Check it out here: http://www.trulia.com/crime/#!cook-il/13/41.87542,-87.62457/
It uses the data from the local police departments, but presents them in a useful way.
The website I have recommended clients for years is the Chicago Police Departments. It's not super hip and design oriented but its the ultimate source. You can filter for every imaginable crime. And before you jump to conclusions, its important to look at addresses throughout the city to get an accurate idea of both volume and type of crime.
Therefore use the internet, the local police department once you know the neighborhoods you are interested in, and once you narrow down a few properties, by all means feel free to talk to the neighbors and ask them what
they like about their neighborhood, they can tell you....
Sorry it's the law.......
If you are working with a local Realtor which by all means you definitely should do, I am assuming that you might be a first time home buyer, you need the protection of a Professional Realtor, finding the right properties for you in size, location and price, compare them to others and those recently sold, discuss the offer, negotiate the best terms and price on your behalf and guide you through the entire process like
your inspection (never ever buy a property without an inspection, even though it will cost you several 100 $ in advance, better spending those, than buying a property that may cost you 1000's in repairs down the road!)
until you get to the successful closing, and also have you pre-approved in the beginning so you are not
buying a home beyond your ability.... Careful and take it slow!!!!
Good Luck a happy 2012
Edith YourRealtor4Life~! and your Chicago and Northern Illinois Expert
Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients, buyers, sellers and investors alike....
Edith Always goes the X-tra Mile with a Smile for her clients!
Referrals of your friends, family and acquaintances are always highly appreciated