Best Place: The First Regular Feature on Chicago Crime Blog

No blog can be truly taken seriously without regular features (no blog I say).  I am happy to introduce our first regular feature: Best Place.  Essentially, I will pick several criminal activities that one could either partake in or be a victim of and list the single best Community Area to do that based on the reported crime statistics.  The obligatory disclaimer here is that my attempt to make crime data exciting in this feature should not be misconstrued as advocacy for actually partaking in or being a victim of any criminal activity.  However fun it might seem to purposefully get yourself robbed to “win” the category for your neighborhood, it seems like it could be risky.  I imagine that Best Place categories will act as a launching pad for more comprehensive posts, and I also encourage everyone to suggest categories for future Best Place installments in the comments. 

So, here it is, the first Best Place map:


I had no idea when I selected these categories that Washington Park would win three of them.  With the caveats listed above in mind, if anyone wants to take a drive to Washington Park and see if you can buy hallucinogens and a hooker before you get carjacked, feel free to post your experiences in the comments.

Now, another new idea, putting the boring data details at the bottom of the post in italics:

Buy Crack:  Based on per capita reported crimes for manufacture and distribution of crack.

Get a Hooker:  Based on per capita reported crimes in the Prostitution category.

Get Carjacked: Based on per capita reported crimes for vehicular hijacking and aggravated vehicular hijacking, with the later weighted 1.5 times as much as the former.

Have Non-consensual intercourse: Based on per capita reported crimes in the Criminal Sexual Assault category.

Get Killed: Based on per capita reported crimes in the Homicide: 1st or 2nd Degree category.

Buy Hallucinogens:  Based on per capita reported crimes for manufacture and distribution of hallucinogens.

Buy Bogus Drugs:  Based on per capita reported crimes for possession of look-alike drugs.

Get Ripped Off:  Based on per capita reported crimes in the Fraud category.


5 Responses to “Best Place: The First Regular Feature on Chicago Crime Blog”

  1. 1 Aaron November 10, 2008 at 10:35 am

    One minor problem with your methodology, based on the project we did last year – basing your data on reported crimes means that you’re going to miss at least the following two categories of crimes. You’ll miss crimes that people don’t bother reporting, as well as ones that the police don’t bother to fill out the paperwork on. We looked at England over the last 30 years or so, and in 1998 they changed the requirements for cops (Bobbies?) to fill out the paperwork on crimes – so if you look at the crime statistics in the 90s, it looks like they skyrocketed during that year.

    There’s not really a solution, of course – this is clearly the best way to get the numbers – but a few people have written on how to correct for the problem. It may be worth looking out for.

  2. 2 Blogmeyer November 10, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Off to a good start there, Mounce.

    Three technical suggestions that would make this cooler:

    1) If the black text reading “Chicago Crime Blog or ‘How I learned . . . ‘” were legible against the black-and-white photo background. Play with color Mounce. Play with it.

    2) If rather than having an annoying second copy of the entire map pop up when I roll the cursor over it, you could have small text windows pop up that label the various districts so I don’t have to keep referring to the answer key map from the first post. Maybe eventually even something syncing with a more interactive Google map, so I could more easily find out, for example, my statistical likelihood of being mugged at knifepoint outside the Inflation Lounge.

    3) I don’t know, some titties or something. Gruesome pictures or links to articles. Darwin award type stories of dumb crooks. Sensationalism, baby.

    Your statistics support my personal experiences as to the Loop being the best place to be ripped off. Both times I had the pockets cut out of the same pair of pants, to my best of my knowledge, I was in the Loop.

    And Aaron is right about your sloppy methodology. I did not report either of those crimes, and if I had, the Loop would have an even sturdier hold on the title (or would have in 2001/2002.)

    Next day-long bike ride is through Washington Park.

  3. 3 Blogmeyer November 10, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    Oh yeah, and I was definitely offered the opportunity by the man who had just threatened to pull a gun on me to go smoke crack with him in a nearby hotel in the near South Side when I was waiting overnight at the Greyhound station and went for cigarettes at three in the morning. Your numbers actually correlate with my life exceptionally well, except that I was in Lincoln Park and not Washington Park the time I jacked that car.

  4. 4 Mom November 21, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    Blogmeyer forgot to list getting Dirty Bird to post “First!” after every post 😉

  5. 5 Blogmeyer November 23, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Well, let’s just say I thought of that too, but Mounce has decided to retain “editorial control” over blog comments.

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