Moving interstate or even just to a new area in your city can be very exciting! Finding new cafes, local shops and shortcuts makes the day to day a bit of an adventure. And while checking out public transport and schools, general suburb safety is also important. It pays to do your homework about what the area is like before you move in.
If you’re fortunate enough to have the time and flexibility to research suburbs before you move, here’s a list of things to check that can be an indicator to safety.
Explore before you get there – in the day and night
Spend a weekend in the suburbs you’re exploring. Don’t just drive around, get out and take the walks you’re likely to take, check out the local shops and bus and train stations. This can help you get a feel for how safe you feel when around the suburb.
And don’t forget to do this at night too! You don’t have to walk, but drive around at night and see what the area is like. Are the streets brightly lit with good visibility? Are there kids wandering around unsupervised? Are there a lot of people taking their dogs for a walk? Are there local pubs or clubs that get a bit rowdy?
What types of security do your future neighbours have?
Check out to see what other people have implemented for their homes. If there’s a lot of security around it could mean that there’s a lot of crime – but it might not! If you’re seeing a lot of cameras, that can easily deter burglars! Once they see a camera they’re going to move on. And if there’s a few houses in a row that have them set up they’re likely going to avoid that whole area!
Check the local crime stats
It might be boring, but it’s important to do your due diligence to learn about your areas. Check out the Queensland Police Service to see how many break ins or other forms of crime are happening in the areas you’re looking at.
It’s a good idea to review a few areas (including where you currently live) when you do this too! You might be surprised to see how much is going on that you’re not aware of. And we’re not trying to scare anyone, but sometimes you might find there’s more break ins or thefts in your area than you’d expect. And that doesn’t mean your area is unsafe, but it can help with perspective.
We also know that not everyone can afford to live in a gated community. So if you check out an area that you like and feel comfortable in, don’t let the crime stats deter you. Let them inform you and how you can take a few extra precautions on your property to make sure you don’t become a statistic.
Speak to your future neighbours
If you can, speak to people you see out in their yards or going for a walk. No need to be creepy or interrogate them (otherwise they might get the wrong idea if they’re doing the same thing!). Just say hello and see how they respond and if you have the opportunity, let them know you’re looking to move into the area. They’re likely to be honest and want to help you make the right decision.
Make sure you check the security on properties you’re looking at
If you’re looking at houses, check for security cameras and security screens – and how they operate. Don’t be afraid to close and lock the doors and see how strong they are. We advise against seeing if you can kick them in though!
If the screens installed are Crimsafe, you’ll see the Crimsafe logo in the top right side of the screen. If this isn’t there, an imitation product may be installed and you can’t be sure of its integrity and safety for your family.
By keeping the above in mind when you’re looking for a new rental or home to buy you can feel more confident about your decisions. While it feels like a lot of work, you’ll be glad you did it!