Following a previous blog about the UK Peace Index,
I thought I'd write about Neighborhood Scout's list of America's 100 most dangerous cities.
The rating is based on data compiled by the FBI from the 17,000 law enforcement agencies in the US.
East St Louis in Illinois is the most dangerous city in America, according to Neighborhood Scout. Residents have a 1 in 7 chance of being involved in a violent crime - which equates to 141 crimes per 1,000 people.
On the opposite end of the scale is Franklin, Massachusetts, statistically the safest city in America. Residents enjoy a 1 in 202 chance of becoming a victim of crime. This figure equates to an impressive 4.96 crimes per 1,000 people.
These statistics are an unarguably critical element in the cities' reputation. After all, who would choose to live in a violent area?
Despite evidence which shows that it has the highest rates of burglaries, car thefts, robberies, assaults, rapes and murders compared to the national average, the City of East St Louis insists that it's still a 'great place to live, to work, to do business and to visit'.
A reinforcement of the negative point of view comes in an article on Bloomberg.com, which claims that the Illinois city's 'reputation for crime has scared away economic development'. It also reports that police are being outgunned by better armed criminals in an area one interviewee described as 'the Wild West'.
East St Louis faces an uphill struggle to shake off its bad reputation. A 're-brand' could include a combination of federal funding to fight crime, an educational grants programme to boost skills and capital investment in jobs to address the high level of unemployment.
Added to this could be a publicly accessible 'dynamic progress report' that will inform residents - and the rest of the world - of how East St Louis is dealing with the problems that have given the City its dubious distinction and blighted the prospects of its rapidly diminishing population.
In the meantime, residents and city officials in Franklin should be getting ready to welcome an influx of people lured by the prospects of living in America's safest city.
Hopefully, there won't be any (or many) criminals among them!
Thoughts on customer service, communication and, of course, reputation management.