It’s being said that Pine Bluff is losing a lot of money to crime. That’s what MoneyGeek said in a list of the best and least safe small towns and cities in the U.S. The information, which was published in Newsweek on Thursday, showed that Pine Bluff is the least safe of 660 towns with 30,000 to 100,000 people.
Rankings were based on the crime cost per capita, which MoneyGeek describes as the cost of crime to society as a whole per person. The information, which came out for the first time on May 26, also shows the rates of violent and property crimes per 100,000 residents, as well as the cost of crime, which is the amount of money that crime costs society at large and in each town.
MoneyGeek says that murder, rape, and serious attack are all violent crimes. MoneyGeek’s report says that it used standard crime data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 2021, which was the most recent year for which data was available, and the opinions of three college teachers to figure out how much crime costs society. The data showed that 39,670 people lived in Pine Bluff.
Each person who lived in Pine Bluff paid $9,071 for crime, which added up to $359,866,000,000 for the whole community. There were 2,067.1 serious crimes per 100,000 people and 5,863.4 property crimes per 100,000 people. According to the FBI, 820 violent and property crimes were reported in 2021, but only 107 were cleared. That was more than the 746 serious crimes that were reported and 93 that were cleared in 2020. Thirty people were killed in Pine Bluff in 2021, twenty-one in 2022, and fifteen so far this year (as of Saturday morning).
NeighborhoodScout says that there are 5.6 serious crimes for every 1,000 people in the United States. With 20.5 violent crimes per 1,000 people, Pine Bluff has the eighth-highest violent crime rate among towns with 25,000 or more people. Little Rock is next, with 20.2.
Four people were killed in Pine Bluff between July 11 and July 16. All of them were 17 years old or younger. The killings are linked to seven suspects, all of whom are 19 or younger. Three of them are still on the run.
“The youth violence and gang violence problem is unchecked and out of control,” said Pate. “I did different jobs for the Pine Bluff Police Department for 25 years.” One of the things I had to study and understand was gang crime. From that, I know that there are a number of gangs made up mostly of young people who are active in drug and gun trafficking and are linked to other gangs in other cities.
In the 1980s, Pine Bluff had a population of 63,114 people, according to signs at the city limits. A rise in crime and gang activity over the years has been given as a reason by many to leave the city. Pate said that things are the way they are because there isn’t a culture for public policy, which makes people more likely to respond.
“We don’t take a sufficiently active role in fixing things internally,” he told us. “We might not have meant to be in this sad place, but that doesn’t mean it was an accident.” In the last 30 years, city leaders have had many chances to make different decisions during times of trouble. Those decisions could have led us to a different path than the one we’re on now.
Pate made it clear that police are not the only way to stop crime in Pine Bluff. He agreed that the local police force does a good job with the tools they have. “In any event, crime doesn’t begin because of what the police do,” he stated.