When it comes to any safety/crime related issues, it's always best to contact the local police department with all your questions, hear all there is to hear firsthand. If unfamiliar with the area do revisit more than once and at different times of day, possibly chat with locals/neighbors. Real estate professionals are prohibited from steering, enticing a buyer to purchase, or not, in specific neighborhoods.
If you'd prefer your own Agent; go for it.
You CAN buy it AS/IS and piggy-back a Fix-Up loan so that you can control the work that is done.
I can refer a good Mortgage Agent.
I was amazed at the difference between an old A/C unit and a new one: The new ones can not only cool better, but the cost to operate will drop by 75%!