Harrisburg Happening

Monday, June 12, 2006

Murder up in small-town America

According to the just released crime report,

"A further examination of violent crime data for the population groups showed that cities with populations from 100,000 to 249,999 had the greatest increase in the number of murders, up 12.5 percent."

The complete data is at http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/2005preliminary/index.htm

Guess it's time to move to a major metro area

8 Comments:

Anonymous Rob said...

I think it's a pretty big stretch to extrapolate a feeling of major metro areas being safer than small town America from the one piece of data you present. You'd be hard pressed to find someone willing to walk down a dark street in the Bronx over Smallville, USA.

June 15, 2006  
Blogger Anniken Davenport, Esquire said...

Well, I think the best idea is to not walk down any dark streets, anywhere.

What you really have to look at to see where you are "safer" is the per capita crime rates, not the overall numbers. That tells you your relative risk.

I would also venture that if you really want to look at risks, you actually have to look at per capita death rates from all sources. Those in the exurbs may have a higher death rate than those in cities due to factors like long highway commutes. I believe there was a study done about a year ago that did just that and found it more overall dangerous to your mortality to live in a suburb than a big city

June 15, 2006  
Anonymous rob said...

I think you're exactly right about having to look at the death rates from all sources. You may have twice as many people die in the burbs, but the reason is a car crash, where the people who die in the city are due to getting shot (hypothetical example). Looking at only that data, yes, the city is less likely to kill you, but also clearly more violent.

June 16, 2006  
Blogger Anniken Davenport, Esquire said...

But you are dead either way . . .

June 16, 2006  
Anonymous rob said...

So if you're dead either way, how are the cities safer than the burbs? We might both be talking in circles. I was simply referring to violence vs. accidents. Death due to highway crashes don't scare me as much as the risk of getting raped or shot. Without starting a war with this next comment: there is probably a reason why families live in the burbs and single people or new graduates live in the cities. Excitement vs. routine. Activity vs. responsibility. Safety vs. risk. I've lived in both. I feel safer behind the picket fence.

June 16, 2006  
Blogger Anniken Davenport, Esquire said...

We are talking in circles, but that's OK. I was just saying that if what you measure is whether you are alive or dead, then it may actually be riskier to live in a suburb and commute. However, I agree my risk of being raped or assaulted is probably higher in a city.

June 16, 2006  
Anonymous rob said...

Based on our previous discussion, I thought you might find this story interesting. Maybe you're right about the suburbs. Hopefully this hasn't happened in Harrisburg.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-06-21-chicago-gangs_x.htm

June 21, 2006  
Blogger Anniken Davenport, Esquire said...

Thanks - seems a pretty obvious move, eh? If they destroy your natural habitat (ie high rise housing) move to the nearest feeding ground. And that's bound to be the suburbs.

Here's another article - this one on the decay of middle-class neighborhoods near and in cities -

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/21/AR2006062101735.html

June 22, 2006  

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