Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Silence of the Lambs

Today, we revisit crime in Alexandria.  For those who may not have investigated Neighborhood Scout on their own, we present the meat of the problem.

Do you ever feel like a lamb waiting to be preyed upon?  Does a visit to Kroger's after 8 scare you?  Would you let your wife brave it alone in that parking lot?  With a crime rate of 99 per one thousand residents, Alexandria has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes - from the smallest towns to the very largest cities. One's chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime here is one in 10. Within Louisiana, more than 90% of the communities have a lower crime rate than Alexandria.

Separately, it is always interesting and important to compare a city's crime rate with those of similarly sized communities - a fair comparison as larger cities tend to have more crime. NeighborhoodScout has done just that. With a population of 46,738, Alexandria has a combined rate of violent and property crime that is very high compared to other places of similar population size. Regardless of whether Alexandria does well or poorly compared to all other cities and towns in the US of all sizes, compared to places with a similar population, it fares badly. Few other communities of this size have a crime rate as high as Alexandria.

The crime data that NeighborhoodScout used for this analysis are the seven offenses from the uniform crime reports, collected by the FBI from 17,000 local law enforcement agencies, and include both violent and property crimes, combined.


Now let us turn to take a look at how Alexandria does for violent crimes specifically, and then how it does for property crimes. This is important because the overall crime rate can be further illuminated by understanding if violent crime or property crimes (or both) are the major contributors to the general rate of crime in Alexandria.

For Alexandria, we found that the violent crime rate is one of the highest in the nation, across communities of all sizes (both large and small). Violent offenses tracked included forcible rape, murder and non-negligent manslaughter, armed robbery, and aggravated assault, including assault with a deadly weapon. According to NeighborhoodScout's analysis of FBI reported crime data, your chance of becoming a victim of one of these crimes in Alexandria is one in 52.


In addition, NeighborhoodScout found that a lot of the crime that takes place in Alexandria is property crime. Property crimes that are tracked for this analysis are burglary, larceny over fifty dollars, motor vehicle theft, and arson. In Alexandria, your chance of becoming a victim of a property crime is one in 13, which is a rate of 80 per one thousand population.

Don't you wish you had a personal bodyguard like Mini Mayor Jo-Jo Bling Bling?