FBI cautions against ranking communities by reported crime statistics

A recent Oakland Press article “Oakland County Communities Again Among Safest in Michigan” is interesting reading.  However, the FBI cautions against using crime statistics to rank or compare communities because there are many factors to consider when evaluating community safety.  Here is their statement on the use of their data to rank communities:


Here in Auburn Hills we have some unique features to our community that impact reported crime.  We have a low population (21,000) but a large entertainment venue and shopping area as well as a very large interstate freeway presence. We double or triple our residential population every day but if you rank us based on reported crime and residential population we will always be out of whack.  We are a safe community that has a large transient population who comes here to work, be entertained, shop, dine and travel through.  A purely residential community will have a larger population and less reported crime.

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I'm the Chief of Police for the Auburn Hills Police Department.