|Most Dangerous Cities For Robbery|
|By Leonard A. Sipes, Jr.|
This is interesting. The Bureau of Justice Statistics of the US Department of Justice released FBI data ranking cities as to rates of violence, see BJS.
Why is this so intriguing? The FBI asks everyone not to rank cities as to crime data, Crime in America.
There are multiple reasons for not ranking cities but an endless number of commercial and news organizations do just that, Most Dangerous Cities. The FBI can ask to their heart’s content, but organizations are going to do it regardless.
It’s also thought-provoking that both the Bureau of Justice Statistics and The National Institute of Justice (both of the US Department of Justice) ranked jurisdictions as to the increase in homicides and rates of violence for metro areas and counties, both using 2015 data, see, Crime Rates.
I asked the Bureau of Justice Statistics for background information as to the new report. There are no explanatory messages in the publication beyond footnotes. BJS offered a statement. See below.
Cities With The Highest Rates Of Robbery-Background
The chart below ranks cities for “offenses known to law enforcement, in cities with 250,000 persons or more, as reported to the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program, sorted by 2018 robbery rate per 100,000 population”
2018 is the last year for a full account of crime reported to law enforcement, see 2015-2018 Crime Data.
Note that the FBI’s data is an account of reported crime. There is an endless number of violent crimes that are not reported (thus the need for the National Crime Victimization Survey through the Bureau of Justice Statistics) because participants see the event as a private matter, or not serious enough to report to the police or they are afraid to report.
Most violent crimes are not reported to police, Crime In The US.
There are footnotes for all segments in the report that need to be considered.
Observations-Robbery Rates Per 100,000 Population
Robbery is considered by many criminologists to be the quintessential benchmark as to urban crime. Among violent crimes, robbery was most likely and homicide was least likely to be committed by a stranger, Bureau Of Justice Statistics. While there are a greater number of assaults, most are committed by someone known to the victim. It’s the stranger to stranger nature of robbery plus an enhanced use of firearms/weapons that create a climate of fear and concern among urban populations.
Baltimore, Oakland, St. Louis, Memphis, Cleveland, Stockton, Milwaukee, Houston, Chicago, and San Francisco are the top ten cities for rates of robbery.
Many cities mentioned above (and on the full list) are on our other lists as to five-year increases in violent crime, rates for violent crime for 2018 and rates for homicide in 2018.
For example, the robbery rate for Baltimore is more than double the rates for most cities on this list. For many cities, Baltimore’s rates for robbery are astronomically higher. Baltimore is third on the list of cities with the highest rates for violence. Baltimore is second for rates of homicide. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan used his sixth State of the State address to call Baltimore’s unrelenting violence the state’s most pressing problem, the Washington Post reports.
How Do These Numbers Compare to National Averages For Crimes Of Violence?
Have past record lows for violent crime ended? Possibly (per the National Crime Victimization Survey for 2018), but the bottom line is that violent and property crimes are still at record lows for the country and, generally speaking, have been decreasing for the last two decades except for recent years (since 2015) with mixed results from the two main Department of Justice sources.
The principal reason for any confusion is the increase in “all” violent crime as measured by the National Crime Survey (an increase in violent crime of 28 percent from 2015-2018), and measures of “reported” crime compiled from local law enforcement agencies via the FBI.
Per the FBI, violent crime increased in 2015 and 2016 but decreased slightly in 2017 (violence was essentially flat) and 2018 (a decrease of 3.3 percent). It decreased by 3.1 percent for the first half of 2019.
There have been additional increases since 2000; the rate of violent crime in the US increased in 2005 and 2006 (via FBI data) but the index returned to decreases in 2007.
Thus we have a fundamental question, which holds more importance, a 28 percent increase in all violent crime per the National Crime Survey (2015-2018) or a 3.3 percent decrease in 2018 and a 3.1 percent decrease for the first half of 2019 for reported crime from the FBI? See Crime in America.
Statement from the Bureau of Justice Statistics
“The tables published in “Offenses Known to Law Enforcement in Large Cities, 2018” enable users to access FBI reported crime data for large cities of 250,000 population or more. These same data are published by the FBI in the Crime in the United States publication and can be found in tables associated with the state in which the agency is located. Tables published here by BJS provide those large city crime data in a singular set of tabulations. In addition, the FBI make these data available at the agency level through the Crime Data Explorer, and BJS and the FBI make these data available through the online UCR Data Tool. BJS provided these tables for easier access to the public.”
Reprinted with permission from https://www.crimeinamerica.net.
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Leonard A. Sipes, Jr has thirty-five years of experience supervising public affairs for national and state criminal justice agencies. He is the Former Senior Specialist for Crime Prevention for the Department of Justice’s clearinghouse and the Former Director of Information Management for the National Crime Prevention Council. He has a Post Master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and is the author of the book "Success With the Media". He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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