North Hollywood covers a large area and its apparent level of safety goes from relatively safe to "I don't think I wanna live there." The sense of security someone new to the area will feel is largely dependent on where they a coming from or have lived before. If you are moving to NoHo from NYC or the Bronx, chances are anywhere in NoHo you will likely feel safe.
Bottom line, no place in Los Angeles is anymore or less safe than another. Many neighborhoods in North Hollywood are made up of working class Latinos and their families. Gang activity isn't as bad as it once was, but it is still there. However, if you are not a member of that community, any unsavory undercurrent is likely to elude you.
Noho also caters to a large population of the "new to LA, up and coming transplants who cannot afford the Westside." Many in this community are artists, techies, show biz wanna be's, along with corporate middle management drones. This group is generally single with no children and they to tend to bypass the large number of single family dwellings in favor of the equally large number of newer condo and townhome communities that provide easy access to shopping, eating, and entertainment.
But also in North Hollywood, you will find gated driveways with shrub surrounded perimeters that hide sprawling California Ranch homes of exquisite proportion or reconstructed estates reflecting an eclectic vision, the owners of which are generally well to do and sometimes of notoriety. The socio-economic barriers that usually separate communities seem to have become smeared by the incessant traffic of a wide variety of humans from some vastly differently backgrounds doing their best to be tolerant and get along..
The point being that North Hollywood is an area that can reflect the best and worst of Los Angeles with demographics that range from far below the poverty line to exceptional wealth and everything in between. There's a vast mish-mosh of ethnicities that in many places overlap, but each contributes its own bit of culture to the larger community. Whether you travel the area by foot, car, or public transportation (this is really far too much territory to cover by foot, by the way) but if you are someone prone to wondering, chances are you will encounter that place where you are struck by some sense of deja vu that will make you stop to wonder just where exactly in the world you are.... more