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Barnstable makes list of 100 most dangerous cities

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Barnstable makes list of 100 most dangerous cities

Post  Moldz on Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:32 am

Barnstable makes list of 100 most dangerous cities

From Cape Cod Today:

Barnstable has gained the dubious distinction of being ranked the 93rd most dangerous city in the United States, according to an article by NeighborhoodScout.com

NeighborhoodScout ranks cities on the following basis: "Our research reveals the 100 most dangerous cities in America with 25,000 or more people, based on the number of violent crimes per 1,000 residents. Violent crimes include murder, rape, armed robbery, and aggravated assault. Data used for this research are 1) the number of violent crimes reported to the FBI to have occurred in each city, and 2) the population of each city."

The report was compiled using data from calendar year 2015.

Barnstable town officials, tourism executives and the police generally bemoaned the town being labeled in this way. The summer of 2015 brought a widely-publicized letter from a southern tourist complaining about the crime and homeless population in downtown Hyannis. Many people believe that was the point were Hyannis "hit bottom" and conditions have been on the upswing since. Indeed, the Hyannis Fire District recently reported that their number of overdose calls had dropped from 245 in 2015 to 167 in 2016.
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Tourist crimes are included with year-round residential numbers. Still, Hyannis has gone down hill in the past 20-30 years.

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Post  Admin on Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:41 pm

Data Error Leads to Barnstable’s Inclusion on Most Dangerous City List

HYANNIS – A national survey recently released which listed Barnstable in the Top 100 Most Dangerous Cities was compiled with faulty data.

The Neighborhood Scout survey bases its results on the number of part one crimes in each city which includes murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults.

Chief Paul McDonald says the department reported misdemeanor assaults as felonies to the state and federal government in 2015.

“What happened is inexcusable. The town took a huge hit because I made a mistake and that’s what it boils down to,” McDonald said. “It should never ever have happened and those numbers should have been checked, re-checked and double checked and they weren’t. And that’s on me.”

In 2015, Barnstable police reported 2 murders, 26 rapes and 24 robberies.

“Those are not out of line from what we have had in previous years,” McDonald said.

The department had 361 aggravated assaults reported.

“That seemed out of line to us,” McDonald said.

The felony assaults reported in the three previous years were 200, 207 and 194.

“There was a miscalculation when we submitted them to the incident-based reporting system,” McDonald said. “They were in as part one crimes and a lot of them were misdemeanors, but we, unfortunately, reported them as felonies and that really skewed the numbers for us.”

McDonald said if they numbers had been reported correctly, Barnstable would not have been close to making the top 100 list.

According to McDonald, Neighborhood Scout said they would change their numbers if the FBI changed its figures.

“We’ve been in conversations with FBI and those numbers have already been published and they are not going to go back and change those numbers so those numbers are etched in stone for 2015,” he said.

The numbers for 2016 will be reported correctly.

The Commonwealth Fusion Center, which handles part one crimes, will correct their numbers for 2015.

“The town is extremely safe,” McDonald said. “The part one crimes have been going down dramatically over the past several years and we know that and that is just more of a reason why those numbers never should have left the station.”

Other Massachusetts communities included on the most dangerous list were Holyoke (90), Brockton (76), Springfield (64), Chelsea (58) and Fall River (51).

East St. Louis, Illinois was listed as the most dangerous city in the country.

Massachusetts was well represented on the Neighborhood Scout list of Top 100 Safest Cities in the county with the inclusion of 20 communities, including Plymouth at number 48.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter
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Were the numbers "padded" for budgetary reasons?

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