Neighborhood Crime Apps for Halloween
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Trick-or-treating is the classic Halloween activity. It's a chance to wear a costume, hang out with friends, explore your neighborhood, and eat a dangerous amount of candy. Put simply, it's scary fun.
Walking around your neighborhood-or exploring a new one-is one of the best parts of trick-or-treating. With that said, it pays to be careful, especially if you're going to an unfamiliar area. Thankfully, there are several apps out there that allow you to answer the eternal question: "Is this neighborhood safe?" Neighborhood safety apps offer real-time information like police incidents in your area and allow you to report activity in your neighborhood. Combine these with a website like NeighborhoodScout that provides crime rate by address, and you'll have a ton of information at your fingertips. Safe trick-or-treating is fun trick-or-treating, so let's check out some neighborhood crime apps and the best safety apps for Halloween.
Nextdoor is the OG neighborhood app, originally releasing in, ironically enough, October of 2011. At its core, it is a hyperlocal social network that allows users to connect with other people in their neighborhood. This includes everything from recommending local services to reporting and chatting about local neighborhood news and viewing neighborhood crime rates.
It's worth noting that you can only access a neighborhood in Nextdoor if you live in that neighborhood. You must provide, and verify, your address before you can use a neighborhood's Nextdoor site. From a Halloween safety perspective, Nextdoor is great for scoping out crime statistics by address and getting real-time news in your neighborhood. But, if you're trick-or-treating somewhere else, you'll need to look for a different app.
Neighbors by Ring
Like Nextdoor, Neighbors is a hyperlocal social network app. It is owned and operated by Ring, the Amazon home security company known for its smart home security systems. Unlike Nextdoor, Neighbors is solely focused on public safety. If you're looking for someone to recommend a plumber, you've come to the wrong place.
Neighbors allows users to post reports on events in the neighborhood. They can also upload photos and video, both from their phone or from Ring's doorbell and surveillance cameras. Neighbors partners with local law enforcement, who can post requests for help with investigations. Neighbors is limited to just your neighborhood, but if you want to check neighborhood safety on Halloween, it's the app to use.
If you're going trick-or-treating somewhere unfamiliar, consider downloading the Citizen app. Citizen monitors, posts, and sends real-time, location-based public safety alerts. Alerts are generated by a combination of user submissions and Citizen employees monitoring 911, fire, and emergency medical services scanners. This means that alerts can run the gamut from crime to fires, downed trees, and even blocked streets.
Citizen sends you alerts based on your current location, there's no need to sign up with an address. You can also search specific neighborhoods and addresses, which makes it a good way to find out if a neighborhood is safe before you go. It's worth noting that Citizen only serves a bit over 60 US cities and metro areas, so make sure you’re on the list before you download the app.
Watch Over Me
While it's more of a personal safety app than a neighborhood safety app, Watch Over Me is still an excellent choice for Halloween night safety. This neighborhood crime map app will warn you when you're walking into dark or high crime areas, making it very easy to know which spots to avoid.
The personal safety features are nothing to sniff at, either. Give the app a set time period, and it'll track your location for the duration. If you don't tap "I'm Safe" before time runs out, your emergency contacts will get an alert with your location. This is especially useful if you have kids trick-or-treating alone.
More than anything safety, whether it’s in your neighborhood or online, is about knowledge. You've got to know what's happening (or what could be happening) so you can react to it. There's no way to get perfect knowledge about a neighborhood, but these apps will get you pretty close.
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