Examining data released by the FBI, it is evident that violent crimes still occur throughout the United States each day. These violent crimes include homicide, sexual assault, robbery and theft. When sociologists analyze the data given to them, they interpret the number of violent crimes per 100,000 people for each city to determine which cities are the most dangerous.
The city of Memphis, with a population of more than 650,000 people, is known for having more reports of crime than any other city in the United States. The violent crime rate for Memphis is 1,583 for every 100,000 people. While this is a very slight drop from 2011, there has still been an increase in the number of homicides in 2012. In addition, aggravated assault is on the rise. Many claim that rising unemployment is to blame for the high level of violence in the city. Unfortunately, the city’s budget was not big enough to encompass all the law enforcement officials needed and cut backs are anticipated.
With more than 395,000 residents and a violent crime rating of 1,683 per 100,000 people, the city has been facing tremendous violence for years. High levels of poverty and unemployment likely contribute to the high crime rate, in addition to the amount of drugs available to residents. Oakland is the highest ranking city in the nation for violent robberies and the ninth for homicide. Vehicle theft is also a prominent crime in the area. As a result of these high numbers, the city intends to allocate more money to the local police force.
St. Louis, Mo.
St. Louis, a city with a reputation for its setting along a route known for drug trafficking, is home for more than 320,400 residents. With a rating of 1,857 crimes for each grouping of 100,000 people, the city ranks fourth in the country for homicides. Among other countries, St. Louis ranks the fifth highest for robbery and the third highest for aggravated assault. In an unfortunate twist, the local police department experienced severe budget cuts and was forced to eliminate many officers.
Gang violence and severe unemployment contribute to the crime rating of 2,137 per 100,000 people for this city which is home to more than 700,000 people. Unemployment in the city nears one-fifth of the city’s entire population, making it one of the poorest in the nation. One-third of the residents live below the nation’s poverty rating. In one year alone, there were more than 340 murders. Burglary, arson and vehicle theft have also been increasing. Like many other high-crime cities, the city’s budget is unable to handle all of its law enforcement officials.
It would come as no surprise that a city with a poverty rate higher than one-fourth of its population would have a high crime rate. Birmingham’s 213,000 residents contend with a violent crime rate of 1,483 per 100,000 people. While crime is ultimately down from what it was in the 1990s, the prevalence of sexual assault and burglary is significant. The drug trade and high poverty rates are thought to contribute to the crime rate.
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Tammy Fortner is a crime scene investigator and guest author at Top Criminal Justice Degrees, where she has contributed reviews of the Top Online Criminal Justice Schools.