Fort Worth councilwoman objects to blog's portrayal of East Lancaster

FORT WORTH -- City Council member Kathleen Hicks is taking issue with a recently released report naming East Lancaster Avenue the country's 15th-most-dangerous neighborhood.

WalletPop, a personal finance website, published the 25 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in a blog this week, saying it used "exclusive data" developed by as well as FBI data from 17,000 law enforcement agencies. It ranked neighborhoods in Chicago, Cleveland, Las Vegas and Atlanta in the top five.

Hicks, District 8 representative, said in a news release that she is "appalled" and questioned the blog's accuracy.

One section of East Lancaster has long been known as Fort Worth's homeless district.

Hicks said would not reveal to Fort Worth police how it collected and analyzed the data.

The company calls itself "a research-quality neighborhood search engine for home buyers." Police say the company did say the numbers are from 2008.

In her statement, Hicks points out that Fort Worth police use the National Incident Based Reporting System, described as "scientific, transparent and accurate because we focus on the number of individual victims versus the number of crime incidents."

She said that Fort Worth has made ending homelessness a top priority in recent years and that the council has approved a new police station next year on East Lancaster near Cypress Street.

"The progress this community has made in a short period of time is to be applauded, not criticized with outdated or misleading facts," the release says. "Furthermore, regurgitating old stereotypes about this area is both misleading and offensive. The residents, our police department and countless other stakeholders are working very hard every day to continue our progress in all areas of our great city."

Fort Worth police have posted crime statistics for the area in question on their website,

"They do not reflect the numbers in the on-line blog," the Police Department states on its website. "Again, there is no way of determining what method they used to generate their report."

Deanna Boyd, 817-390-7655

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