October 6th, 2010
09:07 PM ET

Atlanta Police dispute 'most dangerous neighborhoods' list

Four parts of Atlanta, Georgia, made a list of the country's most dangerous neighborhoods.

A report that placed four neighborhoods in Atlanta, Georgia, among the 25 most dangerous in the United States has not gone unnoticed by the Atlanta Police Department.

On Thursday, the department cast doubt on the methodology behind the "Top 25 most dangerous neighborhoods," and cautioned the public against taking the report at face value.

"We will not dispute that there are neighborhoods in Atlanta that experience more crime than others, for a variety of factors," the APD said in a statement. "We take fighting crime seriously, and do not believe it can be reduced to catchy headlines about 'dangerous neighborhoods' based on potentially flawed methodology. It’s a disservice to the community we work hard to serve," the department said in a statement Wednesday.

Atlanta's standings in positions 5, 7, 17 and 22 - which includes one neighborhood within walking distance of CNN's world headquarters - put it on the list more than any other city.

Las Vegas, Nevada, made three appearances; Memphis, Tennessee, Cleveland, Ohio and Chicago, Illinois all appeared twice, with the neighborhood contained within Chicago's 60612 zip code topping the list.

The data behind the report was compiled by NeighborhoodScout, a real estate consulting company that specializes in location-based analysis and risk assessment, prompting the APD's observation that the findings were not "sanctioned by an academic institution or think-tank" but rather, "a for-profit entity that sells real estate information."

The APD, which did not assist in the report, said it was conducting its own examination to assess the report's accuracy and veracity.

In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, the company's director and founder, Andrew Schiller, said the findings were based on data collected from 17,000 law enforcement agencies, including city police, county sheriffs, university and campus patrols and transit police.

He said the rankings were based on rates of violent crime per 1,000 people, based on the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports definition of violent crime, which includes murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, armed robbery, and aggravated assault.

To define the neighborhood limits used in the report, Schiller said NeighborhoodScout relied on census tracts used by the U.S. Census Bureau.

"Many of these 'neighborhoods' include daytime populations such as the ones described above," the department said.

The APD pointed out other "potential flaws" in the methodology that could "skew" the numbers, among them:

- An undercounting of the population in census tracts analyzed.

- Inclusion in the analysis of major venues that host hundreds of thousands of conventioneers, tourists, workers, travelers and spectators, such as Turner Field, MARTA stations, the Georgia Dome and World Congress Center.

- Use of “predicted” crimes based on past trends.

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Filed under: Crime • U.S.
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Dr. Wicki

    I'm skocked that atlanta isn't higher on the list!!! Most of the police force are lazy bums!!!!!

    October 6, 2010 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Modern Family

      I'm surprised the whole city of Atlanta is not on the list.

      October 7, 2010 at 6:04 am | Report abuse |
  2. tinker

    thats about right

    October 6, 2010 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Nejheri

    Check this out

    October 6, 2010 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |

    I notice that law enforcement in Atlanta concentrates on jaywalking and similar offenses that the local news media applauds. Ask the people that live in those areas what they want out of law enforcement and see if they agree with the police policy. I know I don`t.

    October 6, 2010 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brandi

      There are people jaywalking all over the place too! LOL That is my pet peeve.

      October 7, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. brown

    Mostly black communities ... no surprise there.

    October 7, 2010 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve


      October 7, 2010 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
    • MJ

      I agree. I lived in ATL briefly and it's steadily gotten worse. I can't stand to be in that city and .....PULL YOUR PANTS UP PPL, quit commiting crimes!

      October 7, 2010 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • brian


      October 7, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Soap

      What are you talking about black people don't live in ATL; it goes against their religion, or something. I think.

      April 29, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. syrentha

    Wow i was thinking about moving my 2 girls there after my grandson is born. Now i'am looking else where cause we don't want to move to somewhere bader then MILWAUKEE WI. God HELP me.

    October 7, 2010 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
    • AR377

      FYI: 'Badder' is not a word.

      October 7, 2010 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Brandi

      There are some VERY nice places in Atlanta too. These are pockets, not the city overall (though the average with these pockets probably makes it overall terrible).

      October 7, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jim Brieske

    Atlanta is a dangerous city. A place you don't want to get lost while driving and end up in one of their 4 neighborhoods listed, especially if you are white. The police know this but unlike the other listed cities' police departments, they don't man up and admit the truth. They are in a form of cowardly denial.
    Much the same as those who fought for the South during the war. Just a bunch of cowards looking at trees and the sun to figure out which way to run.
    In this case, they found the media instead of south.

    October 7, 2010 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Jordan Lassetter

      talking about the south saying the men who fought for them was a coward doesnt even go with this thread, and how can they be cowards for fighting something they believed in, thats like saying were stupid for fighting the war on terrorism overseas right now.

      October 7, 2010 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  8. jopk

    What – no New Orleans, or Compton, Detroit, Baltimore, L.A., NYC, Miami, or St Louis?

    October 7, 2010 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
    • astuartgirl

      I agree. There was a report out earlier about NO being the most dangerous ... I dont think that "most dangerous can be quantified. Some neighborhoods are more dangerous to certain people (i.e. strangers) than others (i.e. residents).

      October 7, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. eric watson

    I am not surprised atlanta made the list 4 times with areas with high crime rates.It is just sad but this is the birthplace of Dr.Martin Luther King Jr and the conditions and the racial divide is in some of these areas are very troubling and disturbing.....

    October 7, 2010 at 3:17 am | Report abuse |
  10. leek

    Where East st Louis, at

    October 7, 2010 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
  11. tomcat

    over from W St Louis

    October 7, 2010 at 3:32 am | Report abuse |
  12. Eddie

    Every city has dangerous neighborhoods. They just haven't been bad enough to be ranked. Crime is crime regardless of where it happens. It'll happen whether police are lazy or proactive. Question is, what are we doing to help combat the problem in our own neighborhoods?

    October 7, 2010 at 3:41 am | Report abuse |
  13. Peter

    " Inclusion in the analysis of major venues that host hundreds of thousands of conventioneers, tourists, workers, travelers and spectators, such as Turner Field, MARTA stations, the Georgia Dome and World Congress Center."

    So – crimes that occur in those locales should be ignored? They can't REALLY want us to accept that inane argument, do they?

    October 7, 2010 at 5:03 am | Report abuse |
    • carlinsghost

      Crimes that occur because of or at these venues should be ignored, or at least tracked differently. I don't care if 2 baseball fans tried to kill each other in the parking lot at the world series over a bet, but I do care if it was 2 residents of the neighborhood who are career criminals and who have friends/gangs/posse's that may come back tomorrow and start fighting again. See the difference?

      October 7, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. hoss

    After living in the atlanta area i'm suprised its not #1

    October 7, 2010 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
  15. phil

    Crime rates are measured in percentage points. So if the 25th worst neighborhood had an incident rate of say 95 incidents per 1000 residents, the city with "only" 87 per thousand would be ranked in the "safest city" catergory. Not because it's safe....but because it had just a few less crimes than the others.

    October 7, 2010 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
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