Tennessee ranks highest in violent crime rate

Tennessee ranks highest in violent crime rate (Image 1)

The latest statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows that Tennessee has one of the highest violent crime rates in the country.

A report by Wall Street 24/7 lists the top 10 most dangerous states with Tennessee holding the unfortunate No. 1 position on the list.

The report looked at violent crimes including murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

Tennessee was among the top 10 in the country for murders and robberies and was first for aggravated assaults, with an estimated 479.6 for every 100,000 residents.

The Volunteer State also produced 643.6 violent crimes per 100,000 residents.

Tennessee's metropolitan areas made up a large chunk of the violent crimes, according to the report.  Memphis' violent crime rate ranks fifth in the nation while Nashville ranks 18th.

However, the report is not being given much credence by some Nashville tourists and a Vanderbilt sociology professor who spent 20 years as a California narcotics cop.

“My first reaction was, 'here we go again, someone trying to make sense of numbers,'” Dr. Laurie Woods told News 2.  “They are basing the information we have on statistics that we know, not on crimes that do not get reported.”

She continued, “Now granted, most murders get reported, but you are more likely to get killed by someone you know, not a stranger.”

Because of that, the Vanderbilt sociologist believes the report is “not something you have to worry about” as it “does not affect the general population.”

Dr. Woods said sometimes you see good reports and like this, sometimes they come with bad news, but she said she doesn't “give much credence to it either way.”

On the streets of downtown Nashville, some Lexington, Kentucky tourists said they were familiar with the report.

For B.J. Sparks it reaffirmed what she has always kept in mind when visiting large cities.

“Stay away from downtown at night alone, unless you are with others or a tour,” she told News 2 on her way to grab lunch on Lower Broadway, adding, “But I am not going to let it stop me on something I want to do.”

Her friend Kim Honcoop said she doesn't “take [the report] to heart.”

“It may be correct, it may not be. I know it won't stop me from going anywhere because I am always watchful,” she said.

To view the report, visit the Wall St. 24/7 Web site by clicking here.

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