What CQ Press says about Charlotte crime

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Did you hear about the most recent crime rankings from CQ Press?

Probably not.

Charlotte fared rather well. Or did it? The data paints a confusing, even contradictory, picture. According to researchers, Charlotte's crime rate ranked 62 out of 385 U.S. cities. But the Charlotte-Gastonia metropolitan area ranked 27th out of 338 regions reviewed — just better than Miami and worse than Baltimore. Hardly good news there.

New Orleans had the highest rate among cities, while Pine Bluff, Ark. (???) fared worst among metropolitan areas.

Researchers used statistics released by the Uniform Crime Reporting Program of the FBI on Sept. 15. No crime ranking comes without controversy, however. CQ Press itself points out that "the FBI, police, and many criminologists caution against rankings according to crime rates."

"They correctly point out that crime levels are affected by many different factors, such as population density, composition of the population (particularly the concentration of youth), climate, economic conditions, strength of local law enforcement agencies, citizen’s attitudes toward crime, cultural factors, education levels, and crime reporting practices of citizens and family cohesiveness. Accordingly, 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."

Here are rankings for other Carolinas cities (not metros):

North Charleston: 10

Greensboro: 57

Columbia: 68

Wilmington: 80

High Point: 93

Fayetteville: 94

Charleston: 124

Raleigh: 216

Cary: 371

Make of it what you will here.

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