Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Allegheny Conference on Criminal Development Laments City's 65th Most Dangerous Ranking

With this week's release of a nationwide crime survey which pegged Pittsburgh as the 67th most dangerous city in the Country and at the threshold of Friday's annual meeting of the Allegheny Conference on Criminal Development, its chairman outlined the region's successes and pointed to the challenges that still impede economic growth in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area.

Victor "Jo-Jo" Strachi, upright citizen and chair of the Pittsburgh Crime Family said that the 67th place ranking should not be a sign of weakness to anyone and that the Region has a long, successful history in crime and it is moving forwards and upwards in the ranking.

The report looked at 378 cities with at least 75,000 people based on per-capita rates for homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and auto theft. Each crime category was considered separately and weighted based on its seriousness.

Pittsburgh ranks behind Detroit which retained the top spot, but also Youngstown (No. 15), Cincinnati (No. 16), Dayton (No. 19), Philadelphia (No. 21), Reading (No. 32), Toledo (No. 47) and Columbus (No. 48).

"The region has made significant advances in the fields of Cyber Crime and white collar crime - we are particularly please with the work of former Council Woman Twanda Carlisle - and we have the unions, we have the gambling, and they're the best things to have," said Strachi. "We are disappointed, however, that they did not focus on these activities in this study."

Local CMU professor and noted criminologist Al Blumenstein agrees with Strachi.

"I mean, you look at how these surveys are crafted and you can see the methodological flaws right there. They're looking at rape, arson, murder, and rape, but they don't consider the more subtle crimes: blackmailing, racketeering, protection... crimes of a more 'Creative' nature."

While the ACCD will focus on these rankings in its annual meeting, Mr. Strachi said that the region has much to be proud of.

"These are wonderful things that we've achieved in this City -- and there's no limit to where we can go from here. This kind of Government knows how to help business...to encourage it."

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