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Bad Neighborhood: What Are Your Safety And Security Options?

What is a bad neighborhood? To most people, it would probably come down to a mixture of a high crime rate, poor sanitation, and rough accommodation. On the other hand, you could also describe a bland, gentrified area devoid of culture and diversity as a ‘bad neighborhood’, so perhaps it depends who you ask. 

If you put the question to a realtor, they’d probably struggle to answer, since their primary motive is, of course, to sell properties—even in areas perceived as ‘bad’.

Many of us from all walks of life have or will be stuck in an unsafe environment at one time or another. When that’s the case, what can you do to stay as safe as possible?

How To Tell If An Area Is Safe

If a neighborhood is clean and still offers all the amenities you want, how do you tell if an area is safe? There are several tools available online to help predict if an area is safe, but all these rely on crime data exploration and statistics to perform. 

Using the crime statistics of an area alone cannot help you detect bad neighborhoods, just as relying on realtors’ statements cannot provide an unbiased picture of the area.

Simply put in the address of the neighborhood, and you will see crimes displayed on a map of the area, along with the type of crime and date it was committed. 

A police car waits at a traffic light

You can also check the number of home sales in the neighborhood to see if the neighborhood is safe. An excess of abandoned properties in a neighborhood may suggest that people are moving out as a result of unemployment, which isn’t necessarily indicative of safety, but does suggest a lack of opportunity for work and the prevalence of poverty.

You may want to dig deeper with your investigation by talking to the neighborhood residents. The residents will tell you their safety concerns and make recommendations on how they deal with such crimes. 

What Are The Signs Of A Bad Neighborhood?

  • Poorly maintained homes
  • Limited access to employment opportunities
  • Poorly maintained infrastructures, like drainage
  • Drug abuse 
  • Decay of public places, including libraries and restrooms
  • Little or no community engagement
  • Poor or zero transport connectivity to other neighborhoods
  • Ongoing regular crime reports
  • Abandoned storefronts

How To Protect Your Home: Five Tips To Improve Security

But not all hope is lost! Improving your security isn’t nearly as costly an endeavor as it once was, and there are a number of simple (and not-so-simple) fixes you can implement to increase your safety.

A security alarm attached to the outside wall of a home.

1. Install a Home Security System

Interestingly, burglars also suggested that the sound of a barking dog was also a significant deterrent. They aren’t man’s best friend for nothing! 

2. Install Outdoor Cameras with Remote Viewing Access

With a remote outdoor camera, you can get notified on mobile devices whenever someone gets close to your home. Some of these cameras can be remotely controlled to view different places within your home simultaneously, and you can use them to trigger warnings to an intruder.

3. Secure All Entry Points and Valuables

 Apartment housing in Germany.

4. Get to Know Your Neighbors

It pays to know your neighbors from the moment you move into a new neighborhood. Getting to know your neighbors will help you detect suspicious activities that you must report to the neighborhood watch or the police. 

5. Be Street Smart

Securing your home should not be your only focus in a bad neighborhood. Street smarts aren’t exactly something that can be bought, but they can certainly be developed. They’re especially important when walking around at night.

Familiarizing yourself with routes you’ll regularly be taking mitigates the need to wander off into dangerous areas, and you should always move around in groups whenever possible. 


Unfortunately, a typical ‘bad neighborhood’ is markedly more affordable to rent or buy a home in than a substantially safer one. By independently researching a neighborhood, you’ll likely be more clued up about the reality of living in the place than you might be based on statements obtained from realtors.