Picking a Safe Place to Live - Questions to Consider
An excellent method of gauging the overall livability of a prospective neighborhood is to speak to several of its long-time residents. Introduce yourself and ask about their experiences. They may be aware of crime problems that are not reported to the police, or other quality of life concerns. Think about it: a year or two after you’ve moved to a new neighborhood your perception of the area will likely match that which the long-term residents have acquired, so they may be your best source of information. You may also contact the Crime Analysis Unit at 310-458-8472. In addition, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Is your prospective home on a “quiet and sleepy” street? If so, you’re in luck. Criminals are more nervous about operating in a neighborhood where the vehicle and foot traffic is low enough to permit the residents to know who belongs and who doesn’t.
- Would you be living right next to a retail shopping corridor or a major thoroughfare? Street criminals prefer to work in areas where pedestrians and people parking their cars are more likely to have spending money to shop or dine with.
- Is the street and/or the perimeter of the building well-lit? Nighttime crime is more likely to occur under poorly lit conditions.
- Would you be walking a considerable distance to and from your parking space? How visible are you to passers-by and adjacent neighbors along this route? Criminals prefer striking out of view of witnesses. Does this route take you past blind corners or overgrown shrubbery?
- Would you be able to park your car within a private secure garage? Or would you be sharing a large parking area with other cars that’s convenient for thieves who go on late night “shopping” sprees.
- Would most or all of your prospective neighbors be at work all day? Burglars gravitate to such clusters of unoccupied dwellings. They tend to avoid neighborhoods or apartment buildings with residents who are home during the day or who have a varied schedule of coming and going.
- Are entryways or windows recessed or invisible to adjacent neighbors? Intruders often prefer properties designed to give occupants privacy over ones which are more visible to watchful neighbors’ eyes? Older, cottage style apartment buildings sometimes offer better vantage points from which to view neighbors’ homes than do more modern, so-called “security” buildings.
- Are the doors or windows readily accessible from a common walkway where a burglar acting nonchalantly could blend in with other foot traffic before forcing entry?