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Old 09-30-2008, 09:11 AM
 
416 posts, read 1,038,104 times
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We are moving in two weeks from a tiny very rural northern New England town to James Island. Our nearest neighbor is 3 miles away, so very rural setting. Where we live now, people do not lock their doors, crime is very very minimal, and not violent, local schools are very small (K-1 combined one room class of 12 kids for both grades, near by towns have 1-2 kids per grade in a multiage classroom) and there are not school problems at the elemantry level. So the area here is very safe. (yes there are bad areas around... meth is a problem in many rural areas, bad neighborhoods, etc...but things are so spread out there is a great distance between bad-run down areas vs most of the small towns)

In the past, I have lived in New York City, and at the time, I felt safe enough there/good area, but did not have a family at the time. And that was about a decade ago.

Sounds crazy, but I have never even been to Charleston. My husband's family lives there and my husband has been many times. So I really only have my online feel for the city...needless to say I am nervous!

Anyway... what can you tell me about how safe the city feels? We are moving to an area of JI I hear is very nice and safe near Stiles Point/Harborwoods. But how about the city in general? How does JI compare to Downtown, West Ashley, Johns Island, Daniel Island, etc in terms of safety? I know N. Charelston is not always the best area... I know there is crime in every city... but I am wondering how 'safe' Charleston feels. How about compared to NYC? Anyone relocate from a rural area to Charleston? I'd love to here your thoughts!

Thanks for your local wisdom!
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Old 10-01-2008, 08:53 PM
c99
 
Location: Under the sun
237 posts, read 657,171 times
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First of all - welcome. I'm on James Island, too.

I've not moved here from a rural location most recently, but I have lived throughout the country (not in the NE yet, though). Where you are moving to many would consider a nice area of James Island.

There has been a lot in the news about crime in Charleston. For stats on the area you might have to contact a local police department or something. I don't know if it's any more than James Island or West Ashley. When I was searching for a home in which to live, I checked all the data I could, including the SC sex offender registry (Sex Offender Registry) and Crime Web (CrimeWeb.net - Home - zip code for James Island is 29412) and did a search using the online edition of the local newspaper (Search). The home in which I am renting was robbed prior to me renting and one of my neighbor's tool chest was broken in to and expensive tools were stolen. Even the home of my mortgage banker, who also resides on James Island, was robbed. They now have an alarm system. Looking at incidents on Crimeweb.net it seems to me that there may be a disproportionate amount of crime here, however, I have never felt unsafe in this area. It seems like the crime on James Island - for the most part - is concentrated on certain parts of the island. Except last year around the holidays there was a crime spree (mainly vehicle breakins), according to the police data provided on Crimeweb.net.

So far I've been fortunate and have not been personally affected by the crime, but I am cautious and I don't travel many places at night. Plus, I have large dogs and an alarm system. If I go somewhere on James Island (or anywhere for that matter) and I don't care for the feeling, I don't go back and I ALWAYS lock the doors of my home and car.

Another thing I wanted to mention ... at one point I was considering purchasing a home in West Ashley, but after mapping the registered sex offenders in the West Ashely zip codes, I opted to stay away. I don't know what the norm for sex offender concentration is, but it seemed like West Ashley had a large proportion of sex offenders.

For example, when I mapped the sex offenders listed on the registry several months ago in two West Ashley zip codes there were 72 registered sex offenders at that time, and many were what I considered too close to areas I was contemplating purchasing. I guess it's all about one's tolerance level, background, and experience, but that situation was intolerable to me, especially since I had better choices.

I've lived in North Charleston, too. I used to live in a nice area of North Charleston, but did experience an incident while grocery shopping that scared me (see my other posts). I was glad to move away. However, I do know people who live in North Charleston - the Park Circle area - and don't seem the least bit botherered by the level of crime in their city.

For me, I feel James Island is a good choice because it eclectic and is convenient to everything. I like the diversity. Plus, there's a wide variety of grocery stores and the beach and downtown are just a hop, skip, and a jump away. It's an easy commute downtown, too.

I haven't looked up the crime stats for Daniel Island so I'm no help there. But at one point I considered purchasing there, too. Daniel Island, from the looks of it when I was visiting, is very homogeneous. If I had to guess (and it's just a guess) I'd say the crime is much less there than say Charleston, West Ashely, or James Island. Mt. Pleasant, I'm guessing, would fall into a similar category as Daniel Island. For me, Daniel Island was too far away, but I really liked the variety of outdoor activities. On the several occasions I visited there, it seemed like many families were out bicycling, walking, or swimming (at the neighborhood pool).

I wish you well and good luck in your move.

C99

Last edited by c99; 10-01-2008 at 08:54 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 10-03-2008, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Goose Creek, SC
870 posts, read 1,020,010 times
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We have patches of nastiness but mostly we are the holy city

James Island should not be too bad crime wise most of the crime I have heard about involves

-college students downtown
-drug deals in Charleston Heights
-Various crimes in North Charleston
-Some mild gang activity in West Ashley

James Island is a pretty good area but I wouldn't leave the front door open.
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Old 10-03-2008, 10:46 PM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
2,501 posts, read 4,905,205 times
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I wouldn't leave the front door open anywhere these days!
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Old 10-04-2008, 10:35 AM
 
416 posts, read 1,038,104 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCBeaches View Post
I wouldn't leave the front door open anywhere these days!
well where we live now at the end of a old logging road our nearest neighbors are about 3 miles away and no one comes up here except snowmobilers in the winter to use the trails.

i know that is not how it is in SC... but I was just trying to give a comparison to give an idea of what we will be coming from...
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Old 10-04-2008, 10:38 AM
 
416 posts, read 1,038,104 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Techgeek View Post
We have patches of nastiness but mostly we are the holy city

James Island should not be too bad crime wise most of the crime I have heard about involves

-college students downtown
-drug deals in Charleston Heights
-Various crimes in North Charleston
-Some mild gang activity in West Ashley

James Island is a pretty good area but I wouldn't leave the front door open.
gangs! that makes me nervous...is there alot of gang violence there? are there m any gangs?
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Old 10-04-2008, 10:49 AM
 
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I grew up in Harbor Woods and wouldn't have any second thoughts about moving back to that neighborhood. I live about a mile or two from there now.
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Old 10-04-2008, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Goose Creek, SC
870 posts, read 1,020,010 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwoodflower View Post
gangs! that makes me nervous...is there alot of gang violence there? are there m any gangs?
No there is not a lot of gang violence.

For the most part the "gangs" that are here are watered down versions of what you may find in larger cities. Living on James Island you won't even know they exist. The biggest problem you will face on James Island is not being able to get anywhere on nice warm sunny days with all the people heading out to Folly Beach
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Old 10-04-2008, 08:15 PM
c99
 
Location: Under the sun
237 posts, read 657,171 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Techgeek View Post
The biggest problem you will face on James Island is not being able to get anywhere on nice warm sunny days with all the people heading out to Folly Beach
Yes, it's definitely true that it's difficult to get around on nice weekend days, especially if you are headed to Folly Beach. Don't let that dissuade you, however, as there are back routes one can take to avoid some of the beach traffic on Folly Road. I usually plan my trip to Folly Beach during off peak times if I can, or just allow extra time for traffic.
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Old 10-04-2008, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
355 posts, read 1,012,788 times
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I live on James Island, and I not only leave my door open but also leave it unlocked when I am running around.

Definitely depends on #1, your background and #2, your actual street/neighbors.

If someone came to my house my very active and nosy neighbors next door would definitely have no problem coming right over, walking inside my house and escorting the unwanted visitors.

So, I guess in my case..you have to be more careful of the neighbors than the strangers! LOL.

I know you come from a different area, but I would just tell you to get a great feel for the street you're on and what goes on there and decide from there.
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