Annual dubious city crime rankings by CQ Press aka Morgan Quitno Press
Morgan Quitno Press aka CQ Press, based in small town Lawrence, Kansas, each year comes out with their state and city rankings, including crime statistics. Their methodology is frequently criticized and yet the national press always seem to want to use their dubious rankings.
Although this year's Nevada crime rankings are not yet available, CQ Press always manages to rank our state as very high crime while paradoxically ranking Las Vegas in the lower half of the over 500,000 population cities. Likewise, CQ Press ranks North Las Vegas in the lower half of the over 100,000 population group. Exactly how does that work, CQ?
Overall, CQ Press's highest city crime rate this time is St. Louis, Missouri, in the 100,000 to 499,999 population group, followed by last year's CQ Press highest ranked city, Camden, New Jersey (75,000 to 99,999 population).
According to CQ Press, below are the top 10 lowest and highest ranked crime cities (34 cities over 500,000 population). Note that all of the top 10 lowest crime cities are located in the western states except New York City. Conversely, all of the top 10 highest crime cities are located in eastern and southern states.
LOWEST CRIME (34 largest cities)
1. El Paso, Texas 2. Honolulu, Hawaii 3. New York City 4. San Jose, California 5. San Diego, California 6. Austin, Texas 7. Portland, Oregon 8. Los Angeles, California 9. Seattle, Washington 10. Fort Worth, Texas
The executive board of the American Society of Criminology (ASC) approved a resolution opposing the development of city crime rankings from FBI Uniform Crime Reports (UCRs). The resolution states the rankings "represent an irresponsible misuse of the data and do groundless harm to many communities" and "work against a key goal of our society, which is a better understanding of crime-related issues by both scientists and the public."
The U.S. Conference of Mayors issued a press releases criticizing the rankings, saying they were "distorted and damaging to cities' reputations."
Also on November 19, 2007 CQ Press publisher John A. Jenkins and Detroit Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings debated the validity of the rankings on CNN Newsroom with co-anchor Don Lemon. Bully-Cummings raised the arguments of the study's critics, including inappropriate manipulation and misrepresentation of the FBI data. Jenkins countered that CQ Press was simply "reporting the official government, FBI statistics that we have" and suggested CQ Press is "a journalistic organization ... doing what is a time-honored tradition of a journalists ... which is presenting data fairly and factually."
Lemon read a statement from Rob Casey, who heads the FBI section that publishes the Uniform Crime Report that the rankings are based upon, who said "You're not comparing apples and oranges, you are comparing watermelons and grapes. These rough rankings provide no insight into the many variables that mold crime in a particular town, city, county, state or region. Consequently they lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting communities and their residents."
In an op-ed on November 29 2007, Richard Rosenfeld, Curators Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, challenged the validity of the rankings. One of Rosenfeld's points is that "in all cities, serious crime is disproportionately concentrated in a handful of high-risk neighborhoods. Differences in crime rates are far greater within cities than between them. And the rankings give equal weight to crimes of vastly different seriousness and measurement error."
9. For Nevada, CQ Press's rankings are nonsense - state is high while cities are low-to-mid?
Edited on Mon Nov-22-10 12:49 PM by Las Vegas Mixx
Each year CQ Press ranks the state of Nevada very high in crime, while the four largest Nevada cities are ranked low-to-mid in their respective population categories. What kind of crap statistics are those?
CQ Press's habit equally weighting auto theft (Nevada is often #1) with violent crimes rape, murder, and assault defies common sense.
Las Vegas, NV - 95.6 North Las Vegas, NV - 47.7 Henderson, NV - 35.4 Reno, NV - 28.2
So, CQ Press's own "city" crime statistics show that every Nevada city over 200,000 population is below the national crime midpoint for small and large cities. How can that possibly lead to Nevada being ranked anywhere near #1 in crime?
Their ranking of jurisdictions in terms of "safety" has been criticized for faulty methodology and inappropriate use of data by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the American Society of Criminology, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and other bodies.
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