Success in the Media

New City Crime Comparisons: Do You Believe the Data?

Crime in America.Net

We have updated information comparing crime in cities for 2009 from CQ Press using  data from the FBI’s “Crime in the United States.” For the complete list of comparisons, see http://os.cqpress.com/citycrime/2010/City_crime_rate_2010-2011_hightolow.pdf.

See more information on this website regarding a comprehensive overview of crime rankings for cities, state and countries at http://crimeinamerica.net/city-crime-rates-top-ten-cities/.

We also have an intriguing press release, “U.S. Conference of Mayors Denounces Crime Rankings as Bogus, Damaging to Cities,” see http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20101121005026/en/U.S.-Conference-Mayors-Denounces-Crime-Rankings-Bogus.

The release states “These rankings represent a gross misuse of FBI data,” said Houston Mayor Annise D. Parker, Chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Criminal and Social Justice Committee. “Everyone with the slightest knowledge of this issue knows the rankings are not credible, but the publication persists with them, presumably because rankings are popular and sell books. Unfortunately, they also do real harm to the reputation and economy of the cities that come out on the losing end, often through no fault of their own.”

Yet on CNN today and hundreds of news sites throughout the country, the story was reported as is without explanation or warnings about the quality of the data. See the Crime in America.Net link above for a longer explanation of the perils of city-by-city comparisons.

City rankings are one of the most popular crime related topics on the internet. People’s concerns about crime (and the perception that the crime problem is getting worse per recent Gallup Polling) drive their curiosity for information relative to their well being. They simply want to put crime problems into context so they can make decisions to protect their families and homes.

Knowing this, the media will not stop reporting this and similar data.

Who’s right and who’s wrong? The US Conference of Mayors (and this site) is quite justified to point out why it’s impossible to compare cities.

And we will both be routinely ignored. Citizens want data relevant to their safety; our concerns are dismissed.

We would love readers to weigh in and offer opinions.

See the press release from CQ Press at http://os.cqpress.com/citycrime/2010/City_Crime_2010-2011_pressrelease.pdf

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