Know Your Resources: What's the Real Crime Rate in Boise?
Posted by Lisa Kohl on Thursday, February 20th, 2020 at 11:43am
Boise is well known for its below-average crime rate when compared to cities of similar size – it’s one important reason factoring into people’s decisions to move here. In fact, the crime rate in Boise has been steadily declining for 25 years.
Yet when moving to a new neighborhood, it’s natural to worry about the unknowns, and one of those unknowns is safety. What is the crime rate in Boise? How does it compare to nearby cities, like Eagle and Meridian? Where do you even begin finding that information? And how do you know if the data is current and reliable?
Below, we’ll give you the resources to help you do your due diligence and ensure that your next neighborhood is everything you want it to be, including safe.
Ada County Crime Map
If you’re looking for a user-friendly, Boise crime map, this is it. The Ada County Crime Mapper, run by the Ada County Sheriff’s Department in coordination with the Boise and Meridian police departments, is one of the most comprehensive and up-to-date resources available to the public. You can input a specific address to see what crimes have occurred in its immediate area, or they can zoom out for a broader sense of the Boise crime rate.
Additionally, users can easily layer crime categories – including arson, assault, burglary, vandalism and property offenses – to get a personalized landscape of crime that has been reported in the past three months. The Ada County Sheriff’s office also runs a sex offender registry that allows you to see a map of all registered sex offenders living within a one-mile radius of any address within the county.
City-Based Law Enforcement Agencies
The City of Boise keeps a crime statistics summary and annual crime statistics report on its website. However, it is more of a yearly summary report than a current snapshot of citywide crime. Meanwhile, both Meridian and Eagle both refer to the Ada County Crime Mapping, which remains the most reliable method of looking at currently reported crimes.
Idaho State Police
For a broader look at crime trends, you can visit the Idaho State Police crime repository. Here, you can find crime statistics based on data reported by 63 police departments and 44 sheriff’s departments throughout the state.
The site shows annual crime trends based on a number of categories, including destruction of property, motor vehicle theft, arson, and burglary. By clicking on “Jurisdictional Crime Reports,” you can also see detailed crime reports by county and city. This is especially useful as smaller cities, including Nampa and Caldwell, do not include crime statistics on their websites.
The downside to this website is that since the data shows annual trends, often compared to the previous year’s data, it is always a bit outdated.
Crime Stoppers of Southwest Idaho
Crime Stoppers of Southwest Idaho is a great way to stay informed about current unsolved crimes, most of which occur in the Treasure Valley. Its phone app is very user-friendly.
Being a Critical Consumer of Crime Data
Any internet search will reveal no end of websites offering their hot take on the crime rate in Boise. How do you gauge whether their data is trustworthy?
While we can’t guarantee the accuracy of any of the information you’ll find on the internet, the best rule of thumb is this: when looking for reliable data, first check government websites. Local law enforcement agencies are in the business of crime, just as they are in the business of keeping residents safe. They will be the most trustworthy, current and relevant sources of local crime statistics.
Along those lines, it’s useful to have a grain of salt handy when visiting third-party websites, which often rely on search engine optimization tactics to appear at the top of search engine results. These websites can be more interested in “clicks” than they are in ensuring their information is both accurate and timely.
Finally, there are ways to follow up on the crime data you come across on the internet to ensure its accuracy. For instance, you can contact local law enforcement agencies via the non-emergency number and ask to be put in touch with the neighborhood officer assigned to an area.
No one is better equipped to discuss the crime rate in Boise or any of its neighborhoods than a patrolling officer, and most are willing – if not downright eager – to share their expertise with a potential new addition to the neighborhood.
Lisa is a top Idaho Realtor and creator of WeKnowBoise.com. From Southeast Boise to the North End, up to Eagle and west to Meridian, or right in the middle of the Boise Bench and downtown - We Know Boise. Whether buying or selling a home, we provide full-service real estate solutions dedicated to helping our clients achieve their goals.
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