I receive lots of calls and emails about people looking for apartments and wanting to know about the crime rates there.

Here is the advice I have for anyone looking at apartments: Check with the apartment’s management and get as much information as you can about the crime rate and what types of crimes exist there.  Next, check with anyone you might know who lives there.  Find out from them about the crime rate.

I would also suggest that you do some investigation on your own.

Drive through the complex at several different times, such as on a weekday, a weeknight, a weekend day and a weekend night.  Look around: Are there too few lights?  Are many lights burnt out?  Do you see overgrown trees and shrubs?  Do you see graffiti?  Do you see abandoned vehicles?  Do you see any suspicious activity?

If you said “yes” to any of these, and it makes you feel uncomfortable, then this might not be the place for you.

Check out the laundry facilities and the pool area.  Are they well maintained?  Is everything in working order?  Are the areas clean?  This will give you a good indication of how well the apartment complex is maintained.

If you are looking in Sandy Springs, check out www.crimereports.com.  You will be able to get information on police activity in the complex and the surrounding areas.  If you are looking outside of Sandy Springs, still look at www.crimereports.com.  Your local police department might subscribe to this service.

Good Luck.

Officer Larry Jacobs is the Crime Prevention Officer for the Sandy Springs Police Department.  He can be reached directly at ljacobs@sandyspringsga.gov.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.