Monday, November 19, 2007

It isn't the report, it's the crime that's the problem

Critics Blast Most Dangerous City Study - Family News Story - WHIO Dayton Crocodile tears are being shed in Detroit over the "most dangerous city" award they received.
Detroit was pegged the nation's murder capital in the 1980s and has lost nearly 1 million people since 1950, according to the Census Bureau. Downtown sports stadiums and corporate headquarters - along with the redevelopment of the riverfront of this city of 919,000 - have slowed but not reversed the decline. Officials have said crime reports don't help.
I don't think it is the reports that are the problem, so much as it is the crime that is the problem. If the "leaders" of Detroit could get their act together and reduce crime, they wouldn't have to complain about declining population.

Even the FBI is in on discouraging the comparison of locales based on crime.
"These rough rankings provide no insight into the numerous variables that mold crime in a particular town, city, county, state, or region," the FBI said. "Consequently, they lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting communities and their residents."
Is Detroit really the crime capital of America with St Louis running a close second? Maybe not. Is Detroit a safe place to be? Absolutely not. New Orleans and Washington, DC might also be high on this list.

You can see the raw data on the CQ Press website. They have rankings by both city and metropolitan area. (Tampa Bay is roughly 76th on the most dangerous list.)

As far a "simplistic and incomplete" analysis of cities, the fact remains that some places are more dangerous than others. No place is safe of course; crime can strike anywhere. But it does strike in certain places more than in other places.

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