How Seriously Should I Take Crime/sex Offender Reports Online When Moving?

Updated on May 21, 2010
M.G. asks from Portland, OR
15 answers

My husband has decided to take a job in what seemed to be a wonderful area. However, when I looked at crime/sex offender reports online, I found an unusually large amount of sex offenders (hundreds!) living in that area. Ironically, there were very few crime (theft, homocide, etc, other than sex offences) reports. I compared this to where we are living now too. The density of sex offenders is much worse than our current neighborhood. There are even multiple sex offenders living in certain blocks of the neighborhood we were looking to move to. There is an area about 30 mins away from his office that has less crime/sex offenders. Should we seriously think about living there and commuting? It is closer to her potential school, there are less than 10 sex offenders in that area. My husband wasn't quite impressed with the school because the receptionist was rude to him and the school honestly has a bad smell but I liked the principal and thought it was small, well-rounded, safe school. I also liked the other schools that are less of a commute but they are also in higher crime areas.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

I did look to see the exact crimes these sex offenders did. All of them are men ages 20s to elderly. A lot of cases ARE child molestation, sodomy, rape and some have multiple offenses in different states and have also violated communication with the authorities. Perhaps some may be adults having sex with minors. But my concern is that these crimes are against minors.
In my current neighborhood, I know of one person who is on the website. I have never seen him at the house and there are always children playing without adult supervision on that street.
Personally, I never let my daughter out of my sight, even in my yard. I carry mace and a phone when I am gardening or doing things outside.
I am very concerned about the high volume and density of sex offenders in the area, especially since the cases are crimes against children. I am guessing some are in group homes and may be there for psychological supervision but since this area is across the country and there's no way to drop by or investigate the area in person, I think I will talk to my husband about living in an area where I feel more comfortable. Like I said, there are hardly any other crimes such as burglary, theft, etc (residential/vehicle) but for some reason, there's a lot of child molestation/solicitation/communication and even rape with minors in different degrees going on.
Thank you all for your advice and comments. Yes, I take the reports seriously so I didn't phrase my question well in my subject line. But you got the point, thanks.

Featured Answers



answers from Anchorage on

I would investigate how many where charged with crimes against children. There are many things that can cause one to have to register as a sex offender. That said, when it comes to my kids I follow the thought better safe than sorry.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Raleigh on

Our small town was voted in the top 10 towns to live in the whole US. It is a small town just 20 min from the big city. Our comminty in very family friendly with lots of kids and things for the kids. However there are 30 sex offenders living within 2 miles of our house. MY boys are 3 and 5. I am very safety cousious no matter where we are. WE lived in NYC, near DC and now small town in NC. There will be sick people everywhere. I used to watch Nancy Grace show and those kids who were kidnapped and killed were from the areas people considered safe and they let their guards down.
So for me if I like the area, I would not judge it by the sex offenders list.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I would try to find out why they are concetrated there. We live in a small urban city that is surrounded by a larger city. The areas just adjacet to our city have old, seedy hotels and cheep apartment buildings, so the sex offenders can move in and out easily. As long as you are aware of the area, and take appropriate steps to be safe, and your actual neighborhood is a family oriented place with a tight nit feeling, you might be just as safe knowing where they are, than taking your chances with areas where you let your gaurd down a little bit, and encounter the person who has yet to be identified, because they are going to gravitate to the place where no one is thinking they will be.

You should also know that every sex offender is not a threat to your child. If you can find out who the victim is (in our state, we get reports that identify a victim category) Most frequently, the sex offenders I get notice on prey on adults, so they may not be any threat to a child. However, we do have one offender whose victims were listed as child, female, and our neighborhood watch got the children together and invited the juvinile officer from our police department to come talk to them about how adults should treat kids, and what lures looked and felt like. She explained that adults don't need help or directions from children and that adutls need to help other adults find puppies, etc.

Unfortunately, sex offenders are everywhere, and our police officer was happy to come help us, but warned all the parents that we were lucky to know of this one offender, what he looked like, etc, but that did not make our kids safe from the ones we did not know about, and that our dilligence and supervision was what would help protect them from the ones we did not know about.


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I think it depends on your personal habits and parenting style. My children never left my site or rode bikes up and down the street or played outside by themselves. I was the mom on the group always looking out for them. Even when they played out, I preferred the back yard where a van couldn't rush up and someone jump out and grab them and speed away.

I also don't shop late at night or in dark places if at all possible. I am VERY careful in every area of my life. So I wouldn't take it too seriously.

If you want your children to go outside and stay out there with you in the house and not watching through the window every minute, then I'd move to the lower SO populated area.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

I have ALWAYS checked the sex offender websites before deciding to live in a certain neighborhood. But I also look at the actual crime they were convicted of. Google "parents watchdog" and that site is great, it shows everyone's picture as well as the actual crime. I think our children's safety should be the number one deciding factor with every decision we make. Good luck with your move.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I think the sex offender registry is an often misused tool and scares people more than helps. For every offense in which genitals are involved (peeing in public, flashing, actual sex, etc.) a person convicted is forever labeled a sex offender. Sometime the crimes listed still don't give a clear picture of what actually happened. The law makes no provision for common sense (ie. 18 year old boyfriend, 15 year old get the picture) and because of this a person convicted of molestation or sodomy (which is any other penetration than vaginal) they are deemed monsters for life.

All of that being said, being cautious and careful with your child is your best defense. Another thing to consider is that for all the sex offenders listed you know they exist, but you have no idea where the ones who haven't been caught and are much more dangerous are right now.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I would take it seriously, it would deter me from buying in a certain area. However, no matter where you choose to live, one could move in next door the next week or the next month. Shoot, one could already be living next door and just hasn't been caught yet. For me it's a factor (and a big one) but it's just one of many things to consider when choosing where to live.

Good luck,

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I would take it into consideration but you will find the same thing in many areas. Many of the people on the registry are not child predators and like others have said there are many crimes that are now legally required to have to report as sex offenders. Even looking up the crime on the Megan's Law website in your state doesn't really tell you what the situation is/was. We moved recently and when I looked on the state's website I found that the neighbor a few doors down is a registered sex offender so I asked my neighbor what the deal was. I am now informed about that person's history and know that I want to keep an eye on that guy. That being said, we love our neighborhood and let our son play outside (within view, he's only 4) without us having to be right there.

I would be more concerned with the overall crime rate and the crimes actually being committed in the areas you are looking at. What's the rate of break-ins and property crimes. I think you are at greater risk of having a break-in go bad than something happening with a registered offender who the police are aware of.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

The way you posted this question really shocked me! How seriously should you take crime/sex offender reports online when moving? VERY VERY SERIOUSLY if you have children!!!!! I would try to go where it shows less sex offenders! really, you need to know that they are out there and if you plan to stay in that place and raise children there, you need to make sure it is a safe place for them. You would want your children to be able to walk around, play around, go to the park to play and not have to worry of someone trying to snatch them! I'm not sure about your state or town, but in some states and towns you can request your child to go to a different school even if it's not the one closest to your house. If the school smells you can talk to the principal and find out what the issues are that make the school smell like it does and what they could do to resolve the issue.
As far as the secretary, you will find rude people all over. As long as she is not teaching your child and not responsible for her, I wouldn't worry about it.
I hope you find a good school.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

i would take it very seriously. you can never be to safe when it comes to your family!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I think no matter where you live there are going to be sex offenders. so maybe instead of thinking about that think of ways to protect yourself and children. It may help to know what level of offense they have. There are people local and 1 guy on my street and I have not had any problems you just need to tell your kids your rules and make sure you are watching them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

sex offenders are everywhere thanks to the fact that they get a slap on their wrist and are then turned loose into society.
i always check the reports on sex offenders and areas i end up living in. if there are a lot, that place goes off my list.
the school is what bothers me. if you don't get a good vide from the school you need to seek areas with better school districts.
we ended up sending kids to private school because the district we're in is pretty much awful. we knew this when buying and we knew we'd send his to private school because of it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Well, you have a choice. Stay or go and be careful with your chilren.
If you stay then the offenders of any kind have won. They have stifled your freedom, maybe not in an overt fashion, but they have caused YOU to rethink your choice.
Look for a house where you want to live. Be aware of the neighborhood you live in. Take the necessary precautions, lock doors while you are away, have lights on timers, always watch you children outside. THese are things you do anyway.
There is a sex offender living in the subdivision right behind our elementary school. Nothing has happened to any of the children since he has been here.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I take it very seriously. It was what we used to find our new place. Keep in mind those are the ones that are only registered, so even more could be lurking in that area. Everybody has a bad day so your husband needs to get over the receptionist lol 30 mins isn't a bad commute at all... ours right now is 25 mins, and it doesn't even feel like it's that long. Good Luck... your childs saftey is more important than a longer commute.



answers from Richland on

I would stop and ask yourself why there is a high density of sex offenders in a particular neighborhood. Sometimes ( as is the case in a town in Florida) the laws vary from town to town, and eventually sex offenders know to move to an area where they won't be "hassled" as much by law enforcement.

If you have children in school, there is no way on earth that you should move into a neighborhood like that. So there's less "crime", but believe it that sex offenders never stop wanting to reoffend. It is a sickness that people have. Why put your children in harm's way?

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions