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.