Q: I am looking for crime statistics for the neighborhood in which I’m thinking about buying a home. Where do I get current crime statistics?

A: The best place for neighborhood crime statistics is your local police station. The log they keep of crimes that are reported is public record. You can ask the officer on duty to show you the log and ask if there is a public information officer or someone at the station who can talk to you about what’s really going on in your neighborhood.

But there’s no substitute for doing your own research. Consider spending some time in the neighborhood. Drive through alleys looking for signs of graffiti, break-ins (cars or houses), boarded up back windows, etc. You may also wish to stop in and chat with local store owners about the area and what’s been happening. Your local alderman’s or councilman’s office may also provide information that can help.

Sometimes, a local neighborhood newspaper carries a list of weekly crimes. If your neighborhood has one, you might call over and speak to the reporter who covers the crime beat.

Published: Feb 18, 2007