Detroit has the unenviable position of having the most dangerous neighborhoods in the nation, according to a study published this week.
The data compiled by NeighborhoodScout.com lists the 25 most dangerous neighborhoods in America.
Detroit takes the top three spots of the most dangerous neighborhoods on the list, with four of the city’s predominately African-American communities ranked in the top 10.
“All four of these neighborhoods have the same problems,” says Shaka Senghor, an author, mentor and motivational speaker based in Detroit, who grew up on the East Side. “High levels of unemployment, drugs trafficking and easy access to guns.”
A plethora of problems
These communities also suffer from insufficient policing, a disproportionate number of vacant and abandoned buildings, as well as infrastructural problems, such as lack of adequate street lights, he adds.
The real-estate neighborhood search engine website analyzed FBI data from 17,000 local law enforcement agencies to find specific neighborhoods in America with the highest predicted rates of violent crimes per 1,000 residents.
Andrew Schiller, the founder of NeighborhoodScout, said although cities can suffer from the stereotypes of high crime, in reality, “most violent crime takes place in a handful of neighborhoods. There is more variation in crime within cities than between cities.”
On top of the list in the U.S. is an area around Livernois Avenue and West Chicago on Detroit’s west side, where residents there have a 1 in 7 chance of becoming a victim of crime in one year. Coming in at number 2 is an area at the intersection of Mack Avenue and Helen Street on Detroit’s east side.
The third-most dangerous neighborhood in America is Gratiot Avenue and Rosemary Avenue and surrounding areas on Detroit’s east side. Another black neighborhood in the city comes in at No. 7 on the list.
The placement isn’t surprising
Yusef Bunchy Shakur, a Detroit native who describes himself as a community organizer and bookstore owner in the city, says the rankings come as no surprise.
“The data reflects the institutional and structural racism in Detroit which has subjugated the community and prevented resources from getting to the neighborhoods,” said Shakur. “The people have turned on each other out of survival.”
“The recreational centers have closed, the schools have shut down and the bus routes have been cut back. People are surviving in a hostile environment which is producing hostile behavior.”
Scott Martelle, a former reporter for The Detroit News and author of Detroit: A Biography echoes the same sentiment.
“This is what happens when society dissolves,” says Martelle. ”Detroit has tremendous unemployment problems, the educational system is in collapse and many of the major institutions are falling apart.
“The relationship between poverty and crime has long been established and poverty in Detroit is astounding.”
Four Chicago neighborhoods are also ranked among the nation’s 25 most dangerous neighborhoods. New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and other major cities are not on the NeighborhoodScout list.
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