A high Walk Score tells you that you’re close to the people and places you love. But is the neighborhood safe from crime?
Today we’re announcing Crime Grade, the first measure of crime safety for a home or apartment that accurately measures your personal risk. Crime Grade is an A – D rating that tells you how likely you are to be affected by crime.
Why Does it Matter?
Crime safety is a top concern for people looking for apartments and shopping for homes. What matters most is your per capita risk of being affected by crime. Other crime maps and statistics often make walkable neighborhoods with lots of people (e.g. Downtowns) seem unsafe because they only measure how many crimes are reported — not the per capita crime rate.
The Walk Score Crime Grade is computed using a patent-pending system that aggregates crimes near an address and weights crimes by severity and distance. We calculate a per capita crime rate for an address based on the total population (residents and workers) in the area. Crime rates are then compared against city-wide rates and converted into a letter grade. We have a separate Crime Grade for personal crime (e.g. robbery or violent crime that affects a person) and property crime (e.g. burglary or theft that affects property). This allows you to accurately compare your crime risk between addresses in a city.
For example, below are two maps of crime in Chicago. The map on the left shows reported crimes and makes Downtown Chicago appear quite dangerous. The Walk Score crime map on the right shows the Crime Grade (e.g. your per capita risk of being affected by crime) in this area. Although there are a lot of crimes reported in Downtown Chicago, there are so many people that your personal risk is still low.
Available for Every Address in 16 Cities
Crime Grades are available in the 16 cities listed below where police departments make their crime reports publicly available:
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- Washington D.C.
Crime Grades are available today on all Walk Score apartment and rental listings in the cities above and will be rolling out to every address in these cities soon. If you want to get your Crime Grade right away, just tweet @walkscore with your address and we’ll send you a link to your Crime Grade.
We’ve been working on our Crime Grade methodology for over a year. We initially launched neighborhood crime comparisons in the summer of 2013. Please send us your feedback, we’d love to hear what you think.