You can read stats, ask opinions, and watch the news. But the best thing you can do is take a walk around the neighborhood during the day, at night, and then spend an hour hanging on the corner (don't sell anything....yet), during those two different times. When you see neighbors walking, ask them what they think of their 'hood.
You won't get a better safety report than that.
Here's another website you can visit http://www.everyblock.com/
Enter a Zip code or specific adddress and you'll get a lot of good information about a neighborhood both good and bad.
Good luck, Ken.