|Dilapidated projects in Newark, NJ|
After a few clicks and some scrolling, I discovered something kind of curious about Newark's violent crime rates. In 2009, Newark ranked in the top 5 cities with the highest murder rate (250k and above). However, in many other violent crime categories, Newark ranked significantly lower. For instance, Newark ranked 58th in forcible rape, 17th in robbery, and 36th in aggravated assault. It's interesting that St. Louis, one of Newark's "peer cities" in terms of size and murder rate, seems to be much more consistently violent across all categories: St. Louis is tied for 2nd in murder, 8th in forcible rape, 2nd in robbery, and 2nd in aggravated assault.
What explains these disparities across different violent crime rates in Newark? My best guess is that people are reporting violent crime at a much lower rate in Newark than in places like St. Louis. Sociologists and criminologists have long known that rape, robbery, and aggravated assault are some of the most under-reported violent crimes out there. Unlike dead bodies, victims of rape, robbery, and violent assaults (that don't require extended hospitalization or medical care), often go unnoticed and unreported. This has long been one of the shortcomings in Uniform Crime Report Data; it's entirely based on crimes that are reported and documented by the police. I understand that this is one of the best measurements out there, but it doesn't provide a really good way around under-reporting of violent crime. Then, again, maybe there's something unique about Newark's violent crime problem, right?
I guess I'm just wondering if is this a reporting/documenting crime problem, or something unique about the city of Newark?
If you're interested, here's a great song, "Brick City Mashin'" by Redman...