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Study: California city safest in U.S.
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09:17, November 20, 2007

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A controversial new study based on annual FBI crime statistics of U.S. cities named on Monday Mission Viejo of California's Orange County the safest city in the country.

The rankings are based on statistics for murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and vehicle theft and include about 400 U.S. cities of at least 75,000 residents that reported crime data to the FBI, according to CQ Press, a Washington-based private company.

CQ Press published its 14th edition of "City Crime Rankings: Crime in Metropolitan America" on Monday, which was dismissed by some criminology experts as misleading.

But an official of Mission Viejo, about 70 kilometers southeast of Los Angeles, was quick to defend what he said is "a badge of honor" for his city.

"I think it's wonderful," said city councilman John Paul Ledesman said. "We have been ranking very high for several years now. No city is perfect. We have our problems, but we do the best we can to address them."

In the rankings, Clarkstown, New York; Brick Township, New Jersey; Amherst, New York; and Sugar Land, Texas, followed Mission Viejo as the safest U.S. cities.

While in the category of cities with a population over 500,000,San Jose in Northern California lost its long-prized crown as the safest big city in America to an island tourist spot and a desert town. The study gave the top honor to Honolulu, which was followed by El Paso, Texas.

Meanwhile, Detroit was named the least safe city by the study, followed by St. Louis, Missouri.

The American Society of Criminology discounted the report, calling it "an irresponsible misuse" of crime data.

Michael Tonry, the society's president and a law professor of the University of Minnesota, said that such rankings were unfair because of the different way that cities east of the Mississippi River formed.

Source: Xinhua

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