Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Utah Crime: CQ Press 2008 Crime Report Shows Salt Lake City Became Dramatically More Dangerous In 2007, While Adjacent Suburbs Remain Safe
On November 25th, 2008, Congressional Quarterly (CQ) Press released their latest report on crime statistics in America's cities, entitled "City Crime Rankings 2008-2009: Crime in Metropolitan America". Read the CQ press release HERE. Note that despite the title of the report, the rankings themselves are based upon statistics from 2007, the latest full year for which reports are available.
All cities of a population of 75,000 or greater reporting crime according to UCR standards are listed. A total of 385 cities are listed. You can view the national list in two different ways, highlighted below:
- City Crime Rate Rankings (Low to High)
- City Crime Rate Rankings (High to Low)
Of course, here at Voice Of Deseret, I immediately zero in on Utah. I discussed the 2007 report in this previous post. Once again, seven Utah cities show up, and I list not only the 2007 rankings, but the previous two years' rankings for each city.
And it appears that Salt Lake City has become dramatically more dangerous, jumping 39 spots from 108th in 2006 to 69th in 2007. West Valley City also experienced a dramatic jump, but the volatility of WVC's stats over three years implies that only a small change in some areas may cause an unnaturally large change in the rankings. The methodology must be considered when evaluating the value of this report.
1. Salt Lake City - 69th most dangerous in 2007, 108th in 2006, 125th in 2005.
2. West Valley City - 146th most dangerous in 2007, 201st in 2006, 159th in 2005.
3. Ogden - 170th most dangerous in 2007, 198th in 2006, 190th in 2005.
4. West Jordan - 301st most dangerous in 2007, 323rd in 2006, not rated in 2005.
5. Sandy - 319th most dangerous in 2007, 345th in 2006, 346th in 2005.
6. Provo - 352nd most dangerous in 2007, 340th in 2006, 293rd in 2005.
7. Orem - 366th most dangerous in 2007, 367th in 2006, 360th in 2005.
It should be noted that not all areas of Salt Lake City are equally subject to crime. The greatest risk of crime is in the downtown area, as well as certain parts of the west side (Glendale, Poplar Grove, and Rose Park). Salt Lake City remains a good place to live, particularly if you like urban living, although the suburbs are more family-oriented. And Careerbuilders recently designated Salt Lake as one of the 25 best cities to find a job.
The report also evaluates metro areas as well. Data for metro areas not only permits a more macro-scale evaluation, but also includes cities otherwise not large enough to qualify for inclusion on the city listing. For example, St. George is not large enough to be included on the city listing, but the St. George metro area, defined as all of Washington County, is large enough to be included on the metro listing. Metro areas are geographically defined HERE; a total of 338 metro areas which provided data are listed. Here are the five metro areas for Utah and their ratings:
1. Salt Lake Metro (Salt Lake, Summit and Tooele Counties): 121st most dangerous.
2. Ogden-Clearfield Metro (Davis, Morgan, and Weber Counties): 298th most dangerous.
3. St. George Metro (Washington County): 307th most dangerous.
4. Provo-Orem Metro (Utah and Juab Counties): 334th most dangerous.
5. Logan Metro (Cache County UT and Franklin County ID): 338th most dangerous.
Salt Lake Metro's high "dangerous" rating reflects the predominance of both Salt Lake City and West Valley City. Other areas of the Salt Lake Metro area are still safer. In contrast, the Ogden-Clearfield Metro area is much safer by comparison than Ogden city. This implies problems in the Ogden area are restricted primarily to the bad part of Ogden, while the rest of the area remains quite safe.
There's been no Utah media reaction yet as of this post. For those who are interested in how other cities are reacting to this crime report, the results of a Google news search of "cq press crime report" can be viewed HERE.