Richmond ranks 79th in crime rankings

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – An annual list ranking the county's "dangerous cities" is out, and Richmond gets the dubious distinction this year of being the most dangerous city in Virginia, but is Richmond really that dangerous and how is this list compiled?

Every year the publishing company C-Q Press creates the list and also sells a book. It uses FBI crime data from 400 cities and metropolitan areas. This year Richmond jumped 20 spots from 99 to 79. It looks like crime is on the rise in Richmond, but experts say don't put too much stock in the numbers.

This is one survey Richmond would rather not be in at all. The capital city is at number 79, and ranks as the most dangerous city in the commonwealth...almost 20 places higher than Portsmouth.

"I don't feel like Richmond is a dangerous place," said Candice Streett.

Candice Streett works in the city and says the ranking doesn't mean much.

"Folks in suburban shopping malls get mugged," she said.

George Stewart has called Richmond home for nearly 5 years. He's also lived in the two cities at the top of the dangerous list.

"I enjoy living in Richmond. I love living across from Chimborazoo Park it's a great town, but anytime you're in the city you need to be aware," he said.

CQ Press puts out this list every year and also sells a book for 70 bucks. The researchers looked at FBI crime stats for rapes, murders assaults, but they also included robberies burglaries and motor vehicle thefts.

"I would say it's not a completely accurate picture to provide and it can be misleading," said Joan Neff.

Joan Neff teaches criminology and criminal justice at the University of Richmond. She questions the way the study was put together, and points out that the FBI even cautions against using its crime stats for comparisons between cities.

"This particular profit making company that has been publishing these reports is out to create a sense of cities and comparisons of cities that may not be valid," Neff said.

In a statement issued this afternoon, Richmond police Chief Bryan Norwood points out that Richmond actually experienced a 4.36 percent drop in crime over the six categories measured by the survey.

In all, nine Virginia cities made the list...

  • #79 - Richmond
  • #95 - Portsmouth
  • #102 - Norfolk
  • #154 - Roanoke
  • #249 - Hampton
  • #255 - Suffolk
  • #273 - Chesapeake
  • #328 - Virginia Beach
  • #341 - Alexandria

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