Bill had a great answer. That 'heebie jeebie" feeling can tell you a lot. Walking around on a Friday and Saturday night is a good time to test your "heebie jeebies".
If you have kids you might want to check out http://www.meganslaw.ca.gov. Also when you are searching the Crime Tracker search several area and some that you know are good for comparing.
When my wife and I bought our first home we asked the agent how the schools were...she said 'great'. Later we came to the conclusion they were terrible. At least by our standards.
If you want to get a sense for crime and safety, visit and walk around at different times of day...if you get the heebie jeebie's that may tell you something. You're unlikely to feel better later. Don't be reluctant to call the police or knock on neighbors doors and ask lot's of questions as they would know best such.
I think you'll find real estate agents very cautious about sharing subjective opinions on topics outside their realm of expertise.
Best of luck in your search.
Just like home inspections it is important for you to know what the area will bring in form of mischief. As you see it is your responsibility to find out for yourself, not to mention that every area has its own issues in form of crime. Typically I refer my clients (when asked) to this site for their own evalaution.
Use this link http://www.kcra.com/crime/index.html to get more detail by entering the above or any address for area crime activity that has been reported.
Wish you the best and good luck,