RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Church Hill residents are not buying a new study conducted by a financial web site that describes the community as one of the most dangerous in America. They are fighting web sites statistics with statistics of their own. Numbers they say are more reliable and reflect the reality of the community they live in everyday.
Amanda Durst calls Church Hill her home. She feels safe and secure, despite what a web site based hundreds of miles away might claim.
"We love where we live," said Durst. "You couldn't pay us all the money in the world to move to a suburb."
Durst said the statistics just didn't seem to add up. Matt Conrad didn't think so either. So he reached out to the Richmond Police Department to get the real story.
"I can only imagine they made this numbers up," Conrad said. "It does not reflect the neighborhood or the reality that we are seeing."
Conrad found quite a few errors in the wallet pop dot com survey. A survey he said was flawed to begin with because it only took in a small swath of Union Hill and Church Hill.
Wallet pop's survey predicted the potential for 169 violent crimes a year in Church Hill. But Conrad's research showed the violence trend heading the opposite direction. There were only 27 violent crimes in the area in 2008 and while the area saw a high of 97 violent crimes in 2003, it has dropped each year since.
"Those of us who actually live in Union Hill and Church hill know this is a great place to live and we feel safe and secure and we are proud of the strides the neighborhood has made over the years" said Conrad
He is afraid those strides could be erased by the perception of one well read report that might not tell the entire story.
"Perception as you know can be everything, that is why we are out here trying to set the record straight," he said.
If you like to take a look at these statistics for yourself, the popular Church Hill People's news blog has compiled an entire report on the issue.