The city election is just a little more than four weeks away, and by now the issues have become well-defined. Ask any NTC candidate for any office to name those issues, and the chances are that no matter what section of the city the candidate comes from -- whether from dark and dangerous inner city streets or from the outwardly placid suburbs -- he or she likely will say the uppermost issue is crime.
Crime is an issue that's easy to articulate but hard to address. Yet there's no question that public concern over the growth of crime in Baltimore is well-founded. The just-released FBI Uniform Crime Reports for 1990 -- the best statistical base available -- shows that Baltimore ranks distressingly high among the nation's 10 worst cities in the incidence of robbery and murder.
The murder rate has risen from 30 per 100,000 population per year to 41 per 100,000. The robbery rate is even worse: up from 11 per 1,000 population to 13 per 1,000. This makes Baltimore the fifth most dangerous city in America in the murder rate, and the third most dangerous in the robbery rate.