Amherst was voted in the top five safest cities in the country several years in a row and I have several friends who live there who love it. This is a very low crime suburb. Sections closer to the city line can be dicier but I doubt you would have any trouble in that area, at least with the type of hardcore, violent crime you are describing. Housing prices are often a good indicator and people would not be asking that much if the area had a bad reputation. You can also google "crime maps" and look up the crime by zip code.