Compton was ranked as the nation's eighth most dangerous city, but three in Orange County -- Mission Viejo, Lake Forest and Irvine -- ranked in the top 10 safest cities, according to a report released Monday.
The latest edition of City Crime Rankings is one of five annual reference works published by CQ Press that analyze and rank states and cities in various categories.
The top 10 "safest cities" were listed as: Colonie, N.Y.; O'Fallon, Mo.; Ramapo, N.Y.; Mission Viejo; Clarkstown, N.Y.; Amherst, N.Y.; Lake Forest; Cary, N.C.; Newton, Mass.; and Irvine.
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The top 10 "most dangerous cities" were listed as: St. Louis, Mo.; Camden, N.J.; Detroit; Flint, Mich.; Oakland; Richmond, Calif.; Cleveland; Compton; Gary, Ind.; and Birmingham, Ala.
On the "safe city" list, which covered about 400 cities, Los Angeles ranked 243rd; while Long Beach ranked 263rd; Santa Monica 148th; Burbank 94th; Glendale 34th; Pasadena 111th; Anaheim 121st; Santa Ana 205th, and Newport Beach 31st.
The crime rankings are calculated using six crime categories: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and motor vehicle theft. The rankings include all cities of at least 75,000 residents that reported crime data to the FBI in the six categories for calendar year 2009.
The publishing company acknowledged that its rankings "are considered by some in the law enforcement community as controversial."
"The FBI, police, and many criminologists caution against rankings according to crime rates," according to the publishing company.
Nevertheless, there was value in using its data, according to the company.
"Annual rankings not only allow for comparisons among different states and cities, but also enable leaders to track their communities' crime trends from one year to the next," according to the company.