Forbes has again ranked Birmingham as one of America’s Most Dangerous Cities.
This is absolute nonsense and another example of how our “too many” governments are screwing us up and ruining our reputation.
Birmingham is being compared to other cities that include much broader boundaries. There are 37 municipalities in Jefferson County—one of which is Birmingham. None of the other 36 municipalities are included in our crime statistics.
Forbes is comparing Birmingham with cities like Nashville, Jacksonville, Charlotte, and Louisville which have county-city governance. These other cities include safer bedroom communities in their crime statistics.
Forbes selected St. Louis as the 2nd most dangerous city which is not surprising since St. Louis’ government structure is more perverted than ours. There are 92 cities in St. Louis County and the city of St. Louis is not even in the county.
All cities have urban blight and crime. It’s just that most cities balance their crime statistics between blighted areas and suburban neighborhoods.
Note that Forbes clearly says that these statistics can’t be used to compare one city with another since metro areas are not measured.
And the crimes measured are not likely to impact a casual visitor. According to Forbes urban homicides tend to come in four forms:
• Women killing their children
• Family members killing each other
• People killing other people they know
• “Stranger crimes”—such as killings committed during robbery or a drug deal gone bad.
“This last category is dwarfed by the other three…and is getting smaller all the time.”
It’s also noted that Birmingham’s crime rate is down 40% from its highs in the mid-1990’s.
And we’re not talking about crime in downtown Birmingham as many people assume. Downtown Birmingham’s crime rate is comparable to Mt. Brook and Vestavia.
Our multiple government entities produce statistics that scare us and our visitors and ruin our reputation.
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David Sher is a partner in Buzz12 Marketing and co-CEO of AmSher Receivables Management. He’s past Chairman of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA), Operation New Birmingham (ONB), and the City Action Partnership (CAP).