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If you're in the mood for a spit-take with your morning coffee, this link should do it. WalletPop.com has posted what it apparently thinks is a legitimate study of the "25 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods" in the country, and coming in at #9 is.... Near Southeast???? Near Southeast, which hasn't had a murder since 20052004, and has had a grand total of seven assaults with a deadly weapon this year? And yet somehow this "exclusive data developed by Dr. Andrew Schiller's team at NeighborhoodScout.com" is predicting that there will be 240 violent crimes in the neighborhood each year. As reader A put it when passing the link along, "I think I could name at least 9 neighborhoods in DC more dangerous."
Perhaps when pulling together this clearly rigorous study they wandered by my map of the murders in Near Southeast between 1987 and 2004 and forgot to read the dates on the data. More likely is a glitch with their algorithm comparing crime reports with the size of the population (which has been pretty small in Near Southeast over the past few years). Or a mixup with addresses. But otherwise, my goodness....!
UPDATE: Further ruminations on this travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham [ahem] from DCist and NBC4. And DC Urban Turf finds that this list has gotten into trouble in the past.
UPDATE II: Here's ABC7's video report on the story, which includes an extremely rare on-camera appearance by yours truly. As should be clear by now, if there's anything that gets me riled up, it's factual inaccuracies.
UPDATE III: And NBC4's 11 pm report. If indeed the study included number of stolen cars to consider a neighborhood "dangerous," then yes, I can see how Near SE's numbers would skew high, especially if they used 2008 crime data. (A lot of cars got stolen during the 2006-2008 era, when construction workers came to the area to build the stadium and other buildings, and there were few people on the streets during the day to act as "eyes and ears.") But still, does that make a neighborhood *dangerous*? Yeesh.
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JD but not that JD says: (10/4/10 11:46 AM)
Has to be based on old data or something. I used to live in Orlando, and that area around Paramore Ave is also an area under renewal...used to be bad...and it's no Bay Hill Country Club but I'm not sure that it is that dangerous anymore. Weird.


Rob says: (10/4/10 11:56 AM)
The methodologies used to calculate these lists are almost always flawed. But it doesn't really matter to the authors, because local media in all of these cities will report this "study" at face-value and draw undeserved attention to the website.


Mark says: (10/4/10 12:12 PM)
If you follow through the math on the page describing the crime in the neighborhood (link they're using a neighborhood population of 2155. How many years ago was that true?


Mark says: (10/4/10 12:13 PM)
Sorry, here's the correct link:
link


JD says: (10/4/10 12:13 PM)
Not that long ago, probably early 2009. It's about 3,500 now.


Bruce says: (10/4/10 1:18 PM)
Sadly, ALL of the bad press, etc that is dome regarding Near Southeast (I now JD likes this) Capitol Riverfront is done by folks who have apparently NEVER stepped foot in the area.
Sad considering that this is now such a safe area. Its livable/walkable to quote Tommy Wells...

Bruce


John says: (10/4/10 1:37 PM)
They definetly took numbers from back in 2005 or probably even before when all the housing projects were still up. Look at the lifestyle sections says 97% of the neighborhood is black and only 8% are govt. employees. Have these ppl ever heard of Trinidad, Anacostia, Berry Farms, Langston terrace, SW Cappers, Mount pleasant, just to name a few hoods with prob. 75% more crime....really makes u wonder how they messed up this badly....


JD says: (10/4/10 1:41 PM)
I tried to get through to look at their methodology, but their site is down even more often than JDLand is. :-)


SW says: (10/4/10 1:54 PM)
That list is garbage. How the hell can Detroit not even have one single 'hood qualify for that list.


Mauricio says: (10/4/10 2:10 PM)
All you have to do is look at the comments section of that article to realize that most of the folks reading it are fairly insane and not anyone you'd want living in DC anyway.


Meredith says: (10/4/10 3:15 PM)
News 4 is apparently running a story on it tonight--they interviewed me outside of the EYA model homes this afternoon. Caught me off-guard but I am glad I was able to say that I don't believe police reports would support this crazy assertion about L St and the neighborhood. Gave jdland a mention too as a site we often check for neighborhood info--thanks JD for keeping us all informed!


MJM says: (10/4/10 3:52 PM)
Maybe that site/study could have used this study (linked below) that started to show the changes in 2007. But hey 'hood scout got props from Money Magazine and they are used by Harvard, UC-Berkeley, U Penn, MIT and others researching real estate so it must be true. good grief.....

link

Near -Southeast is Cluster 27


MJM says: (10/4/10 4:07 PM)
Hood Scout Report Info
link


pkp says: (10/4/10 5:18 PM)
The opening sentence of a site disclaimer at the bottom of the crime tab:

"Although we work hard to provide premium quality information, the content contained in any NeighborhoodScout Report is a work of art."


JD says: (10/4/10 5:28 PM)
Thanks for the plug, Meredith!


BW says: (10/4/10 10:30 PM)
If recent trends continue, Near Southeast's population will top Detroit's in ...


CB says: (10/4/10 10:36 PM)
News crew at corner of 4th & L. No markings on side of truck, but suppose we are going to be on the news again this evening.


Will says: (10/5/10 1:00 PM)
On balance, I think this could be a positive thing for the hood. It's usually just folks who live in the area defending it, now we have local news and blogs speaking up. Many thanks to JDLand for correcting the record.


Meredith says: (10/5/10 10:19 PM)
To compare crime just on the Hill, take PSA 105 (Navy Yard S of 395, E of S. Cap) and PSA 102 (2nd-13th NE and D St to FL Ave NE). Per crimemap.dc.gov, reports for the last year (Oct 09-Oct 10) are as follows:
Violent Crime Incidents: PSA105 = 31 PSA102 = 170 Property Crime Incidents: PSA105 = 196 PSA102 = 752.
Even adjusting for number of residents, PSA105 comes out looking better/comparable to other parts of the Hill, certainly not astronomically more dangerous. And 31 violent crimes per 3000+ residents (not including the tens of thousands we absorb every workday and game day) means a person in PSA 105 has a 1 in 100 chance of being a victim, which is a far cry from the 1 in 9 claimed.

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