Like many towns there are some problems. Police blotters and warnings do occur.
Cars get broken into. They do as well in Ocean Township. The Schools have their own issues. One of biggest factors to help in Asbury - the transformation street after street of homes back to single family homes vs chopped up and often illegal apartments.
The conversion of most apartment buildings into condos has changed the makeup of some of those as well. Note, that many of the units may not be owner occupied - but rather investor owned - nothing wrong as long as the buildings are professionally managed.
In between many of the homes on the North side (can be east) you will find a number of multifamily units - some still need some TLC.
Spend a weekend or week in Asbury - walk it, ride it, talk to agents.
Go to Belmar, Avon, Bradley, Manasquan . Determine your price points, what you are looking to do and decide.
It's Asbury Park.
(I grew up in Ocean Twp, Wanamassa, worked the BW 30 years ago...and now my kids work on the BW.)
I'm also a licensed NJ Real Estate Agent. Office not in AP.
I live in Wanamassa, and walk down Sunset Avenue into Asbury Park daily, so I do have some experience. It depends on your definition of 'safe'.
There are neighborhoods, on the West Side that are very nice.
Here's another website that could help answer your question regarding crime and safety in Asbury Park.
As far as the north part of Asbury Park, you can find some good deals in that area. Much better than you can on the east side of Main Street. The homes on many of the streets are older, very charming and many are well maintained. It all depends on what you are looking for. I find that many couples and buyers new to the area are attracted there due to the price points and proximity to the beach.
If you need any information on what is for sale in Asbury Park. I would be very happy to help you find what you are looking for. Please don't hesitate to give me a call.
1500 Allaire Ave., Suite 103
Ocean, NJ 07712