NeighborhoodScout, a real estate site driven by Location Inc., a "leading builder and source of location-based data and risk analysis for corporate users nationwide," named four Detroit neighborhoods on its recent list of the 25 most dangerous neighborhoods in the United States.
The list was compiled by the predicted number of violent crimes per 1,000 residents in the neighborhood. Violent crimes refer to homicide, armed robbery, aggravated assault, and forcible rape. Population and crime data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the FBI, and the U.S. Justice Department were used in 20 mathematical formulas designed to estimate violent crimes incidence. A neighborhood is defined as an area with more than 800 year-round residents that's primarily residential in nature.
Crain's Detroit reported that in 2012, homicides in Detroit increased (42 more than the previous year), while major crimes such as burglary, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault saw a 2.63-percent drop. Though some parts of the city are becoming safer, others are still dangerous. "A place may be getting safer, but other places may be getting safer faster," NeighborhoodScout explained.
This isn't the first time Detroit was named among the U.S.'s most dangerous cities. In October 2012, Forbes cited gang-related violence as the primary problem. While rape, robbery, assault fell in 2012 from 2011, the overall numbers were still nearly five times the national average.
Detroit's Most Dangerous Neighborhoods
No. 7 -- Wyoming and Orangelawn Streets
No. 7 on the list is Wyoming and Orangelawn streets, a far west side neighborhood situated right at a public bus stop. The neighborhood is notorious for gang-related crime. With a 90.82 violent crime rate per 1,000, there is a 1 in 11 chance of becoming a victim here in a year, according to NeighborhoodScout. A liquor store and Metro PCS store are located at the corner.
"My son used to take the bus home to this location but was robbed at gunpoint so many times, I told him to get off at another bus stop and walk the back way home," Tasha Marshall, mother of three and 30-year resident, said. "I want to move out of this area, but with no potential jobs and nowhere to go, what choice do I have but to stay? I'm not surprised we made the list."
No. 3 -- Gratiot Avenue and Rosemary Street
Third on the list is Gratiot Avenue and Rosemary Street, with a 123.93 out of 1,000 violent crime rate and a 1 in 8 chance of being victimized in a year here. This east side neighborhood houses an Italian restaurant, BP gas station, video rental store, and an ATM. The neighborhood is situated right next to Coleman A. Young International Airport (formerly City Airport), now used for private planes. According to NeighborhoodScout, 30.2 percent of the real estate in the neighborhood is vacant, which may contribute to gang-related activity in the area.
No. 2 -- Mack Avenue and Helen Street
The second most dangerous neighborhood is Mack Avenue and Helen Street. NeighborhoodScout estimates that the violent crime rate is 145.29 per 1,000 -- there's a 1 in 7 chance of being victimized in this area yearly. The area is primarily homes, with a children's learning center a few feet from this intersection. More than 25 percent of this area is vacant homes, and the neighborhood an income level below 73.8 percent of all U.S. neighborhoods.
"I go to church at the New Calvary Baptist church a few blocks from here. I see kids playing at the Bradley Playground. Yes, it is dangerous, but it is home. Most of the crime comes from gang-related fights and robbery. They seem to battle within themselves. I've lived here 20 years in this area, and I haven't known one person outside of a gang that has been victimized. Do I feel threatened here? Of course, but thankfully, I haven't been victimized myself," Michael Brown, a gas station attendant, said.
No. 1 -- West Chicago and Livernois Avenue
The most dangerous neighborhood in the United States can be found at West Chicago and Livernois Avenue in the west side of the city. This intersection/neighborhood can be found off the service drive of the 96 Jeffries Frfeeway. Here, you will find a car wash, Shell gas station, and a McDonald's. The neighborhood's violent crime rate, says NeighborhoodScout is 149.48 out of 1,000, and there is a 1 in 7 chance of being victimized here each year. This neighborhood has a lower per capita income than 97.7 percent of other U.S. neighborhoods. Just over 43 percent of all the children in this neighborhood live below the federal poverty line, a higher childhood poverty rate than 89 percent of neighborhoods around the United States.
"Do Detroiters know our city is dangerous? Of course. However, when you barely have enough money to survive, how can you expect to find a way out? Every year, some crimes go down, and others go up. We just have to hope and pray it won't be our family or friends that are the next victims. What other choice do we have but to have some hope in Detroit?" Corynn Bennett, a 66-year-old resident of the city, said.
Do you live in or near one of these neighborhoods, Detroiters? What has your experience been like, and do you agree with NeighborhoodScout's estimations on how dangerous these areas are? Weigh in via the comments below.
- Society & Culture
- Crime & Justice