When it comes to raising a family, safety and security are among a parent’s top priorities. This can be ensured in various ways by taking different measures depending on different points of concern. For instance, when looking for a new place, whether you’re changing zip codes or just moving a few blocks, it’s important to check just what kind of neighborhood you might be moving into. The same is true if new neighbors are moving in, learning as much as you can about them would be helpful because your family is most likely to interact with them one way or another. It may seem extreme to some but if the situation calls for you to perform background checks on your neighbors, then, by all means, do so.
Why Do a Criminal Background Check
Before you perform a background check, make sure that you are doing it for a valid reason. Please be careful not to do so out of bias or prejudice due to factors like race and ethnicity, religious beliefs, and the like.
While doing a background check is something that we recommend, we also strongly advise that you proceed with caution. This is a course of action that you should seriously consider if you have enough reason to believe that your neighbors might be hiding something that could potentially harm your family and your neighborhood. There are some types of background checking though that you should always consider doing such as checking whether any of your neighbors might be on the national sex offender registry.
Here are some instances where you might want to consider performing a background check on a neighbor:
- They exhibit erratic behavior that is indicative of substance abuse.
- There are suspicious activities in your neighbor’s house such as people coming and going in the middle of the night.
- They seem to go out of their way to avoid you and all your other neighbors.
- They make any of your loved ones feel uncomfortable or anxious.
- You’re considering them to babysit your kids or perhaps do some odd jobs in your home.
Tools to Check on Your Neighbors
From sex offender registries to local law enforcement agencies, there are various institutions and resources you can turn to in case you wish to learn more about your neighbors. One of the main things you’d most likely want to access is your neighbor’s criminal records. You can always personally go to the concerned government agencies and offices to get some information. There are also online databases and resources that you can check out.
Here are three tools that can be of great help in terms of learning more about someone’s criminal history and/or checking just how conducive a neighborhood is to raising a family:
- FBI Crime Data Explorer
The Federal Bureau of Investigation Crime Data Explorer is a great place to start your search. It compiles crime reports from all over the country so it will be helpful in checking your neighborhood or the neighborhood you are moving into. This tool, however, does not portray crime mapping by address. It does provide crime data on any state. The data is conveniently divided by crime type so you’ll know what kind of crimes are rampant in a particular neighborhood. This can also tell you the likelihood of which crimes a neighbor with a criminal past might have been involved with.
- Family Watchdog
This is a tool that parents should regularly check. Family Watchdog maps the addresses of registered sex offenders in your neighborhood as well as near your child’s school. You can simply enter your address into the website’s search box and see nearby sex offenders. You may also search by name. The type of sex crime committed is represented by a color-coded icon. You can click on the icon and see the picture, aliases, and type of sex crime committed.
You might also want to sign up for alerts whenever a registered sex offender moves in or out of your neighborhood. This site, however, does not offer background checking services in the event you want to learn more about a registered sex offender.
ClickSearch is a people search engine that offers convenient and affordable background checking services. They offer various kinds of search reports including person, phone, bankruptcy, liens & judgments, sex offender, and criminal reports. It is pretty straightforward to use too, simply go to the corresponding ClickSearch page, enter the details required, search, and then go through the report.
A general person search can provide you with a person’s known aliases, current and previous addresses, current and previous phone numbers and other contact details, social media accounts, family members, and more. As for a criminal background check, the report may include the following information:
- Arrest Records. Suspected crimes the person has been arrested for include details like date, time, and location of arrest as well as type and reason for the arrest.
- Misdemeanors and Felonies. Crimes that a person has committed and been charged for include all misdemeanors and felonies.
- Accused and Convicted Crimes. Details on convictions as well as crimes that a person has been accused of.
The crazy thing in most communities nowadays, especially in more urban areas is that only a few take time to learn about their neighbors. In a lot of cases, people would share a building with people for years and they wouldn’t even have any idea about their next-door neighbor’s job. You don’t necessarily have to be close friends with your neighbors but at least learn some basic information about them.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What does a criminal background check show?
A criminal background check shows arrest records and convictions. You can check information on the crimes that a person has been accused of or charged for. You may also see any cases awaiting trial as well as warrants of arrest.
- What is the best site to get criminal records?
Sites like ClickSearch can provide you with relevant information without much hassle. Simply perform the search and wait for the report. You may get in touch with the concerned government agencies such as courts, law enforcement agencies, and the like and see whether they have online repositories.
- Are online background checks accurate?
This would depend on the site or service provider that you used. To be on the safe side, it’s best to use reputable sites even if they might cost you a fee. Such sites have vast databases of information aggregated from various reliable sources ensuring more accurate and up-to-date information.
- Is neighborhood watch a good thing?
It could help in ensuring neighborhood safety and crime reduction. This will, of course, largely depend on the system and management of the neighborhood watch.