Two cities in Palm Beach County were recently ranked ‘most dangerous cities’ list by a popular website that analyzes neighborhood trends.
According to NeighborhoodScout, Riviera Beach is the 30th most dangerous city in the country and Lake Worth is the 31st most dangerous city.
The rankings are part of an annual report put out by NeighborhoodScout, which uses population statistics and violent crime data to determine the Top 100 Most Dangerous U.S. Cities.
The data shows people in Lake Worth or Riviera Beach had about a 1 in 73 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime in 2016, versus a 1 in 232 chance across the entire state of Florida.
(Scroll down to see how your neighborhood ranks in violent crimes.)
But Contact 5 found NeighborhoodScout weighs all “violent crimes” equally – meaning a city could have more murders, for example, but if the same city has fewer violent crimes overall, it may not make the most dangerous list.
Violent crimes include murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, and the data is gathered by the FBI.
For example, West Palm Beach did not make NeighborhoodScout's 100 most dangerous cities list, but in 2016, people in West Palm Beach were robbed about two times more than people in Riviera Beach, according to data from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).
People in Lake Worth were robbed three times more than people in Riviera Beach over the same time period.
“Some people really do a lot of research when it comes to [crime] because it is all about their families,” said Palm Beach County Realtor Pamela Banks. “They want to be in a place where they are going to have safety for their families. When they do that, then it is part of finding that right spot. If they say, ‘This is where I want to be. This is where I don’t want to be,’ as a professional, then we are able to show them those areas.”
Also, NeighborhoodScout only looks at cities with a population of 25,000 or greater. However, when Contact 5 looked at the crime rate of all local cities, regardless of population, we found three places that were technically more dangerous than Riviera Beach or Lake Worth: Mangonia Park, Belle Glade and Pahokee.
“NeighborhoodScout is just one type of report that people can look at, and it is not something that most people come to me and say, ‘Well, I checked out NeighborhoodScout, and this is what it says, so I do not want to be there,' ” said Banks. “That is not what I’m hearing.”
Banks encourages her clients to check numerous resources when it comes to crime statistics, including the local police website and data from FDLE.
To make it easy on our viewers, Contact 5 has included violent crime rates in 2016 for our entire coverage area. The information is calculated per capita (every 100,000 people) and was provided by FLDE. Hovering over a field will show the actual number of crimes committed in the ‘value’ section.
If the graphic does not display correctly, click this link to access it.