Most dangerous cities

Camden, N.J. tops the list of the nation's most dangerous cities, according to an annual report based on FBI data that tracks both violent and property crimes.

Camden, N.J.

most dangerous cities camden
  • Crime index*: 606.4
  • Population: 77,250

"For too long, Camden has been one of the most dangerous cities in New Jersey, and in America," said Governor Chris Christie in his State of the State Address this year. He wasn't kidding.

Plagued by drugs, homelessness and poverty, Camden had the highest crime rate in the nation among cities of 75,000 residents or more, according to CQ Press' City Crime Rankings 2014, which are based on an analysis of FBI statistics from 2012.

Last spring, the state transferred the responsibility of policing Camden from the city to the county. It seems to be helping. More officers have been hired and manpower is up about 30%, according to chief Scott Thomson.

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"We've been able to put more officers in unstable neighborhoods and suppress flagrant crime," he said.

Camden recorded 57 homicides in 2013, down from 67 the year before and violent crime of all types fell 38% year-over-year in January, according to Thomson.

Source: Source: CQ Press compiled this index using data reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's "Crime in the United States 2012." CQ Press notes that the FBI no longer ranks cities based on their crime statistics because each city reports crimes differently and some crimes go unreported, causing the index to be an unreliable indicator of crime. There are many factors that cause the nature and type of crime to vary from place to place.
*The crime index is a formula that takes into account the weighted average of six crime categories murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault and property crimes of burglary and motor vehicle theft, as well as the population of the city. The national rate is 1 and any number higher than that indicates a higher than average incidence of crime. To read CQ Press' methodology, click here.
**List includes cities with populations of 75,000 or more.
- Last updated February 03 2014 06:24 PM ET
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