How to Tell If a Neighbourhood Is Safe

When it comes to crime, there’s more saturated myth and lies than a school playground. Except instead of that sixth former claiming to have slept with the hot PE teacher, it’s an old fashioned taxi driver insisting that Peckham is still a rough area.

It’s hard not to take on board stupid biases and spurious factoids, so we thought we’d help you find the truth. If you’re viewing a house and you can’t tell if the area is a bit rough or not, here are some CSI-worthy ways to work it out.

1. Check the chicken/coffee ratio

chicken vs coffeeWe’ve all known it deep down, but it’s now been pretty interestingly researched that there’s a profoundly stereotypical correlation between chicken shops and up’n’coming areas.

Basically, when there starts to be more coffee shops than chicken shops, an area that has been a bit rough is officially gentrified and therefore (probably) safer. This means, although it may still look a bit dodgy, it’s probably safe as houses.

2. UK Crime Statistics

crimeIf you think counting how many Morley’s and Dixie Chickens there are in your area isn’t ‘scientific’ enough, you can just check UK Crime Statistics’ records.

If you click here, you can search crime frequencies by area and even by specific crimes!

3. Finding a good neighbourhood is murder

dumb ways to die-2If the above tool isn’t good enough for you, you can dig even deeper. Why not check out a map of gruesome every murder committed in London for the past few centuries. See how many you’ve heard of in the news/history books. It even color-codes the method of killing. It’s basically Cluedo.

4. Check My Street

mapsCheck My Street is a search platform that is great because it overlays house-hunting info (nearby public transport, average rents, etc.) with crime data. That means that if you’re scouting out a new area to live, Check My Street is a one stop shop of helpful info.

5. Do some field work

talkIf you’re tempted to go to an area, but aren’t sure about how safe it is, the best thing you can do is just go and see how you feel. If you show up, eat some food, go to the pub and feel safe the whole time, it’s probably safe.

Ask around, tell people you’re thinking of moving and see what they say – but remember, people always have biases…

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