Crime

Two Miami-area cities among the 'most dangerous' in the nation, report finds

State troopers checked handguns along with the Opa-locka Police Department and other agencies at St. Andrew Missionary Baptist Church in Opa-locka during a Gun Buy Back Initiative in 2015.
State troopers checked handguns along with the Opa-locka Police Department and other agencies at St. Andrew Missionary Baptist Church in Opa-locka during a Gun Buy Back Initiative in 2015. Miami Herald file photo

A newly released ranking of the "most dangerous" cities in the U.S. lists two Miami-Dade County cities — Opa-locka and Florida City — in the top five, based on the amount of violent crimes committed per 100,000 residents.

The list, created using the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting database and municipal crime reports from 2010-2014, was released Tuesday by the National Council for Home Safety and Security, a national trade association made up of alarm installers and contractors.

Opa-locka (2,807 violent crimes per 100,000 people) and Florida City (2,551 per 100,000 people) came in third and fourth, respectively. East St. Louis, Illinois (4,888) came in first.

According to the FBI, violent crime is considered murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

More than two-thirds (64.3 percent) of violent crimes reported to police in 2016 were aggravated assaults, the agency reports.

Robberies accounted for just over a quarter (26.6 percent) of violent crimes during this period, while rapes (7.7 percent) and murders (1.4) combined to make up less than 10 percent of reported violent crimes in 2016.

In total, 11 Florida cities cracked the top 100, including Miami (1,138 violent crimes per 100,000 people) in 94th place. The report analyzed 3,482 towns and cities of at least 10,000 residents.

According to FBI data for 2016, the most recent year for which complete data is available, there were 374 violent crimes reported to police in Opa-locka, a Northwest Miami-Dade city of 16,835 people. In Florida City, a gateway to the Florida Keys with a population of 12,297, police received reports for 344 violent crimes in 2016.

For comparison, law enforcement in Miami — a city of 449,469 — handled 3,989 violent crime cases during the same year.

City officials in Opa-locka and Florida City did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Neither did a representative from the National Council for Home Safety and Security.

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