Crime can occur anywhere, certain areas may seem nice during the day but at night it would be a different story. Yes it is true all cities have areas that are more crime prone than others, but as other mentioned its really up to your perception and tolerance. I own several investment homes in areas many would consider high crime areas, and have never experienced anymore crime issues at these homes than at homes in areas considered nicer parts of Daytona Beach.
You have several options for deciding which areas you like and which ones you want to avoid. Working with a skilled Realtor is a good idea as they can help you locate suitable properties, however due to fair housing laws there are many things your Realtor can't advise you on.
The best bet is do some of your own drive time in the area, if you are flying down rent a car for a few days and drive around areas of the city, then go back to the same areas at 10pm and see what you like, if you are afraid to stop the car and walk around then, you probably don't want to consider that area.
Once you have done that go the Police Department tell them you are considering buying a home in the area and you want to do a ride a long with an officer. Most departments will allow this as long as your are not a convicted Felon and agree to a waiver. This will give you first hand knowledge of the area and the officer you ride with will tell you how much crime he deals with in certain areas. This is a small investment of time but it could be a huge eye opener for you, or it could also allow you to relax, after seeing the area you like has little or no problems.
Hope this helps should you have anymore questions feel free to contact me 321-296-8000 EXIT Real Estate Property Solutions www.JByronRealtor.com... more