A new study that called St. Louis the most dangerous city in America got a swift and angry reaction from city tourism officials, who refute the claim.
“We are angry and we want you to know the truth: St. Louis is a safe city,” said Kathleen Ratcliffe, president of the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission, in a press release. Because of the way the city’s borders are drawn, some very safe suburban neighborhoods are not included in the city crime rates, even though they are essentially part of the city, stated Ratcliffe. “All cities have high-crime neighborhoods,” she said, “but the vast majority of St. Louis—including the central business district where the America’s Center Convention Center and our hotels are located—is very safe,” she said. Ratcliffe added that the St. Louis CVC is “sorry that this has caused some of our customers to ask about safety here in the city we love and choose to live in.”
The 13th annual study, conducted by Morgan Quitno Press, Lawrence, Kan., bases its findings on crime rates in six categories, each of which is weighted to reflect the severity of the crime. The study ranks 371 cities with populations of 75,000 or more.
The safest city in America is Brick, N.J., followed by Amherst, N.Y.; Mission Viejo, Calif.; Newton, Mass.; and Troy, Mich. After St. Louis, the most dangerous cities are Detroit, Mich.; Flint, Mich.; Compton, Calif.; and Camden, N.J. Despite its ranking as the most dangerous city in the U.S., publishers say that St. Louis’s crime rate has fallen 14 percent since 2001.