New York is not only one of the most populated states in the U.S., it also has one of the highest crime rates. There are some cities within “The Empire State,” which is the state’s nickname, that are more dangerous than others. The 50 most densely populated cities in New York were ranked from one to 50 in each of the following categories. All data was found via the FBI website unless otherwise noted and compiled on a per capita or unit of population basis. Five determining factors that went into the crime ranking included law enforcement presence, violent crime, property crime, and number of registered sex offenders per capita, as well as percentage of population enrolled in the health care system. Based on these factors, here are 10 of the most crime-ridden cities in the state of New York.
Number 10 on the list is the second smallest city among the top 10, which is Auburn, New York. Despite the bucolic nature of the town, crime is still an issue there. They are also ranked first in registered sex offenders, which is quite worrisome given the fact it is a small city. Additionally, they have also had a problem finding housing for homeless sex offenders, and are trying to find a more permanent residence for them than emergency shelters.
Number nine on this list is Binghamton, NY, which is situated in the Southern Tier region of the state and located near the Pennsylvania border. While many cities on this list have stagnant, or slowly decreasing crime rates, Binghamton has a crime rate that is on the rise. In fact, it has increased by nearly 29 percent overall for 2012-13. It is also ranked sixth in property crime. Initiatives such as Gun Involved Violence Elimination (GIVE) are very active in this city, as well as statewide.
Number eight on the list of New York’s 10 most dangerous cities is the state’s capital of Albany, NY. It is probably the most diverse city ranked among the top 10. However, even with that distinction and a wide array of things to do, Albany ranked ninth and tenth in violent crime and property crime, respectively. Police have been taking steps to curb crime, including parking their mobile command center on problem streets as a deterrent.
Number seven on the list is the metropolitan hub of Jamestown, NY, which is situated in the Western region of the state. While Jamestown has one of the shortest-staffed law enforcement and lowest violent crime rates of most of those cities listed among the top 1o, the city unfortunately ranked second in registered sex offenders per capita, as well as has a very active and prevalent drug trafficking issue. In fact, there is an extensive drug task force and FBI involvement assigned to the region. Moreover, organizations such as Parents for Megan’s Law are working to prevent sexual abuse in these regions.
Number six on the list is a frequent headline maker. Buffalo, NY, which is also known as “The Queen City,” is often placed on many city high-crime listings. Buffalo ranked as the second highest rate of violent crime, and fourth highest for property crime, which is no surprise given its history and reputation. Last year, however, Mayor Byron Brown introduced the Buffalo Peacemakers Gang Intervention Program, which is tasked with efforts to curtail a recent string of nasty homicides related to gang violence in the city.
Number five on the list of New York’s 10 most dangerous cities is the smallest city among the top 10, Gloversville, NY. This city finds itself at an interesting crossroads. While it has the shortest-staffed law enforcement of any city on this list, they also had the lowest violent crime rate. In fact, Gloversville was fairly middle of the road in all of the categories considered, but they were just bad enough to be ranked fifth.
Number four on the list is the metropolitan hub of Rochester, NY. Much like other cities in New York, Rochester has a rich and complicated history of mafia involvement. In fact, from the late 1950s to the early 1990s, the city was considered a haven for crime bosses and their families. However, the reduced presence of organized crime has not brought about peace. Rochester still has a very high crime rate overall, in particular it ranked fifth in violent crime. Organizations such as Roc the Peace are hoping to curtail violence in the area.
Number three on the list is the city of Newburgh, NY, which is located along the west banks of the Hudson River. Newburgh has a long-standing reputation for gang problems and violence. In fact, it is referred to as “the murder capital of New York.” The fact that the city ranked first in violent crime supports that statement, however, steps are being taken in an effort to curtail the violence. The local Habitat for Humanity recently built two homes in one of its worst and most crime-ridden areas.
Number two on the list is the city of Schenectady, NY, which is in close proximity to the state capitol of Albany, which ranked eighth on this list. Schenectady has one of the highest crime rates of any city in the region. This problem has been attributed to poverty and dispossessed youth. However, a group known as Stand Up Guys are organizing efforts to curb domestic violence and other offenses. The city ranked fourth in sex offender occurrences, and sixth in violent crime among the categories.
The area that ranked number one on the list of New York’s 10 most dangerous cities is that of historic Niagara Falls, NY. Despite its rich history and world-renown reputation, Niagara Falls also has a reputation for being crime-ridden. From its history of mafia involvement during the Prohibition Era to its current problems with gun violence and drugs, the city has indeed had many problems with crime. However, programs such as SNUG are working to promote more community involvement in underdeveloped areas. The city also ranked first in property crime.
The crime rate in these cities is quite high, but most of the affected areas listed among New York’s 10 most dangerous cities are taking very prominent and proactive steps in an effort to decrease that rate. The programs and initiatives mentioned within each city’s respective description are all trying to eradicate violence in their area, but they need help and encouragement in doing so.
By Leigh Haugh
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