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I always suggest to clients who have a concern with safety to go there themselves and check it out. So if you are afraid of night time foot traffic then go there a couple of nights. All areas of the city has crime and there are several resources to find that information. Additionally, not sure what you are considering developing in the area, but as David has stated, there has been a tremendous amount of development in the area and plans for much more so you may want to look at what permits are already approved, etc....
There may be a website or two with crime stats for the Mt. Vernon and surrounding areas. I would compare the stats of Mt. Vernon against other areas that you may be interested in to really compare apples to apples.
You can always quantify crime by looking at the DC crime map.