HomeArkansas newsThis Arkansas city is considered as the least safe city in the...

This Arkansas city is considered as the least safe city in the United States

Pine Bluff, Arkansas – Pine Bluff, a small town in the United States, is facing a significant crime challenge, as reported by MoneyGeek and published in Newsweek. The town, with a population of 39,670, has been ranked as the least safe among 660 towns with 30,000 to 100,000 people. This revelation brings to light the extensive cost and impact of crime on the community.

Staggering Crime Costs

The MoneyGeek report, which analyzed data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 2021, put forth alarming statistics regarding the cost of crime in Pine Bluff. The cost per capita, which represents the societal cost of crime per person, was calculated to be a staggering $9,071. This amount aggregates to an overwhelming total of $359.86 billion for the entire community.

In terms of crime rates, Pine Bluff experienced 2,067.1 violent crimes and 5,863.4 property crimes per 100,000 residents. These figures starkly contrast with the national average, where there are 5.6 serious crimes per 1,000 people. Specifically, Pine Bluff’s violent crime rate stands at 20.5 incidents per 1,000 people, making it the eighth-highest among towns with 25,000 or more residents.

Crime Clearing and Youth Involvement

The FBI’s 2021 report indicated that out of 820 reported violent and property crimes, only 107 were cleared. This clearance rate shows a slight increase from the previous year but still remains a concern. Furthermore, the recent surge in violence, particularly involving young individuals, has raised alarm. Between July 11 and July 16, four youths, all 17 or younger, were killed. The suspects in these cases are predominantly teenagers, with three still at large.

The Root of the Problem

Pate, a former Pine Bluff Police Department officer with 25 years of experience, points to unchecked youth and gang violence as a significant contributor to the town’s crime problem. He notes that Pine Bluff has active gangs involved in drug and gun trafficking, often linked to networks in other cities. The rise in crime and gang activity over the years has been a driving factor for many residents leaving the city.

Pate also criticizes the lack of effective public policy and proactive measures in addressing these issues. He believes that city leaders missed several opportunities over the past 30 years to steer the city onto a different path, one less troubled by crime.

Beyond Policing

While acknowledging the efforts of the local police force, Pate emphasizes that policing alone is not the solution to Pine Bluff’s crime problem. He argues that crime does not originate from police actions or inactions but is rooted in deeper societal issues. Therefore, a more holistic approach, involving community engagement and policy reforms, is necessary to address the underlying causes of crime in Pine Bluff.

The situation in Pine Bluff is a complex one, intertwined with societal, economic, and policy-related factors. The high crime rate not only affects the quality of life of its residents but also poses a significant financial burden on the community. Tackling this issue requires a multifaceted strategy that goes beyond traditional law enforcement methods and involves community-driven solutions, better policy-making, and proactive youth engagement.

Olivia Martinez

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