Camden, N.J., seems resigned to being labelled “most dangerous city in America” for a second year in a row, says the Philadelphia Inquirer. CamConnect, a nonprofit group that analyzes information about the city, examined statistics from other cities and found that Camden would remain No. 1 based on the methodology used by Morgan Quitno Press. A rally already is planned for Monday, the day the rankings will be released, and Rutgers University-Camden is offering experts and students who can counter the perception that Camden is a dangerous city.
Scott Morgan, publisher of Morgan Quitno’s City Crime Rankings, said, “It’s clear that Camden did not have a good year in 2004,and the city retains its place with the usual cast of characters: Baltimore, Richmond, Flint, St. Louis and Detroit.” Camden says the rankings, based on last year’s statistics, don’t take into account an 18 percent decrease in crime through the first eight months of 2005. The FBI and several mathematicians and criminologists take issue with Morgan Quitno’s methodology, which weighs six types of crime equally and provides little, if any, context. “Every year, Morgan Quitno asks for the data, and we send a letter saying that ‘we remind you that the FBI does not rank or suggest that you use the data to rank,’ ” said the FBI’s Maryvictoria Pyne. “They do it anyway.” Criminologist Jon’a Meyer of Rutgers says, “What these numbers are is an index of crime that can only be used for comparison to other cities with the same demographics.”