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JLeslie's avatar

Are you surprised by any of the cities on the US most dangerous cities list?

Asked by JLeslie (58435points) April 18th, 2018 from iPhone

Here’s the link to the article:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbsnews.com/amp/pictures/the-most-dangerous-cities-in-america/

Feel free to comment about any of the cities. Please don’t turn the Q into an argument about gun laws, although I don’t mind comments referring to gun laws in the cities. The article spoke more about poverty and unemployment.

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36 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

I think it’s a rather strange list. Appleton Wisconsin is on the same list with Detroit? Kingsport, TN is on the same list as Miami?

Get real.

Worse yet, the pictures don’t in any way match the data.

CBS did this as some sort of click bait. There is no useful information in the presentation, and their criteria for including a suspect, to say the least.

SergeantQueen's avatar

Where do you see the list of cities? The pictures are boring.

canidmajor's avatar

I was surprised by a few, but only from a personal standpoint, as I really like a couple of the cities. It surprised me that Chicago wasn’t higher on the list, as the gun laws in Indiana are (as I understand it, without thorough research) much more lax than Illinois, so the walk-the-guns-across-the-state-border problem is pretty high.

@elbanditoroso: This list is a bit different (with a lot of crossover) but this one from msn and this one as well seem to agree. Criteria will undoubtedly differ from source to source, but how silly to slam the Q for this.

@SergeantQueen, really? Geez.

JLeslie's avatar

@elbanditoroso Which is the city you have the problem with between Miami and a city in TN? I’m not surprised to see them both on the list.

I didn’t even notice the photos to be honest. It is clickbait, like everything on the internet, but it’s also probably real statistics.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The numbers are apparently from FBI statistics, so I can see most of the cities as reported. Size is not the reason for being on the list.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@JLeslie – it’s comparing apples to oranges.

Crime rates in Kingsport TN (which is a beautiful little town with a GREAT German restaurant!) are meaningless when compared to Miami. Everything about them is different.

If you’re going to do a serious comparison, it should be Miami against Detroit against Houston against LA – their peers in terms of size and population. And then the small towns can be compared against each other.

But comparing a town of 80,000 people (if that) to Miami or Chicago is meaningless.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I know from experience that small little “quaint” towns can be more violent and threatening than the big scary cities that small town folks quake at the mention of.

JLeslie's avatar

@elbanditoroso These stats are always done per capita as far as I know. I googled this about Kingsport.

http://www.areavibes.com/kingsport-tn/crime/

I do agree that stats on percent increases and other statements can be misleading when comparing large populations to smaller ones, and crime often happens in specific pockets in a city. Still, a quaint city in the mountains you would hope had hardly any crime, but that’s not so I guess in this case.

We really enjoyed living in TN and miss it, but it is the least safe I’ve ever felt. I was near Memphis, but out at the edge of the suburbs. The next town could be considered fairly rural. Still, plenty of crime.

SergeantQueen's avatar

@canidmajor I don’t understand what they mean and they aren’t explaining what the article is supposedly supposed to tell, which is “What are the most dangerous cities in the US”

chyna's avatar

I was actually surprised that Huntington, WV was not on the list. They had 800 drug over dose deaths last year and with that kind of influx of drugs there is bound to be a huge upswing in criminal activity.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I don’t understand what they mean and they aren’t explaining what the article is supposedly supposed to tell

Violent crimes in 2016 per 100,000 residents, from the FBI Uniform Crime Report

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

But comparing a town of 80,000 people (if that) to Miami or Chicago is meaningless.

If you don’t understand what rate per 100,000 means

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay sorry but I disagree. Regardless of rate per 100,000, the problems of a large metro area are going to be different than the problems of a Kingsport, Tennessee.

KNOWITALL's avatar

#13 is in my area. It’s actually not too bad, but with meth heads, it has increased with violent crimes. Springfield, MO recently passed an ordinance to keep out the panhandlers, which were out of control, which seems to have greatly reduced crime- that I see anyway.

And yes, we have phenomenal churches, food banks and refuges but we also have a percentage of the population who like drugs, being homeless and breaking the law. They wouldn’t stay in a shelter, because of curfews, etc…

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

@elbanditoroso The rate per 1,00,000 is math. That’s what the story is comparing. It’s not an opinion. Regardless of your emotional response, that’s the number.

Zaku's avatar

It’s a little surprising, but it’s clearly just a list of the top areas by the named place and its reported violent crime numbers per official population of that named place. So it’s not really a perfect rating system, as it omits unreported crimes, differences in reporting, types of crimes, population density, suburban populations, etc.

JLeslie's avatar

@elbanditiroso I think both things matter, per capita and the actual total number. You have to take both into account.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I think both things matter, per capita and the actual total number

Not if you’re presenting a list of violent crimes per capita as compiled by the FBI.

The math is the math. No more and no less.

This is really frustrating to me as a person who works in data analysis. I deal with this problem all the time. People think that any statement represents a person sitting in judgment and making a subjective call. They can’t separate opinion from stats.

If you want to question how the stats are compiled, then do that, and bring some facts to the table.

johnpowell's avatar

@Zaku :: How would you exactly come up with the number of unreported crimes?

JLeslie's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay I only mean it matters regarding how the city might feel safety wise. A city of 100k with 1200 violent crimes mostly concentrated in one area might be very safe and crime free in most zip codes. A city of 2 million with the same amount of crime per 100k might feel like crime is all around you in more pockets around the city.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I only mean it matters regarding how the city might feel safety wise

Thanks for illustrating my point. You are injecting subjective feelings and guessing.

The article is a list of cities by the math.

johnpowell's avatar

@JLeslie :: For the rape numbers they should use how I feel my chances of being raped are. Which is fucking zero since I have a cock and look homeless.

JLeslie's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay I’m not sure you realize that for the report regarding top 25 cities I agree with how the data is compiled.

I’m talking about two different things. Objective data, and how a city feels. Although, how it feels does have to do also with the data, because of all the crime is 10 miles from me it might seem like it’s not even in the same city even if it is.

seawulf575's avatar

Looking at per capita isn’t even a fair comparison when you are looking at crime. A crime committed in Wyoming counts more than a crime committed in Los Angeles. And it isn’t even a close comparison. Each murder, for instance, committed in Wyoming carries the same weight as 7 murders in Los Angeles. Yet if you compare that to area, you find that there are far more murders per square mile in Los Angeles than Wyoming. It all comes down to how you want to skew the numbers. Do you really believe you would be more likely to be murdered in WY than in Los Angeles?

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@seawulf no the numbers don’t say you’ll be murdered in Wyoming or Los Angeles !

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

@seawulf575 Nobody is comparing Wyoming to Los Angeles. Nobody.

Zaku's avatar

@johnpowell I was saying the statistic they chose isn’t perfect. I was not saying I was going to try to devise the perfect formula, or even that there is a perfect formula.

However, if I were going to assess the dangerousness of a place compared to another place, I would want to take into account differences that won’t be reflected directly in the numbers, including yes making some effort to acknowledge evidence that crimes may be happening but unreported in some places, or more often reported and recorded in one place than another.

In fact, to assess dangerousness, I would even try to assess danger that is not resulting in harm, for example that exists but is usually avoided because the local people know it’s dangerous.

Taking my own experience of Chicago, for example, I attended university there, and one of the first things they told every new student was to NEVER go beyond certain streets, as well as other aspects of the extreme security they had available near campus. Locals also often gave warnings about not to go into certain (very very large) parts of the city – and in many cases they meant even on a bus or car or non-commuter train. There were large areas where there was probably a lot of danger and violence but it wasn’t getting reported. I saw people brutalize each other and no one was doing anything about it, even in “safe” parts of town. So there was both a lot of unreported violence, and enormous areas where it was considered very dangerous (at least for well-off-looking people) but the danger was mostly being avoided.

If I wanted a serious assessment of dangerousness, I’d want that kind of information more than the number of officially known crimes. Also, such crime stats make places where people report most disturbances and the police investigate and record them seem relatively more dangerous than they are compared to places where it’s less common to report or record crimes.

JLeslie's avatar

I can tell you this, where I live there is a belief that there is very little to no crime here, and there certainly is some crime. You need stats to see the reality, not what people want to believe. It was the same when I lived in beautiful, affluent Boca Raton. Everyone has a false sense of total safety.

seawulf575's avatar

@Tropical_Willie and @Call_Me_Jay I understand that. My point is that what you have is a list of cities provided that are using crime rate, based on a per capita basis, as a comparison. All I am saying is that is somewhat misleading. I chose LA and WY just as comparisons. I could have pulled two towns off the list and made the same comparison. If you have a town that has 25,000 people, each murder counts for more than a town of 2 million.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

A rate isn’t equating ½5,000 with ½,000,000.

If the numbers were 2,000 out of 2,000,000 and 25 out of 25,000, the rates would be the same.

JLeslie's avatar

@seawulf575 What do you mean each murder counts more?

Let’s use simple numbers. If you have a town of 100 and 2 murders, that’s 2 in 100, or 2%. If you have a town of 1,000 and 20 murders, that’s still 2 in 100 or 2%. Rate is the same as saying percentage.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Adding to the above, the comparison is among places 100,000 and above.

Because when you get really small, the comparisons do get less significant. A town of 1000 doubling crimes from 1 to 2 isn’t like a city doubling from 100 to 200

JLeslie's avatar

^^I was just trying to use simple numbers to explain the math. Now you are saying what I said. Both count, the dry math, and the size of the population. I think we’ve come full circle.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

After further thought, I was confirming that @seawulf575 is kind of right.

Yes, when the sample is very small, the statistics are not comparable to bigger samples.

But no, that does not apply here, because the sample is areas with populations over 100,000.

Aethelwine's avatar

I’m not really surprised. It doesn’t surprise me that Illinois has three cities on this list. Illinois is horrible. I am surprised that Peoria didn’t make the list. Even the nicest neighborhoods have crime and aren’t safe. The sister of my former boss was hogtied along with her husband by intruders while they stole expensive items and one of their vehicles. This was in one of the more upscale neighborhoods in the city. Illinois is the most moved from state with crime being one of the many reasons why people are leaving.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Mostly Illinois outside of Chicagoland is filled with people who get scared by their own shadow and hold the deluded belief that everything would be just utopian if they could just get rid of (insert boogieman of the week here).

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