DETROIT (WWJ) - It's a clean sweep for Detroit, but nothing to be proud of, as the city takes the top three spots on a list of the most dangerous neighborhoods in America.
The study by NeighborhoodScout.com analyzed FBI statistics from 17,000 local law enforcement agencies to pinpoint neighborhoods across the country with the highest predicted rates of violent crimes per 1,000 residents. Researchers drilled down deep into cities and towns to find specific census tract areas that had the highest rates of homicide, forcible rape, armed robbery and aggravated assault.
According to the study, the area east of the Barton-McFarland community in zip code 48204 is the most dangerous neighborhood in America.
The study said the chances of becoming a victim of violent crime in this west side community over the course of a year are one in seven. According to NeighborhoodScout, one of the more devastating events in this neighborhood over the past year was the closure of the public library -- where children took remedial reading and math classes and adults used public computers to apply for jobs.
Sharing similar statistics is the Islandview community in the 48207 zip code on the city's east side, which ranks as the second most dangerous neighborhood on the list.
It's in this neighborhood where, according to the study, housing costs have gone down so dramatically that a 3,300 square-foot property sold for just $800 -- down from $70,000 in 2002. The study said the chances of becoming a victim of violent crime in this community over the course of a year are one in seven.
Coming in as the third most dangerous neighborhood in the country is the area between Ravendale and LaSalle College Park in zip codes 48213 and 48205.
The study said the chances of becoming a victim of violent crime in this east side neighborhood are one in eight. About 40 percent of the households here have four or more cars -- more cars per household than in 96 percent of the country, according to NeighborhoodScout. The vacancy rate in this neighborhood is also about 30 percent.
Reporting live from American Street in "the most dangerous neighborhood in the country," WWJ's Vickie Thomas said residents who live in the area near I-96 and Grand River can't believe what they're hearing.
"It's pretty safe around here, you know, I ain't never been a victim of crime. I don't believe it. There's stray dogs but that's about it, that's the biggest problem," one man said.
Another resident said the state of the community is worse than the crime there, with several houses boarded up and stripped down.
"They're finding bodies in these old houses. They find them all over the place and they're going to find them, look at the houses. They're all abandoned. You got people living in houses that don't even own houses," he said.
Another resident said the study is probably "dead on," no pun intended.
"Down at the corner of Joy Road and American, there's a kid who used to stay right here and he got killed. There's two or three more kids and a mother got shot, the kid got killed. There's about five or six murders that have been down there. It's too many," he said.
His neighbor, a life-long Detroiter, backed him up by saying it's hard to live in a community surrounded by so much crime.
"There used to be a guy who sat on his porch and that's where they got ahold of him. They shot him coming from that store down there, on the corner there, that's the number one ghetto store. Joy Road, you don't even go across it. That's the worse place ever to be across, Joy Road," he said.
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