Walter Pierce

State crime rate second in the nation

by Walter Pierce

Louisiana has once again earned a dubious position in a national ranking: second-highest crime rate in the nation in 2008, according to CQ Press’ annual ranking. Sportsman’s Paradise ranked behind only the gambler’s paradise of Nevada. Louisiana’s rank was unchanged from the previous year.

Rounding out the top ten, beginning at third place, were South Carolina, New Mexico, Florida, Alaska, Tennessee, Arizona, Maryland, and Michigan. Three New England states — New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine — enjoyed the lowest crime rates, with New Hampshire recording an astonishingly low 15 murders among its population of 1.3 million in 2008.

The ranking uses an average of six major crimes: murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, and motor vehicle theft. Among those, Louisiana ranked number one in murder, second in assault, and third in burglary. New Orleans, meanwhile, earned the top ranking for overall crime among cities nationwide, followed by Camden, N.J., and Detroit, Mich.