According to the new study analyzing cities based on their FBI statistics for murder, rape, robbery, and assault, St. Louis is the most dangerous city in America.
CQ Press names St. Louis the most dangerous city in the United States, with 2,070.1 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, according to a national study released on Sunday. The national average is 429.4 violent crimes per 100,000 residents.
St. Louis edged out Camden, New Jersey, which was named most dangerous city last year, and in 2003 and 2004. A pair of cities in Michigan – Detroit and Flint – were third and fourth on the list, respectively, with Oakland, California ranking fifth.
The crime rates are calculated using six categories: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and motor vehicle theft. Four hundred cities and three-hundred forty-seven metropolitan areas were considered.
Some criminologists question the findings, saying the methodology is unfair. Kara Bowlin, spokeswoman for St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, said the city actually has been getting safer over the last few years.
She said crime in St. Louis has gone down each year since 2007, and so far in 2010, St. Louis crime is down 7 percent. Erica Van Ross, spokeswoman for the St. Louis Police Department, called the rankings irresponsible.
“Crime is based on a variety of factors. It’s based on geography, it’s based on poverty, it’s based on the economy,” Van Ross said. “That is not to say that urban cities don’t have challenges, because we do,” Van Ross said. “But it’s that it’s irresponsible to use the data in this way.”
Greg Scarbro, unit chief of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, said the FBI also discourages using the data for these types of rankings.