PHOENIX - When it comes to the nation's safest cities, Phoenix and Tucson don't even come close. According to a new list of the safest and most dangerous cities released Monday, Phoenix is No. 313 out of 371 cities. Tucson is No. 308.
The list was compiled by Morgan Quitno Press, a private research and publishing company specializing in state and city reference books. It based the rankings on FBI figures released in June and on other factors.
The rankings include only cities that reported crime rates. For example, New Orleans was not included this year because its police department did not report figures.
The safest city in 2005 was Brick, N.J., population about 78,000, followed by Amherst, N.Y., and Mission Viejo, Calif. The most dangerous city was St. Louis, followed by Detroit, Flint, Mich., and Compton, Calif.
Other Arizona cities fared better than Phoenix and Tucson.
Gilbert was ranked the 22nd safest city in the nation, followed by Scottsdale at No. 82, Chandler at No. 105, Peoria at No. 108, Mesa at No. 191, Yuma at No. 215, Tempe at No. 241 and Glendale at No. 253.
Cities are ranked based on more than just their crime rate, said Scott Morgan, president of Morgan Quitno Press. Individual crimes such as rape or burglary are measured separately, compared to national averages and then compiled to give a city its ranking. Crimes are weighted based on their danger to people.
Police statistics show Phoenix, which has about 1.5 million residents, is one of the nation's most violent cities for its size. At 244 murders, one murder occurred in Phoenix every 38 hours on average in 2005. The same year, there were 533 rapes, 4,237 robberies, and 5,701 aggravated assaults.
Last year in Tucson, which has more than 536,000 residents, police statistics show there were 56 homicides, 378 sexual assaults, 1,685 robberies and 2,930 aggravated assaults.
Statistics from both cities starkly contrast with Gilbert's numbers. In that city, which has a population of about 178,000 residents, there was one homicide, 27 rapes, 35 robberies and 153 aggravated assaults in 2005.