Seems like there has been an uptick in crime lately in the Brookside area–break-ins and thefts more often and during daylight hours. A regular blog reader sent me a couple of crime websites to check out, and this inspired me to write a blog post about them. It’s discouraging to hear about frequent burglaries, assaults, thefts and armed robberies so close to home…it will never totally go away but you can be more aware of what’s happening around your house.
Being a real estate agent, I often hear this phrase: “I want a safe neighborhood”. My reply is there is crime everywhere, and it’s best to check with the local police department for details. However if you want specific information on crime stats (and registered sex offenders) for Kansas City MO, check crimereports.com. KCPD reports incidents to this site, and you can sign up for weekly email recaps of what’s been happening in your area, block by block. I checked stats for January 2014 in the Brookside zone between 55th St. to Gregory, State Line to Holmes and there were 35 different types of theft crimes (breaking and entering, robbery, vehicle theft) and one sexual assault (described as a forcible rape). For the Waldo area (State Line to Holmes, Gregory to 85th), I counted 29 theft incidents and one sexual assault. To me, this indicates the police are kept pretty busy just in these two areas of Kansas City. Crime is more frequent farther east. Regarding home burglaries, KCPD does offer a free program that sends an officer to your home for a safety check, walking through the property with you and making suggestions on how to deter criminals from choosing your house for a burglary. I’ve had this done and it was very helpful–there are many preventative measures you can take that are pretty inexpensive.
Another website, spotcrime.com, also posts detailed crime information. The site is a ‘crime data aggregator’ pulling data from police, news reports and other sources. I didn’t find spotcrime.com as easy to read or navigate as crimereports.com. You can also get email alerts from this site.
There is one more site I want to mention called nextdoor.com. I just signed up to start using it today, so haven’t had a chance to monitor it on a regular basis. Nextdoor.com is a “private social network for your neighborhood”: you can post details about events, yard sales, lost pets, crime, for sale items, handyman inquiries, etc. I can see the benefit if more people join and share information. There are just ten Brookside area homes associations listed, and I’d like to see more added to the list to cover as much of the Brookside area as possible. This site would being especially useful as a quick email alert to notify neighbors of a crime occurrence or suspicious person in your immediate area.
Knowing your neighbors personally and having a block captain is one of the most effective ways to be aware of what’s happening on your street. Always be aware of your surroundings, especially in the dark when getting in and out of your car, going through your backyard or near your garage. And thanks Kelly for recommending these websites to share with my readers!