NeighborhoodScout.com is a great place to start your neighborhood security research. The site lets you enter your address to access a lot of valuable information about the surrounding area. In addition to things like school ratings and real estate values, you’ll also find data on crime rates, broken out by property and violent crimes. Neighborhood Scout was one of the resources we turned to when creating our list of Jacksonville’s safest neighborhoods.

Crime Reports         

For more granular crime data, check out CrimeReports.com. The site displays all reported crimes on a map so you can easily see exactly what type of crimes took place and where. Burglaries are usually among the most common neighborhood crimes, but even in seemingly safe neighborhoods, you’ll likely see reports of assault, robbery and more. Crime Reports constantly updates its information, so it may be worth checking every few days.

Family Watchdog

There are more than 750,000 registered sex offenders living outside of prison in the U.S. As a condition of release, they are required to report where they live to a tracking service, and FamilyWatchdog.us gives you access to that data. A quick search reveals 1,159 registered sex offenders in Jacksonville. Looking at the map, you may be surprised just how close these offenders may be, regardless of perceived neighborhood quality. Nearly every community in Jacksonville is home to multiple registered sex offenders.

Besides arming yourself with information, there are some practical steps you can take to improve neighborhood safety. If you see a streetlight out, call the local utility company. Let your homeowners association or codes enforcement office know about overgrown lots that could provide hiding places for criminals. And, most importantly, get to know your neighbors. Odds are, neighborhood safety is just as important to them as it is to you.

The most important aspect of protecting your family, of course, is securing the home itself. The mere presence of a monitored home security system is usually enough to deter most burglars. In fact, in a study conducted by University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 83% of convicted burglars said they avoided homes with security systems.

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