CSU study shines light on Columbus crime confusion - WRBL

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CSU study shines light on Columbus crime confusion

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"Spider Web" Chart "Spider Web" Chart

Columbus State University professor Dr. Benjamin Blair set out to seek the truth after several articles claimed high crime rates in Columbus; one article even said Columbus was the most dangerous city in the nation. He says these articles did not do thorough research.

“Picking out a single statistic and talking about that statistic gives a biased view. If you do this, you can make a case for whether Columbus is the most dangerous city or the safest city,” says Blair.

Dr. Blair decided to do his own research and take a scientific approach. He took a look at the crime data from Athens, Atlanta, Macon, Savannah and Phenix City to compare Columbus' crime relative to other cities and took Columbus crime data from 2008-2013 to compare each specific crime over time.

“Our goal in this article was to shed light on questions regarding crime in Columbus,” says Blair. “We introduced a new way of depicting crime statistics using spider web charts. The web charts allow the viewer to easily visualize several dimensions of information at once. Using the webs we presented evidence that Columbus is not ‘the most dangerous city’ and that Columbus has become a ‘safer’ place in recent years.”

Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson says Dr. Blair's study is more analytic than the crime data others have released.

“I think what Dr. Blair's study does is corrects for the statistical anomalies that happen when non-professionals try to compare numbers,” says Tomlinson.

Some of Dr. Blair's key takeaway’s from the crime study:

  • Large reductions in the murder and non-negligent manslaughter rates and forcible rape rates since 2008.
  • An increase in the rate of burglaries from 2008 to 2009, a trend that has since been reversed.
  • All crime rates in 2012 are below their 2008 levels, with significant reductions in the rates of rape, murder, and motor vehicle theft.
  • Columbus is middle of the road compared to the 6 other metropolitan cities, ranking 2nd or 3rd in all crime types.

Click here to view the full study.

David Hurst

David Hurst, a graduate of the Univ. of Georgia, is News 3's nightside reporter.

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