Where Does Providence Rank Nationally in Crime
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Where does Providence rank when it comes to crime? Better than some peer New England cities, but not as good as the city might hope.
Although Providence does not fare well on a national level, the city is still one of the safer mid-sized cities in New England with Springfield having high crime rates that rank it 35th and Hartford ranking even higher at 19th.
Providence and Crime
Although Providence's CQ ranking of 87 puts it well above national crime rates, there is evidence that city's crime rates are starting to decrease. According to ProvPlan, a joint venture between the City of Providence, the State of RI, the academic community, and the private sector, crime in Providence is experiencing a downward turn.
In contrast to CQ's national rankings, ProvPlan's numbers depict a more positive trend in crime reduction. Between 2002 and 2007, total crime decreased by 30% with substantial reductions in rape by 64%, motor vehicle theft by 44% and murder by 39%.
The Providence Police Department has partnered with ProvPlan since 2003 to develop CompStat, a crime analysis and management tool that monitors violent crime in the city. With the help of CompStat the Department and ProvPlan hope to create more effective responses to crime and ultimately to lower the city's crime rates.
CQ's City Crime Rankings 2010-2011: Crime in Metropolitan America calculates the rankings using six crime categories: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and motor vehicle theft. CQ gathers these statistics from the Uniform Crime Reporting Program of the FBI; however, the rankings remain controversial.
"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," said Houston Mayor Annise D. Parker, Chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Criminal and Social Justice Committee.
In response CQ has released a statement claiming that the rankings themselves are legitimate and that criticisms simply emerge from the complexity of why crime exists. "Crime rankings often are deemed 'simplistic' or incomplete.' However, this criticism is largely based on the fact that there are reasons for the differences in crime rates, not that the rates are incompatible," said CQ spokesman Ben Krasney.
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