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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bethlehem Safest Among 3rd Class Cities Over 30,000

George and Raven make a new friend
Six out of ten Bethlehem residents feel safe, according to a recent survey. That's their perception. But is it accurate? If Pennsylvania State Police Crime Statistics are any indication, that perception is reality. Over the last five years, Bethlehem has been the safest of eleven third class cities in Pa. whose population exceeds 30,000. Of them all, the Christmas City has had the lowest incidence of murder, rape, robbery or aggravated assault. In fact, its violent crime rate is below the state average.

Now in Allentown, Mayor Edwin Pawlowski has insisted for years that the Queen City is really safe. Naysayers like Michael Molovinsky and I are derided as misguided misanthropes who create a false perception. But as you can see in the chart below, which covers a five-year time span, you are twice as likely to get mugged, murdered or raped in Allentown than elsewhere in the state. You're more than twice as safe in Bethlehem.

The most dangerous third class city is Chester, whose residents and visitors are nearly six times more likely to be victimized by violent crime than in the rest of the state.

Why the difference between Bethlehem and Allentown, which are right next to each other?

Bethlehem mounted police have good will ambassadors like George and Raven. Allentown has no police horses, but to be fair, its Mayor has often been likened to at least part of a horse's anatomy.

Both Bethlehem and Allentown have approximately the same police officer to resident ratio. So it's hard to blame the incidence of violent crime on an officer shortage. It might be that Allentown's population is much more transient, uneducated and poorer.

You don't solve that problem with a Johnny Manana's.

Or a hockey arena for the out-of-towners.

Violent Crime Index For Pa. 3rd Class Cities Over 30,000
city county 2010 census 5 year
per 100,000  
ratio to state 5
year average
pennsylvania    all counties      12,702,379    38,455    309.1 1.00
chester delaware 33,972 561 1651.4 5.68
harrisburg dauphin 59,528 692 1397.2 4.80
york york 43,718 476 1088.8 3.74
reading berks 88,082 714 810.6 2.79
lancaster lancaster 59,322 416 701.3 2.41
allentown lehigh 118,032 708 599.8 2.06
erie erie 101,786 458 450.0 1.55
wilkes-barre luzerne 41,498 161 388.0 1.33
scranton lackawanna 76,089 204 268.1 0.92
bethlehem norco/lehco 74,982 170 226.7 0.78


Anonymous said...

Wow! Another cmapighn piece for Johnny Casino. I hope you get that new generation IPad.

Anonymous said...


Always keep in mind that for a variety of reasons a lot of crimes go unreported in Allentown.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

If you have a CRIME problem, Call RAMBO SIMMONS!

Uncle Remus said...

if you got rid of the nospeaky deenglish bums crime would go down also.

but the truth of the matter are the horses. yes sirree crime crashed and died just because of 2 horses.

Or maybe its the fact that they recently painted the cop cars black and white.

Anonymous said...

Where's that shithole to the east, Easton?

Bernie O'Hare said...

7:42, Easton has a population under 30,000 so it was not included.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"but the truth of the matter are the horses. yes sirree crime crashed and died just because of 2 horses"

Actually, it's thee horses. You forgot Pharaoh.

Anonymous said...

What would be even more interesting is the current or last known address (municiaplity/state) where the convicted were from. Clearance rates often suggest some proactive crime fighting.

Anonymous said...

I am always saddened when I read that an 18 year old is mugged of 300 dollars on the street at 2am. Crime is crime.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, I have always wondered if it was wise to report a crime.I mean if the police arrest a suspect you would have to take time off from work to appear in court numerous time.On the other hand if you are a victim of crime in certain neighborhoods and report it you could be in greater danger

Bernie O'Hare said...

I would think that if it mattered to you, you'd make a report. When I drove my Jeep, the kids in this neighborhood often removed parts of the Jeep and hid them. I'd have to go looking for my door or window. I never reported that and laughed along. But when one of my car windows was smashed during the Gracedale debate, I made a report and would have testified if the criminal was found.