I want to point out an instance of flagrant spin which highlights why you shouldn’t just trust studies groups share about themselves.
This is from the city website where they claim Hickory is #20 safest city in NC, even going as far as to say we have notably low property and violent crime.
Since that is opposite of what nearly every site on Google says, I did some digging.
Turns out the site only ranks cities with a population over 28,000. Now, I knew that wasn’t very many, but it turns out that there are only 28. So the city’s claim that they are the 20th safest city in the state really means they were ranked 20th out of 28, and that’s putting us against places like Durham and New Bern.
Peer-reviewed statistic sights on Google consistently put it in the bottom 3-5% nationally for safety. We have very high property crime rates. So why can I look on the city site and see them praising these numbers? Why do I see them specifically saying property crime is low?
We can’t put our heads in the sand or tout dishonest rankings like this. We need to be addressing these high numbers.
I encourage you to dig around a bit yourself. You’ll be presented with numbers on violent crime and property crimes. Both of ours average high, but the property crimes are a bit out of control.
The first result on Google, the one they summarize to give you the quickest answer, says, “With a crime rate of 57 per one thousand residents, Hickory has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes – from the smallest towns to the very largest cities. One’s chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime here is one in 17.” That site is here: https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/nc/hickory/crime Their methodology is here: https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/about-the-data
I’m adding screenshots from results from the first page of Google, but I hope you’ll dig around yourself.
We deserve honesty. The city says ” Hickory is noted to have exceptionally low violent crime and property crime rates” but the consensus of other sites is more like “Hickory has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes” Those two sentences are so different from each other that we should be asking questions, don’t you think?
Questions like: What can we do to lower these numbers. And questions like: Why is the city website trying to deceive its readers?