Crime and Safety in the US - A Look at the Most Dangerous Cities

Los Angeles, California

Safety and crime go hand in hand. There are many indicators of what can be perceived as safe and what is not. In recent past, crime has escalated in some areas and reduced in others. The main cities, notably Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago and others tend to rank lower when it comes to crime while smaller cities especially San Bernardino, Oakland and others tend to have very high crime levels. How is that possible?

First, what is a crime? Crime is an act or omission that contravenes societal norms usually in the form of law. In the absence of law, crime is absent too. To illustrate further, think of a city like Anchorage, AK or Washington, DC that legalizes marijuana use as a pastime. There is a low likelihood of a marijuana-related arrest in such cities - crime reported reduces and the city is deemed safe. You can assume that extreme legal measures give rise to more crimes.

The number of violent crimes in a city, sex crimes, property crime, drug-related crimes among other infractions make up for the majority of the crimes in major cities. There is a relationship between disenfranchisement and property crimes. But this does not fully capture crime levels across the board. However, when looking at what people tweet, Facebook, or post on the main social media platforms, one can understand a few things –though not exclusively.

Oakland, California



While people may speak about crime so much, the crime may not be happening in the area. Again, a coincidence of violent crimes can trigger social media activity that will shape what is perceived as what people talk about. Consider Ferguson, and recently Orlando. Police related crime and gun violence get significant airplay in the wake of this two tragic events respectively. 

According to Census.GOV, social demographics of the cities can inform, often to certainty, expected crime levels. Of course, there are explanations to this rule since racial differences tend to give rise to different social and economic capacity. It is expected that low-income areas, notably ghettos, will inevitably produce more criminals. It is expected that levels of literacy are low and social support features are maligned translating to a society prone to violent crimes.

Perhaps this explains Little Rock, AR where aggravated assault, violent crimes, and murder are prevalent. It compares well as it is in Arkansas which is the sixth poorest state. A similar case in point include Oregon, Wilmington, Columbia and the likes whose crime rates are very high. You certainly can avoid such places when shopping for a place to live.

Little Rock, Arkansas



Consequently, places like Plano, TX, Long Beach, NY and Ridgefield, CT have the highest mean household income; they rank as the most tranquil communities in the US. Perhaps, this explains their low levels of property related crimes, sex crimes, and police related crimes.

According to ABODO, the relationship between the population and crime is evident. There is a likelihood that major cities with high crime rates have stricter laws, have a high percentage of disenfranchised society, and have a large number of ex-convicts. So we expect cities like Stockton, Baltimore, and San Francisco, Chicago to be unsafe.
In the main cities like Los Angeles, crime levels continue to reduce. 

According to FBI, crime rates occur in high crime prone areas. So as long as you can avoid high crime prone areas, one is safe. Again, it is always advisable to consider the demographic composition of a city before moving there. The history of Philadelphia and Oklahoma City as sex-related crime hubs over the years is an indicator that you are more likely to be affected even if you are not a victim.

San Francisco, California



Notice that racially inspired violence and counter-revenge missions tend to be common where racial tolerance historically remains subdued - a case in point, most cities in California where drug wars and crime tends to be inevitable. Ideological differences can also inspire hate crimes. In Orlando, the gunman is believed to have targeted a gay nightclub.

If you are looking for a safe city to live in, think of safe middle-income cities as the less volatile. The communities are tolerant of ideological and racial differences. It is not good to profile a city based on race composition, though Hispanic cities tend to have more violent and drug crimes, some cities in Texas are very safe. Take your time and study your next neighborhood well and look out for social media clues on the levels of tolerance.

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