North Charleston police refute study calling area 'most dangerous'

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A new report claims North Charleston has the 13th-most dangerous neighborhood in America, although the neighborhood in question is not a high crime area.

The report by geographer Dr. Andrew Schiller for the commercial real estate site said the section of North Charleston located on the east side of I-26 and extending from the Crosstown up to the old Naval base, is one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the country.

The report claims that the chances of being a victim of a violent crime in the neighborhood are 1 in 10. It says the neighborhood sees 288.20 crimes per 1,000 residents.

But officials police statistics seems to show a much different story.

The "neighborhood" highlighted by NeighborhoodScout actually dips in and out of North Charleston police jurisdiction, said Public Relations Officer Spencer Pryor. In fact, the North Charleston neighborhood targeted in the study -- Union Heights -- has only a few hundred residents, Pryor said.

The national study said the neighborhood was home to more than 4,000 residents.

According to crime statistics for the Union Heights neighborhood, crime was relatively unchanged from 2008 to 2009. However, in the nine months of 2010, both robberies and aggravated assaults have tapered off, but the community did see its first murder of the last three years in 2010.

A story on the Web site claims most crime data are "incomplete and inaccurate" because they are reported by individual law enforcement agencies, whereas Location Inc., which analyzed the data for the Neighborhood Scout report, "collects data from all 17,000 local law enforcement agencies in America, and uses a special approach to assign reported crimes from each agency to the city or town where they occurred."

The neighborhood crime data are compiled using "proprietary algorithms" that analyze total crime figures for the whole city, and the most recent year of final data from the FBI, WalletPop said.

According to the data compiled by NeighborhoodScout, school districts in the area only outperformed 1 percent of all schools in the US. It also stated the media housing value was just below $81,000.

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