In part one of this two-part series, we discussed the history and the phenomenal rise of the violent crime rate in the United States, particularly from the 1960’s to the early 1990’s. In this final article, we’ll explore the recent sharp decline in the brutal crime ratio in America and will consider the 5 most dangerous cities as ranked by the FBI in the U.S.
The felony rate in America soared from the commencement of the twentieth century until almost the conclusion of the century, rising as high as 350% by the mid 60’s, but for the past 17 years, this horrendous rate has dropped as much as 40% since it peaked in 1993. Since then, thankfully, the brutal crime rate has begun trending downward. Vicious crime dropped a robust 5 % from 2008 and 2009 alone. For a one-year drop after 30 years of increases, that’s quite an improved number.
In fact, 2005 was considered the best year in regards to the reduction of violent crime in the past 3 decades. Though most aggressive crime rates have dropped, there are still some extremely dangerous cities, but one surprising trend is the decrease in the homicide ratio in the United States since the 1990’s. Homicides alone dropped over 40% from 1991 to 2005 alone. That is practically a 40% decline in less than fifteen years time.
Still, we have a lengthy process to go in regards to eradicating the violent crime rate in the United States, particularly in a few notable cities. The atrocious wrongdoing proportion in and around America is monitored by the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
Annually, the FBI puts out a detailed violent crime report called the Universal Crime Report based on tabulated FBI statistics. Seven types of despicable felonies are compared based on occurrences in various cities and urban areas compared to the size of the city. For example, since New York City has more people than Baltimore, Baltimore is considered a dangerous city because there are more crimes committed in comparison to its population. Baltimore may be called Charm City, but more people per 100 are affected by a senseless criminality than any 100 people in the Big Apple.
The most dangerous cities are determined based on the majority of all felonies combined, along with attempted crimes committed, such as attempted robbery. The crimes used to classify the scores are as follows: “Criminal homicide, including (a) murder, non-negligent manslaughter, and (b) manslaughter by negligence; rape; robbery; aggravated assault; burglary – breaking or entering; larceny – theft; and auto theft.”
In 2023 based on the FBI report, St. Louis, Mo., Camden, N.J., Detroit, Mi., Flint, Mi., and Oakland, Ca. Are the 5 most dangerous cities in the United States from first to last. Taking a glimpse of each city, a few reasons jump out as to why these statistics might exist today.
1. St. Louis, Mo. – St. Louis is a beautiful city in the rural Midwest perched along the banks of the Mississippi River. You would think it would be an ideal place to live. The problem is with air travel and the freeway system in the United States the Old Miss is not as active as she used to be because there is not enough work to go around. Jobs are scarce. East St. Louis is rife with poverty and is an exceedingly dangerous part of the city for that very reason. It is one of the most aggressive 5 mile territories per capita in the U.S. as most of the mills and factories have shut down, leaving strip clubs, prostitution and drug dealing as principal vocations. Even the Busch Beer plants, a staple of St. Louis’ economy for many decades, have been sold to a foreign company. While the economy, in St. Louis has declined over the past 20 years as companies have moved businesses away from the less relevant Mississippi River and into larger cities with better access to the East and West Coasts, the crime rate in St. Louis has steadily climbed, making this the most dangerous city in America.
2. Camden, N.J. – Camden, New Jersey? How could such a small town considered an ideal place for so many travelers working in NYC and Philadelphia be the second most dangerous city in the United States? How could a city once teeming with country clubs become so violent in less than a decade, racing its way up the dangerous cities annual charts? Perhaps because they cut their police force in half due to the economic collapse that has engulfed this country for the past few years. Laying off over 150 policemen in one fell swoop had a direct, immediate impact on the violent crime ratio. The police force was literally halved though the population continues to grow. The city clearly has not had the tax revenue to pay for an adequate police force per capita. Fewer policemen on the beat means more opportunity for criminals to attack, and that had been the case, as Camden catapulted into the top five after not ranking in the top fifty most violent cities in the United States before the police force was cut. Next time you see that man in blue, don’t snicker at him as he eats his doughnut, and be thankful that he’s there!
3. Detroit, Mi. and number 4. Flint, Mi. are closely tied together. As we well know, heinous criminality, poverty and unemployment often go hand in hand. Michigan has been devastated by the economic collapse as the automobile industry has lost its capacity. Many foreign cars have cut into the big 3 (GM, Ford and Chrysler), and many plants have closed in response. The need for American cars has diminished considerably. Because of the economic crash, these cities are ravaged by economic woe, and the high-school drop out ratio and the violent crime rate have soared in large part because of this. The vast 3 even required a federal bail out from the federal government. Certainly the laid off automotive workers and the many businesses that depended on their income have been affected. As the trickle, down effect from the collapse of the big 3 has devastated the principal cities of Michigan, Flint and Detroit they have become two of the biggest crime capitols in the United States.
5. Oakland, Calif. – Again, there is a lot of poverty in and around Oakland. This is thanks both to the economy in general and to the fact that San Francisco is so close, and that city attracts more affluent businesses and inhabitants. On top of that, there is an extremely high volume of gang violence in most large cities in California; Compton is one of the top 10 most violent cities in the United States for this very reason. Add in racial discrimination, and you have the fifth most dangerous city in the United States on an almost annual basis. Oakland has been on this list for many years and has ranked high for several decades. The city apparently prides itself on its brutal nature in general. The Hells Angels roamed around for many years in the late 60’s and early 70’s because of Oakland’s tough reputation. The fans of The Raiders, Oakland’s NFL team, are widely noted for their physically aggressive treatment of visiting fans from opposing teams. They even have the Black Hole at the Oakland Coliseum, where thousands of fans dress up in bloody, violent costumes to intimidate other fans and other teams. Many an unspeakable atrocity has been committed in that stadium at Raiders games and in the parking lots surrounding the Coliseum.
All things considered, at least the United States is moving in the right direction in regards to the violent crime rate. Aggressive crime is, and probably will be a significant issue in this country for many years to come. Every election season, we hear the politicians discuss atrocious criminality in the United States and how it must be curbed and fought, yet there is still too much brutal crime in this country and the cities are the worst, but something must be working. A 40% decrease in 17 years is certainly an impressive start. We all just need to keep working at decreasing heinous wrongdoings. We have to be vigilant and do our own part to minimize the violent crime rate in the United States. The next time you’re aggravated in traffic don’t flip off another driver. Take a deep breath. It may not be easy, but we all know it’s the right thing to do. If we all try, maybe some time in the future the only violent act we’ll read about in the papers will be the end of dangerous crime in large cities.
You might be living in one of America’s deathzones and not have a clue about it
What if that were you? What would YOU do?
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