DailyMorningCoffee welcomes Madison Parker with this wonderful Guest Article.
Part of keeping our homes and our families safe is understanding (and avoiding) the dangers that surround us. If vehicle theft is prominent in your neighborhood, for example, you should think about getting a more advanced car alarm. If it’s burglary, you’re going to want to get the best home security system that you can based on your budget.
But, how do you know what’s going on in terms of crime? How do you track and analyze crime?
This is a tough nut to crack, if only because crime comes in local, state, and federal levels. Still, there are some online resources out there you can look at that will help you get a handle on what’s going on around you:
- For the big picture view, look at the Crime Reports website. You can visit crimereports.com to get a look at crimes in, near, and around a given geographic area. Simply put in a street address, and the site will show you reported crimes, sex offender registry entries if applicable, and more. You can even create alerts that let you know when there’s been a crime nearby, and submit tips about a crime that’s occurred. The biggest limitation here is that the site doesn’t necessarily have information from every law enforcement agency, and so your mileage may vary based on your location.
- For specific neighborhoods, check out Spot Crime. The site http://spotcrime.com/ contains similar information to what you’ll find at Crime Reports, but in addition to offering a map drill-down version, it also offers a list of neighborhoods. Here again, the information may not be comprehensive, but it is a place to start.
- Check into local websites, too. These are going to be a little bit harder to find, but a Google search should turn something up in most areas. A good example of this is the crime view site created by the Jacksonville, Florida sheriff’s Office. These sites often contain more detailed information about crime in your local area. Contact your local sheriff’s office to see if they have such a site. If not, they may have some sort of offline resource you can use.
- For specific crimes or offenders, look at your state’s Department of Corrections. An example of this would be the Michigan Department of Corrections Offender Tracking Information System (OTIS), although most states have some similar resource.
- Don’t forget the National Sex Offender Public Website. The site, known as NSOPW, has information about all 50 states, D.C., U.S. territory, and even some participating Native American tribes. The actual data for the site is hosted by the local jurisdiction, and so anything you find here you should probably verify locally or at the state level, as well.
Knowledge is one of the best ways you can protect yourself. Understand the risks that surround you, and then develop a home and family security plan that takes those specific risks into account, while not neglecting other possibilities as well.
Author Bio: Madison Parker is a security expert whose interests range from personal to home security systems. Get more tips and advice on the blog Home Security Systems!