CRIME

Most Dangerous Towns In America (PHOTOS)

02/26/2014 12:30 pm 12:30:25 | Updated Feb 26, 2014
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It's difficult to describe landing on a list of the nation's most violent cities as a good thing, but for many localities on Law Street's new list, there was cause for modest celebration.

Many of the towns saw their violent crime rates drop significantly in the first six months of 2013, compared to that same time period in 2012.

Law Street looked at towns with populations of 200,000 or fewer and compared data on murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault from the FBI's Uniform Crime Report.

Some locales technically saw their violent crime rate rise, but much of that was due to the FBI's new expanded definition of rape.

Most of the towns followed the national trend of declining crime rates, but there are a few notable exceptions on the list.

For more on the numbers, click here.

  • 10. Springfield, Mass.
  • The home of the Basketball Hall of Fame saw a huge increase in murder (83 percent) and a 33 percent increase in robbery during the first six months of 2013 compared to the same time in 2012. Overall, violent crime jumped 6 percent.
  • 9. Paterson, New Jersey
    WikiMedia:
  • The Garden State's only entry on the list saw a big decline in murder (44 percent) in the first six months of 2013, compared to that time last year. Overall, the violent crime rate year over year was down 3 percent.
  • 8. Odessa, Tex.
  • Odessa's crime stayed about the same in the first six months of 2013 as compared to that time in 2012. Robbery was up 44 percent, but aggravated assault was down and, overall, the town experienced a 1 percent uptick in violent crime.
  • 7. Richmond, California
    WikiMedia:
  • Of the cities on Law Street's list, Richmond saw the largest increase in violent crime between the first six months of 2013 and the same period in 2012. Robbery was up 23 percent and aggravated assault rose by 20 percent. Overall, crime in Richmond was up by 20 percent.
  • 6. Bridgeport, Connecticut
    WikiMedia:
  • Bridgeport saw a huge decrease in murder (55 percent) and an overall drop in violent crime of 12 percent during the first six months of 2013, compared to the same time in 2012.
  • 5. Little Rock, Ark.
  • Little Rock bucked the nationwide trend of decreasing violent crime and actually saw an increase of 2 percent between the first six months of 2013 and the same time period in 2012. A 20 percent increase in robbery was a major reason for the uptick.
  • 4. Hartford, Conn.
  • The second entry on the list from the Nutmeg State, Hartford saw its violent crime rate drop 9 percent year over year for the first six months of 2013. Aggravated assault saw the biggest decline at 18 percent.
  • 3. Rockford, Illinois
    WikiMedia:
  • Though violent crime declined by 6 percent in the first six months of 2013, Rockford's murder rate increased by 25 percent. A 24 percent decrease in robbery was the largest reason for the overall decline, according to Law Street's numbers.
  • 2. New Haven, Conn.
    WikiMedia:
  • New Haven saw a big increase in rape during the first six months of 2013, compared to the same period a year ago. But that's due, Law Street explains, to the FBI's broader definition of the crime. Overall, violent crime dipped by 8 percent.
  • 1. Flint, Michigan
  • Though it tops Law Street's list, Flint has a lot to be hopeful for based on how its 2013 stats compare to the year before. Violent crime dropped by 26 percent, with a huge decrease in aggravated assault (33 percent). Murder also declined by 22 percent compared to the first six months of 2012.
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