Morgan Quitno Press says it got 3.5 million Web hits when it posted its annual city crime rankings a few weeks ago, says the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Crime sells, whether it’s up or down, observes columnist Ruben Rosario. He notes that crime statistics are notoriously incomplete: Their reliability depends on how well a police agency records incidents. Criminologists critize the Morgan Quitno methodology. “How much time you spend outside, the nature of your work, your age, your lifestyle, and the neighborhood where you live are much more important than the city you live in,” criminologist Richard Rosenfeld of the University of Missouri at St. Louis told a recent symposium at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.
Rosenfeld noted that Morgan Quitno weighs all crime categories equally and that crime differences within cities are much greater than crime differences between cities. Scott Morgan of Morgan Quitno says, “I always get nervous that this list alone is what retired-age people may base a relocation on.” When metropolitan areas are considered, the St. Louis area was ranked 128th most dangerous out of 344 metro areas in the country.