Friday, December 26, 2014

Murder & mayhem

It just "seems" Miami
Is "Murder Central South"


I LIVE IN BROWARD County, one county north of Dade County which has Miami as its biggest city. We share the same "market area" for the media which means that when a crime happens "down south" we hear about it up in Broward.

I have lived near Washington DC and in an Atlanta GA suburb (Norcross). I am accustomed to hearing about murder and other violent crimes on a regular basis.

It seems as if Dade County is "Murder Central - South."

It wasn't always like that, but then when I grew up in Dade and Broward counties we had far fewer people.

But perceptions can be deceiving.

No. 58 and movin' on up

According to NeighborhoodScout’s Most Dangerous Cities, Miami ranked number 58 in the list of the 100 most dangerous cities. In this case, the HIGHER the number the BETTER. In 2013, Miami was 47, so despite the almost nightly murders and non-lethal shootings and stabbings, Miami ranks better than 57 other cities.

I still try to avoid crossing the county line and about the only time I do venture into Dade County is when I must visit Miami International Airport (MIA).

THAT'S NOT TO SAY there is zero violent crime in Broward County. While Fort Lauderdale failed to make the Top 100 for violent crime in 2014, tiny Lauderdale Lakes made the list at No. 90.


Perhaps the reason Fort Lauderdale failed to "make the cut" - and this is one time when missing the cut is a good thing - is because the statics are violent crime per one thousand (1000) residents in communities of 25,000 population or greater.

According to Neighborhood Scout, Our research reveals the 100 most dangerous cities in America with 25,000 or more people, based on the number of violent crimes per 1,000 residents. Violent crimes include murder, forcible rape, armed robbery, and aggravated assault. Data used for this research are 1) the number of violent crimes reported to the FBI to have occurred in each city, and 2) the population of each city. See our FAQ on how we rank the most dangerous cities

Over the last three years - 2012, 2013, and 2014 - the cities in the Top !0 for murder and mayhem were

Ranking 2012 2013 2014
1 East St. Louis, IL East St. Louis, IL East St. Louis, IL
2 Chester, PA Camden, NJ Flint, MI
3 West Memphis, AR Flint, MI Camden, NJ
4 Saginaw, MI West Memphis, AR West Memphis, AR
5 Camden, NJ Saginaw, MI Saginaw, MI
6 Detroit, MI Detroit, MI Detroit, MI
7 Flint, MI Atlantic City, NJ Bessemer, AL
8 Wilmington, DE St. Louis, MO Chester, PA
9 Atlantic City, NJ Newburgh, NY Oakland, CA
10 St. Louis, MO Inkster, MI Newburgh, NY
Several communities have made the Top Ten all three years, albeit with the exception of East St. Louis IL, in different positions. East St. Louis took the top prize as most dangerous place to live - according to the statistics - in the United States.

For some reason, Homestead, south of Miami, ranked in the national Top 30 all three years, with each year ranking closer to the undesirable Number One spot.

In 2012, Homestead came in at No. 29, a year later it was No. 23, and in 2014 it was No. 18; conversely, Miami proper went from No. 46 in 2012 to No. 58 in 2014.

All of which proves that while it seems as if Washington DC's crime followed me to South Florida, statistically all those murders and other violent crimes are not all that many after all - statistically.

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