The risk of becoming a crime victim is four times greater than the national average in areas outside most big city airports, says a study by a crime-forecasting company for USA Today. CAP Index of Exton, Pa., says the likelihood of a crime exceeds the national average outside 28 of 29 airports in the most populous metropolitan regions of the country and all 26 central train stations studied. Thefts, assaults, and robberies are the most common crimes in neighborhoods outside airports and central train stations, criminologist Rosemary Erickson says.
Airports and train stations may feel safe to travelers because of a greater presence of police and security people. However, travelers should be careful not to carry a false sense of security outside with them. “(Travelers) are relatively secure inside the airport boundaries,” says Jon Groussman of CaP Index. “But the immediate areas they’re located in often have neighborhood characteristics that strongly correlate with increased crime potential.” Those areas are often poor neighborhoods, which have a higher likelihood of crime, says Lewis Yablonsky, emeritus professor of criminology at California State University-Northridge. The area outside Philadelphia International Airport has the greatest crime risk of any area outside an airport in the 25 most populous metropolitan regions, the CAP Index study finds.