Atlanta was rated the nation’s third worst in crime by Morgan Quitno, a Kansas firm that for 11 years has ranked cities by their crime rates. Camden, N.J., and Detroit were ahead. Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington responded to the latest report by citing signs of improvement, says the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Such surveys may “help our cause,” he said, because they get the public and city officials talking about the problem. Pennington said the figures show crime has dropped since he arrived in 2002.
Robert Friedmann, a criminologist at Georgia State University, said per-capita crime rates are deceiving because pockets of high crime can skew a citywide average. “If you’re a kid in a disadvantaged neighborhood, your chances of being a victim are much higher than if you are over 60,” he said. “Most business in Atlanta is done in the convention area, in the downtown area, in the hotels area. Those areas are relatively safe.”