Safety and numbers

This morning’s San Francisco Chronicle included a brief piece about the most dangerous/safest cities. You can legitimately argue the methodology of such reports, but at least the publisher that issues them uses consistent methodology and bases reporting on the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting numbers.

Thanks to ResourceShelf, I found myself at the summary report itself, and saw something that I’m a bit surprised was not included in the Chronicle piece–but maybe I shouldn’t be, since it’s an AP report.

To wit, the safest large city (population half a million or more) is decidedly within the Chron‘s circulation area: San Jose. It doesn’t come as a surprise that San Jose ranks that high (actually, I naively expected Honolulu to be 1st; it’s 2nd), given the crime rate in general in Silicon Valley. (Mountain View’s just a bit too small to be included, with around 72,000 population, but I’d guess the local crime rate is even lower than in San Jose.)

The lists broken out by very large, medium-size, and smaller cities are, I think, more interesting than the overall lists–and particularly the 32 largest, those half a million and over (12 in the middle, including San Francisco and Los Angeles, don’t show up).

A couple of caveats: Because of problematic rape reporting, Chicago isn’t included in the overall rankings–and because of understandably lousy crime reporting in general in [the second half of?] calendar 2005, neither is New Orleans (which is now way under the half million mark in any case).

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