I'm considering a move to Ocala but when looking at crime statistics it is pretty scary. Murder, rape and robbery all much higher than FL average which is already higher than where I live. Why is crime so bad in Ocala and what areas should I avoid to keep safe as a single woman living alone with dogs and horses? I would have expected crime to be low around all the horse farms in a fairly small sized city.
Almost all of FL is kind of scary, crime-wise. You just have to be smart and aware of your surroundings.
Check out www.city-data.com. They have a forum for Florida and a sub-category for the particular areas (yours would probably be orlando, unless they have a specific Ocala category). Lots of great information on there - it was very helpful to me when I made the decision to move to FL.
If you aren't registered to vote, click here for a list of registration deadlines by state and links to get registered!!
I recently moved from the NE to the SE and did the same thing... scared myself with crime statistics. I'm a single gal with pets too... best thing I did was spend a little time in the area before I moved. I used the city's crime tracking website (not sure if Ocala has one for city/county) and it said basically every area of the city was bad, however when I visited and eventually moved I found it wasn't as bad as the websites portrayed. Just do your research. I think you'll find that most areas aren't as bad as the internet portrays (IMO). Good luck!
Ocala proper, downtown I can see maybe there is a crime issue, however if you live out where the horse farms are I don't think there is big problem. Where I live in Florida there are some neighborhoods that are extremely safe, some that are middle of the road and then only a few miles away an area where 90% of the crime occurs, so yes get on city forums and find the right place in Ocala to live. I go there all the time and have never felt "scared." Gainesville is nice but has some not so great areas just like Ocala.
I'm looking at possibly moving to FL, since my mother and in-laws both just did. From what i read here, you are all happy in FL.. are the summers unbearable? Up in the NE, the winters are getting unbearable for me, as are the taxes and cost of living.
I'm not going to go dig out the references because I don't have time at the moment - just killing a few minutes here before a conference call. But, in general, crime rates are higher in the south than in the north because of the climate. In Florida and other warmer climates, people are out and about all year round, so the seasonal spike in crimes you see up north in the summer is pretty much a year-round event in the south. If you do a statistical analysis in which you control for the effects of climate, the crime rates are pretty similar north and south. In general.