Parsing FBI data, website finds Central Peninsula kinda sketchy

Feb 13, 2018

Here's a question for you: do you feel as if you're living in any of the top 10 most dangerous cities in Alaska? Some days it feels like the answer is yes, other days it's hard to imagine. But using raw data from the FBI, a travel website has determined just that. Soldotna is the sixth most dangerous city in the state, up one spot from seventh last year, while Kenai, meanwhile is ranked 10th, but it has fallen six spots from number four last year, that's according to "Road Snacks."

Each year, the travel website takes FBI data on violent and property crimes per capita and ranks each community with over 2,000 population on the two categories. The combined score results in the ranking.

Road Snacks lists the crime possibility as crimes-per-100,000 people, but only one city in Alaska breaches that threshold, and that's Anchorage. For the rest of the cities, more math has to be done to find a relatable figure.

As a result, for Soldotna, the chance of being a victim of a violent crime was 1 in 135, and property crime, 1 in 19. They note the property crime has fallen over the past two years for which data is available.

In Kenai, which is ranked the 10th most dangerous city in Alaska, both the raw number of crimes and the per capita rates were less than the city's twin down the road. For violent crimes the chances of being a victim were less than half, at 1 in 325. Property crimes were close, but a bit higher at 1 in 18.

Number 1 on the list, for the second year in a row, was Kotzebue. Anchorage was runner up, with Bethel third and Kodiak fourth. Juneau dropped down a couple spots to fifth, followed by Soldotna, Wasilla, Dillingham, Fairbanks and Kenai. Seward is 11, rising from 14th last year.

From the bottom the list at Number 24, ostensibly the "safest" city in Alaska, is Wrangell, which had no violent crime in the reporting period used for the study by Road Snacks.