I can certainly understand your question, seeing that Lawrence is but a short trip to Salem, NH via Rte 28 through Metheun, or cruising up 93 north to Exit 1 & 2. I think if you are concerned about the crime rate in any town (MA or NH) then looking through police logs and crime stats is part of your due diligence as a potential Buyer.
In my experience, the majority of crime in Salem originates along "the strip" (ie: Route 28 which is filled with shopping centers from the Route 213 overpass right up to the intersection of Route 97, and beyond). On any given day, there are police calls due to shoplifting and car break-ins at the Rockingham Mall.
While this may not be 'typical' New Hampshire police department activity, you have to expect that in a town that offers as much shopping opportunity as Salem does, there is going to be a certain out-of-town element that is drawn to Salem because of the sheer numbers (more cars/stores/people = more opportunity for criminal mischief). You can view police logs here: http://www.ci.salem.nh.us/police/police-logs.asp
It's my opinion that as a whole, once you get into the neighborhoods of Salem, and discover the great neighborhood schools, the high school that offers block scheduling and the fabulous opportunities for students to travel with the Salem Blue Devil Marching Band, you realize that Salem really is still a NH town that happens to have a huge shopping area. However, it's easy NOT to visit "the strip" except for a trip or two to the grocery store. There are plenty of back roads and non-franchise stores that help Salem keep the small-town charm that has been lost in other New Hampshire border-town shopping meccas like Seabrook and Nashua...
You are welcome to contact me at your convenience if I can answer any questions on Salem, or other southern New Hampshire towns. Thanks, and take care...
Valerie Cloutier, RealtorÂ®
MA & NH Real Estate Services
Accredited Buyer Representative
e-PRO Certified 2008
800-746-8448 x424 Toll Free