If we answer you either way, (our opinion), we could be guilty of "steering".
If you look at local crime statistics, you will get a better idea of the REPORTED crimes;
this would cover our butts.
A better idea, would be to visit the prospective neighborhood and talk to the residents; find out what its like to live there; the good and bad, the desirable and the disgusting: Do this before you make a committment.
Several people blog about this, and so have I http://www.trulia.com/blog/pacita_dimacali/filter/category/C
CrimeReports.com - This is probably one that is recommended most often.
Downtown Oakland is an exciting place to be with the birth of new lofts and condos, restaurants, festivals, etc.