Friday, November 23, 2007

Places you don't want to live

What has Detroit, St. Louis, Flint Michigan, Oakland, Camden, N.J., Birmingham, Ala.; North Charleston, S.C.; Memphis, Tenn., Richmond, Calif. Compton and Cleveland have in common? They are all ranked as places where you don’t want to live. The FBI says they are the most dangerous cities in the country.

The 14th annual "City Crime Rankings: Crime in Metropolitan America" was published by CQ Press, a unit of Congressional Quarterly Inc. It is based on the FBI's Sept. 24 crime statistics report. The report looked at 378 cities with at least 75,000 people based on per-capita rates for homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and auto theft. Each crime category was considered separately and weighted based on its seriousness.The study ranked Mission Viejo, Calif., as the safest U.S. city, followed by Clarkstown, N.Y.; Brick Township, N.J.; Amherst, N.Y.; and Sugar Land, Texas.

The study assigns a crime score to each city, with zero representing the national average. Detroit got a score of 407, while St. Louis followed at 406. The score for Mission Viejo, in affluent Orange County, was minus 82. 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. Doug Goldenberg-Hart, acquisitions editor at CQ Press, said that the rankings are imperfect, but that the numbers are straightforward. Cities at the top of the list would not be there unless they ranked poorly in all six crime categories, he said. The report "helps concerned Americans learn how their communities fare in the fight against crime," CQ Press said in a statement. "The first step in making our cities and states safer is to understand the true magnitude of their crime problems. This will only be achieved through straightforward data that all of us can use and understand."

Now, despite the current condition of our real estate market, aren’t you glad your real estate is located in one of the country’s safest places. It makes for long-term appreciation.


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