WEST MEMPHIS, AR (abc24.com) - West Memphis, Arkansas is considered more dangerous than Memphis, Tennessee according to a recent study. It ranked number 4 out of 100 cities.
A Massachusetts research company, Location, Inc., used FBI crime statistics from 2011 to rank America’s most dangerous cities. Memphis landed at 22 and the number 1 most dangerous city is East St. Louis, Illinois. The research company runs a website called neighborhoodscout.com where they list the 100 most dangerous cities in the America.
"Beautiful from every direction" is the West Memphis motto, but the little city of about 26,000 doesn't look so good, sitting at number 4 on the list.
"It has a higher violent crime rate per 1,000 residents than almost all cities in America,” said Dr. Andrew Schiller. He is the founder, CEO, and Chief Scientist of Location, Inc.
The research company Location, Inc. ranked 100 cities of 25,000 people or more. The ranking is based on the number of violent crimes like murder, rape, armed robbery and aggravated assault per 1,000 residents. West Memphis only had 4 murders in 2011. Memphis had more than 100, but in this study the Bluff City is considered a "safer" city than West Memphis - so is the Big Apple.
"New York City is not more dangerous than West Memphis, Arkansas because the population is so much higher that the rate of violent crimes per 1,000 residents is significantly lower,” said Dr. Schiller. "We took the violent crime counts and we divided them by the population of the city and divided by 1,000 to come up with a violent crime rate per 1,000 residents."
According to their research, your chance of becoming a "crime victim" in West Memphis is 1 out of 10. It’s a scary statistic for some and no reason to worry for others.
“Sounds about right,” said West Memphis resident Floyd Wright, who agrees with the study. “A lot of people do get shot around here."
“No I don’t believe in the study," said another resident, Roxanne Pruitt. “I'm not scared to go anywhere. I've been more scared in Memphis than over here."
West Memphis Police Chief Donald Oakes refused to comment on camera.
If you would like to see the complete list of most dangerous cities in America, visit http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/neighborhoods/crime-rates/top100dangerous/