This is a very common question that families and single ladies often ask, when not familiar with the area or neighborhood . As mentioned earlier Real Estate agents are prohibited by law in discussing the very same subject. Other answers seem to be helpful. One important factor that was probably not mentioned is to ask your sphere of influence if they know lives there.
That would be an objective input for you, but the best way in my opinion is to drive the area on various times of the day and week, thus see what is happening.
I hope this helps, if you need any further help feel free connect with anyone who has answered to you below or me. We'd be glad to assist you in your home search.
Boris Miric, Realtor 202.459.4700
http://www.borismiric.com serving DC-VA-MD
Shaw, Columbia Heights, Petworth, Chinatown
By law, real estate agents are not allowed to comment about an area's cultural make-up, safety, schools, etc. as it's called "steering".
But do check out these links for information on crime data in Bellevue:
If you have the opportunity, I suggest that you drive through some neighborhoods in Bellevue to determine what areas offer the amenities you prefer and if you feel you would be comfortable there.
Hope this is helpful.
Prudential Connecticut Realty
This one is to check for sex offenders by address: http://www.familywatchdog.us/search.asp
Your local police department may also have a website for the public.