Raw Crime rates, while important, may give misleading information. Some neighborhoods have recently had a financial fraud artist with some assistants or someone who created counterfeit passports who live in that neighborhood. Their crime, while despicable, doesn't really affect the neighborhood but does bump up the raw crime rate.
A good way to look at things is to visit local merchants and see what kind of anti crime measures and devices they have. If they have security bars on the window, that's a bad sign. If they don't, its a good sign.