Ohio possesses a variety of landscapes, a rich history, and a lively culture. However, it also grapples with significant challenges like poverty, unemployment, and crime.
In 2019, Ohio reported a total of 257,074 crimes according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. This figure encompasses 39,600 violent crimes and 217,474 property crimes. The UCR Program compiles data from law enforcement agencies nationwide, offering reliable insights into crime trends.
Nevertheless, not all Ohio cities experience crime at the same rate. Some cities are safer than others, while some face higher risks. Based on FBI data, Canton emerges as the most dangerous city in Ohio, with a population slightly exceeding 70,000.
Canton recorded 1,398 violent crimes and 5,292 property crimes in 2019, resulting in a crime rate of 96.6 incidents per 1,000 residents. This figure is over four times the national average of 21.8 incidents per 1,000 residents.
What Factors Contribute to Canton Being Ohio’s Highest Crime City?
Canton, located in northeastern Ohio, serves as the county seat of Stark County. It is most famous for being the birthplace of the National Football League and the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
However, the city has also faced challenges with economic decline, social issues, and urban deterioration. Some of the factors contributing to Canton’s high crime rate include:
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2019, Canton had a poverty rate of 29.8%, which is more than twice the state average of 13.1% and the national average of 10.5%.
Poverty is often linked to lower levels of education, employment, income, and health, all of which can elevate the risk of criminal behavior and victimization.
Canton is situated along Interstate 77, a major route for drug trafficking from Mexico to the eastern U.S. The city has been heavily affected by the opioid epidemic, leading to a surge in overdoses, deaths, and crimes related to drug abuse and addiction.
Stark County recorded 140 drug overdose deaths in 2019, ranking it fourth-highest in the state, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
In 2019, the Canton Police Department reported 18 gang-related homicides, accounting for nearly half of the city’s total homicides. Law enforcement has been actively combating gang activity through increased patrols, raids, and collaboration with federal and state agencies.
What Are the Solutions for Reducing Crime in Canton?
Reducing crime in Canton is a multifaceted undertaking that involves addressing both the underlying causes and consequences of criminal activity, as well as enhancing the effectiveness of the criminal justice system. Some potential solutions include:
This entails implementing programs designed to thwart criminal behavior by providing positive alternatives and opportunities for individuals and communities at risk.
Initiatives like education, mentoring, job training, after-school activities, substance abuse treatment, and mental health services can all play a role in reducing the factors that contribute to crime and increasing protective factors.
Intervention programs aim to interrupt the progression or recurrence of criminal behavior by offering support and assistance to victims, offenders, and witnesses.
Examples include victim services, restorative justice, diversion programs, mediation, and rehabilitation. These efforts help minimize the harm and trauma caused by crime while fostering healing and reconciliation.
Enforcement programs concentrate on discouraging and penalizing criminal activity by bolstering the capabilities and accountability of law enforcement agencies and courts.
Strategies like community policing, intelligence-led policing, problem-oriented policing, and evidence-based policing can enhance the relationship and collaboration between the police and the public, as well as improve the effectiveness and efficiency of crime detection and investigation.
Canton is a city with both potential and challenges. It’s identified as the most dangerous city in Ohio, according to FBI data, due to a high incidence of violent and property crimes.
Nevertheless, Canton is actively striving to enhance its situation by introducing diverse programs and initiatives aimed at crime prevention, intervention, and enforcement.
Through efforts targeting the underlying causes and effects of crime, as well as improvements in the criminal justice system, Canton has the potential to transform into a safer and more desirable place for residents, employees, and visitors alike.