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New FBI Data for Dangerous Mid-Sized Cities: Crime Drops, Flint Stands Out

New FBI Data for Dangerous Mid-Sized Cities: Crime Drops, Flint Stands Out

| On February 20, 2014

Mirroring the national trend of declining violent crime, the majority of Law Street’s Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities under 200,000 continue to experience decreases in overall violent crime. Based on new data released by the FBI February 18, seven out of these Top 10 cities had less crime than the same period during the prior year. Five of the Top 10 show sharper declines than the national average of -5.4 percent — most notably Flint, Mich. where violent crime was nearly 27 percent behind the 2012 six-month figures.

The FBI’s semiannual report covers January to June 2013 — the most recent period for which comprehensive crime statistics are available. Law Street’s analysis of this preliminary data for each of the Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities Under 200,000 appears below as an update to our original rankings published last Fall. Changes in these preliminary statistics, included below, compared with the same time period in the previous year provide key information on emerging trends in these important cities ahead of the full-year coverage of rankings that will be available this Fall. Click here for developing Crime in America 2014 coverage.

1. Flint, Mich.

PRELIMINARY 2013 UPDATE
Flint, Mich. ranks as the number one most dangerous city with a population under 200,000; however, it leads this pack with a 26.38 percent drop in total violent crime from January to June 2013 versus prior year. Flint is one of many cities reporting rape data this year according to the FBI’s new, expanded definition of forcible rape, so the year over year data for this particular category is not comparable; however, the city’s huge decreases in murder, robbery, and aggravated assault all counter balanced that particular issue. With a violent crime rate of 1,021 per 100,000 people, Flint shows some signs of progress.

PRELIMINARY 2013 VIOLENT CRIME TRENDS
Data below reflects changes for period January to June 2013 versus same period in 2012.
Total Violent Crime: -26.38%
Murder: -22.58%
Rape: +45.161%*
Robbery: -17.97%
Aggravated Assault: -33.07%

CLICK HERE FOR FULL COVERAGE OF FLINT’S 2012 RANKING

2. New Haven, Conn.

PRELIMINARY 2013 UPDATE
The #2 Most Dangerous City under 200,000, New Haven, Conn. shows modest gains in its fight against crime. Violent crime in the state’s second-largest city dropped 8.11 percent in the first six months of 2013 versus the same period in 2012. Despite a 37.50 percent increase in rape (associated with the FBI’s new, expanded definition of forcible rape), there were still significant declines in the remaining categories of murder, robbery, and aggravated assault (-11.11 percent, -1.39 percent, and -16.45 percent, respectively).

PRELIMINARY 2013 VIOLENT CRIME TRENDS
Data below reflects changes for period January to June 2013 versus same period in 2012.
Total Violent Crime: -8.11%
Murder: -11.11%
Rape: +37.50%*
Robbery: -1.39%
Aggravated Assault: -16.45%

CLICK HERE FOR FULL COVERAGE OF NEW HAVEN’S 2012 RANKING

3. Rockford, Ill.

PRELIMINARY 2013 UPDATE
Illinois’ second most populous city, Rockford, experienced a 6.37 percent decrease in total violent crime from January to June 2013 over the prior year. Robbery in the #3 Most Dangerous City under 200,000 dropped by nearly a quarter, and although murder increased by the same amount, this reflected a move from four murders to five.

PRELIMINARY 2013 VIOLENT CRIME TRENDS
Data below reflects changes for period January to June 2013 versus same period in 2012.
Total Violent Crime: -6.37%
Murder: +25.00%
Rape: +21.31%*
Robbery: -24.46%
Aggravated Assault: -3.18%

CLICK HERE FOR FULL COVERAGE OF ROCKFORD’S 2012 RANKING

4. Hartford, Conn.

PRELIMINARY 2013 UPDATE
Connecticut’s capital city is the #4 Most Dangerous City under 200,000, and the second of three Nutmeg State cities on this list. Similar to New Haven, Hartford’s violent crime dropped by nearly nine percent during the first six months of 2013, including an 11 percent decrease in murder and a nearly 19 percent drop in aggravated assault. Not encouragingly, rape in the city increased by more than 33 percent, while robbery was up nearly five percent.

PRELIMINARY 2013 VIOLENT CRIME TRENDS
Data below reflects changes for period January to June 2013 versus same period in 2012.
Total Violent Crime: -8.96%
Murder: -11.11%
Rape: +33.33%
Robbery: +4.47%
Aggravated Assault: -18.20%

CLICK HERE FOR FULL COVERAGE OF HARTFORD’S 2012 RANKING

5. Little Rock, Ark.

PRELIMINARY 2013 UPDATE
Arkansas’ capital, the #5 Most Dangerous City under 200,000, didn’t fare quite as well as the top four Most Dangerous Cities on this list. Violent crime in Little Rock increased slightly in the first six months of 2013 due to a 19 percent spike in robbery. Murder, aggravated assault, and rape were all down year over year (-14.29 percent, -2.63 percent, and -23.61 percent respectively), though the rape figures are not comparable to prior year.

PRELIMINARY 2013 VIOLENT CRIME TRENDS
Data below reflects changes for period January to June 2013 versus same period in 2012.
Total Violent Crime: +2.03%
Murder: -14.29%
Rape: -23.61%*
Robbery: +19.53%
Aggravated Assault: -2.63%

CLICK HERE FOR FULL COVERAGE OF LITTLE ROCK’S 2012 RANKING

6. Bridgeport, Conn.

PRELIMINARY 2013 UPDATE
Bridgeport, Connecticut’s most populous, experienced the greatest drop in violent crime during the first six months of 2013 of all three off the state’s ranking cities. The #6 Most Dangerous City under 200,000 experienced declines in three out of four violent crime categories, including half as many murders than the same period during the prior year; however, there was a slight increase in rape, as the city moved from 25 to 28 cases in 2013.

PRELIMINARY 2013 VIOLENT CRIME TRENDS
Data below reflects changes for period January to June 2013 versus same period in 2012.
Total Violent Crime: -11.73%
Murder: -54.55%
Rape: +12.00%
Robbery: -11.74%
Aggravated Assault: -12.04%

CLICK HERE FOR FULL COVERAGE OF BRIDGEPORT’S 2012 RANKING

7. Richmond, Calif.

PRELIMINARY 2013 UPDATE
Richmond, Calif., the #7 Most Dangerous City under 200,000, experienced the sharpest increase (+19.53 percent) in violent crime of the Top Ten cities on this list. Crime in the bay area city increased in three out of four violent crime categories, most notably robbery and aggravated assault (+22.95 percent and +20.18 percent, respectively).

PRELIMINARY 2013 VIOLENT CRIME TRENDS
Data below reflects changes for period January to June 2013 versus same period in 2012.
Total Violent Crime: +19.53%
Murder: +10.00%
Rape: -13.04%
Robbery: +22.95%
Aggravated Assault: +20.18%

CLICK HERE FOR FULL COVERAGE OF RICHMOND’S 2012 RANKING

8. Odessa, Texas

PRELIMINARY 2013 UPDATE
Violent crime in Odessa, Texas remained fairly constant during January to June 2013 over prior year, with a decrease of less than one percent. Robbery and rape increased minimally (25 and 4 more cases for this period, respectively), and aggravated assault declined by nearly seven percent.

PRELIMINARY 2013 VIOLENT CRIME TRENDS
Data below reflects changes for period January to June 2013 versus same period in 2012.
Total Violent Crime: -0.70%
Murder: +/-0.00%
Rape: +17.39%
Robbery: +42.37%
Aggravated Assault: -6.75%

CLICK HERE FOR FULL COVERAGE OF ODESSA’S 2012 RANKING

9. Paterson, N.J.

PRELIMINARY 2013 UPDATE
New Jersey’s third most populous city, and the only member of the Garden State ranked on this list, Paterson’s violent crime declined modestly during the first six months of 2013 (versus 2012). Declines in murder and aggravated assault were countered by increases in rape (+22.22 percent) and robbery (+4.28 percent) in the first half of the year.

PRELIMINARY 2013 VIOLENT CRIME TRENDS
Data below reflects changes for period January to June 2013 versus same period in 2012.
Total Violent Crime: -2.95%
Murder: -44.44%
Rape: +22.22%
Robbery: +4.28%
Aggravated Assault: -11.21%

CLICK HERE FOR FULL COVERAGE OF PATERSON’S 2012 RANKING

10. Springfield, Mass.

PRELIMINARY 2013 UPDATE
New England’s fourth-largest city, Springfield, Mass., rounds out the list of Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities under 200,000. The western Massachusetts city experienced an increase in violent crime across all relevant categories except for aggravated assault, which decreased by seven percent. Most notably, murder in Springfield was more than 83 percent ahead of the same time period in 2012.

PRELIMINARY 2013 VIOLENT CRIME TRENDS
Data below reflects changes for period January to June 2013 versus same period in 2012.
Total Violent Crime: +6.43%
Murder: +83.33%
Rape: +42.86%*
Robbery: +32.39%
Aggravated Assault: -7.18%

CLICK HERE FOR FULL COVERAGE OF SPRINGFIELD’S 2012 RANKING

Research and analysis by Law Street’s Crime in America Team: Chelsey Goff, Anneliese Mahoney, Ashley Powell, and Kevin Rizzo. 

Sources:

Violent crime, population, murder, and officer statistics are from the FBI Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January – June 2013.

Click here to read more Crime in America coverage.

*The figure shown for the 2013 rape offense was reported using the new definition of rape and is not comparable to previous years’ historical forcible rape data.

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