REPORT: Anchorage quality of life declines as crime rates rise

Published: May. 4, 2016 at 11:39 AM AKDT
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This story was first published Jan. 27, 2016.

Rising violent crime rates are making Anchorage a less-desirable place to live compared to other large U.S. cities, according to an economic forecast report issued Wednesday by the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation.

The statistics used by AEDC to measure Anchorage’s rising crime rates come from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, which keep track of various crime averages over three years. The AEDC report used data from 2012 through 2014.

However, UAA Justice Center Assistant Professor Dr. Lindsay Blumenstein says there are too many differences between cities to make an accurate comparison.

“The danger is you look at a number and you almost put fear, especially when we’re talking about violent crime, if you look at a number and you think 'oh we have a problem', without looking at what is causing the problem,” said Dr. Blumenstein.

AEDC President Bill Popp says the FBI statistics show the rate of crime is increasing and it’s a good gauge for how the city is doing regarding crime.

“We use the help of local police chief as well as several other folks in law enforcement who advised us that this is a good measure to get a sense of direction that crime is headed,” said Popp.

In its presentation Wednesday, AEDC referenced the Green Dot program as a way for citizens to partner with police to make Anchorage safer. The program offers free training on how to intervene in situations before a violent crime happens.

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