Thursday, October 15, 2009

The FBI Crime Report 2008

I’m about to again ignore the FBI’s warning not to use their crime report for comparing different jurisdictions. I understand their concerns, but I think those concerns aren’t valid as long as I don't draw any conclusions.

Overall the violent crime rate in the U.S. decreased again from 466.9 in 2007 to 454.5 in 2008. The murder rate went down as well from 5.6 to 5.4.

The Northeast again had the lowest violent crime rate at 370.8; the Midwest was next at 400.1, followed by the West at 445.5 and then the South, bringing up the rear as usual, at 533.9. The good news is that the numbers in all regions were down from 2007 and, if the trend continues, next year the Midwest should join the Northeast with a violent crime rate of less than 400.

The Northeast also had the lowest murder rate at 4.2 but this was a slight increase from 2007 when it was 4.1. In all the other regions the rate went down. The Midwest and West were tied for second with a rate of 4.8 and, as usual, the South had the worst rate at 6.6.

The violent crime rate in my home state of New Jersey dropped slightly from 329.3 to 326.5. The murder rate dropped an eyelash from 4.4 to 4.3. Imagine if we didn’t have Newark and Camden as a part of the state? Newark had a violent crime rate of 950.7 and a murder rate of 23.9. Camden had a violent crime rate of 2332.5 and a murder rate of 70.8! Remove them from the mix and New Jersey’s violent crime rate drops to 287.1 and its murder rate drops to 3.0.

A sampling of major cities shows St. Louis with a whopping violent crime rate of 2072.7, Detroit at 1924.1, Baltimore at 1588.5 and Philadelphia at 1441.3. On the more modest side are San Diego at 475.5, Denver at 566.9, Seattle at 576.3 and New York City, that hive of scum and villainy, at 580.3. Los Angeles wasn’t far above New York at 689.5. There were no numbers for Chicago.

Don’t believe everything you see on TV and in the movies. While there are a few places in New York City one should definitely stay away from, most of it is a place where you can walk, soak up the culture and generally have a great time. Don’t die without seeing Times Square, Broadway and Greenwich Village.

My home town of River Vale had 3 violent crimes, one robbery and two aggravated assaults. That gives us a violent crime rate of 31. 0 and a murder rate of 0.0. That could change next year based upon the looks my wife is giving me about opting for the more expensive Giants tickets.

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