First of all we cannot as licensed brokers comment on whether one area is good or bad, or of crime or the ethnic make up of an area. Such comments are considered possible steering. We can however be the source of any information you might need in order to help you make the important decisions you need to make when choosing a home.
As Lenn stated you can contact the local law enforcement offices for the area you are considering. Another helpful thing to check when concerned about crime is spotcrime.com. You can put in an address give it a radius of distance you want around it and they will begin to send you email alerts showing any reported crimes in that area.
As Crystal and Lenn said also another good suggestion is for you to drive the area and especially at night or in the late afternoon, or even on the weekends. That will give you a good indication of the makeup of the area.
Hope this helps,
I would definitely say riding around different times of the day is one way. But, also call the police department and ask for the crime analyst and they can provide statistics for a given area. I hope this helps.
The best way to find out if an area is right for you is to visit the area. Ride through in the daytime, both on a week day and weekend. Don't be afraid to stop and speak with residents of the neighborhood. Who would know better than those who live there, right? If you feel good about your experience, ride through in the evenings and see if you get the same feeling.
It is all about how YOU feel. But if you still have aprehensions, call the local law enforcement and request a crime report for the area you have an interest in.
Best of luck, feel free to ask for a tour of the area when you are visiting!