As access to public records becomes more abundant, criminal records searches have also grown in popularity. Many find it helpful to review the criminal records of those they are hiring, or even individuals involved in their personal lives. While not a pleasant subject, crime is a part of our world. However, public records searches can be used to reveal more than just information on one person. You can also use these records to uncover information about entire neighborhoods by reviewing resources such statistics and crime maps. You may find it helpful to review the crime statistics of an area before moving, buying property, or starting a business in the area. It is easy to judge a location based on how it looks; yet further research could reveal different information. Also, understanding the crime rates of an area could be useful in determining property value.
Crime mapping is a very interesting way to determine the safety of an area. Crime maps are typically created using police reports and answers to 911 calls. These online databases allow you to search by street address, state, or zip code. Once you input your search criteria, the map shows the type of incidents that occurred in the area, such as assault or breaking & entering. The detailed services will also describe the time of the crime as well as a description on how the situation was handled. Furthermore, detailed databases also allow you to refine your search according to certain dates.
Also, the Department of Justice often provides very informative statistical resources. One database, called the Criminal Victimization Statistical Tables, cover information that can be very informative in criminal searches. Information covered by these tables includes the type crime, characteristics of the victims, time and place of occurrence, victim/offender relationships, and police response times. Although it is not a searchable database, users can easily download these tables as a PDF document or a spreadsheet. Currently, however, these tables of statistics are only available up to 2006.
There are many resources available, however, the Free Public Records Directory allows you to easily review the different types of information. This directory provides free links to various databases and a brief description of what you can expect to find. Also, although there is an abundance of resources, not all resources are free. As such, Free Public Records Directory also conveniently lists which public records can be searched for free, and which required a paid subscription. This site can help you easily navigate which public records sites are appropriate for you search.