Tuesday, January 27, 2009

This IS My City

This is an article featured on the blogsite Neatorama where they chroncled The Most Dangerous Places in the United States. Did you know that Mobile has the most dangerous creatures? Well, I knew that St. Louis would be in the running for the highest crime rate. It is actually north St. Louis, not downtown St. Louis that is very dangerous, but what the hey... There would NEVER be a reason to go there, you don't know anyone in that part of the city, and there are no businesses there, either. I have been here since 1985. I have raised a family here, but it IS a beautiful picture, no? Thanks, Steve (I think).

When it comes to crime in the U.S. you may think that New York or Los Angeles sound like scary places, but compared to Detroit and St. Louis, those cities are delightful locations for Sunday-school picnics. St. Louis and Detroit battle it out for the title of “Which City is More Likely to Annihilate You With Its Crime,” and quite honestly this contest is going into extra innings with no end in sight. St. Louis comes out of the gate and scores some quick points because of its insanely high violent crime rate – 2,480 violent crimes per 100,000 citizens. But the Motor City comes right back – nearly tying the match with its own hefty rate of 2419 per 100,000. Maybe the Lions went 0-16 because they couldn't focus on the game – they were too busy looking over their shoulders to make sure they weren't going to get mugged or killed! Speaking of getting killed, if you do decide to ignore the fear of being mugged, stabbed, or beaten and decide to brave these Midtown Detroit streets, you run the risk of being one of many yearly murder victims there – people are killed at the gaudy rate of 61 per every 100,000 citizens. When you realize that the national rate is a mere 7, you see how dangerous this area is. But before you fall out of your chair and start hyperventilating know this: Downtown St. Louis has that rate beat – by a mile – because 93 out of every 100,00 are murdered there. All of a sudden, Midtown Detroit might be looking safe. But it isn’t. Because St. Louis has one thing going for it in the crime department ­– at least when it comes to Forcible Rape, it’s not Midtown Detroit.

Detroit is not safe enough even for the Department of Public Safety.
The building has been abandoned ...
Photo: Derek Farr (Detroit Derek) [Flickr]

We’ll let you know just how bad Midtown Detroit is in the rape department, but first a discussion about the stats we found for rape in the US: When we were doing our research, we were horrified by Juneau, Alaska. I don’t know what they’re drinking there, but 102.3 out of every 100,000 people are getting raped in the land of “Whatever It Is People Do In Juneau,” Since the US average is a mere 33.1, clearly they have a serious problem. (And actually, it’s kind of widespread to the whole state of Alaska! That place has an unbelievably high rate of 76 – that’s for the state on average. Sarah Palin, what in the world is going on up there?). Truly it can’t get worse than Juneau, right? Wrong. Sleepy little beach communities Ocean City, Maryland and Key West, Florida made a baffling and troublesome attempt to hang with the major cities by weighing in with rates of 123.3 and 127.3, respectively. Think about that for a second. If you had a NFL Football game in Ocean City, Maryland, about 127 people in that crowd would be raped that year, on average. What’s going on, Ocean City? Considering that New York City’s Rape rate is a mere 13 per 100,000, one has to wonder if NBC should move the Special Victim’s Unit to Ocean City, Maryland! Benson and Stabler, head to the Shore! Actually, no. If we’re going to be calling Benson and Stabler anywhere, it should be to Midtown Detroit. While we were scandalized and terrified by Key West, Ocean City, and Jeneau – we were absolutely left in a state of disbelief by Midtown Detroits numbers. 181 rapes per 100,000 people. Yes, 181. Just about six times the national average. So it looks like Midtown Detroit is more likely to rape you while Downtown St. Louis will more likely just kill you. We can’t pick a winner. But we know two areas we’ll be avoiding for the near future. (This would be the time to point out that both Detroit and St. Louis have areas that are very safe and lovely. But really, don’t go to Midtown or Downtown without body armor and some pepper spray.)

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