Miami's murder rate in 1980 was 25 percent higher...

MIAMI -- Miami's murder rate in 1980 was 25 percent higher than in any other major city in the country, according to a Miami News study released today.

According to the newspaper, Miami also moved ahead of Newark, N.J. as the city with the highest violent crime rate in the nation last year, with robberies increasing by 105 percent, aggravated assaults by 106 percent and rapes by 33 percent.


In 1980, Miami's murder rate was 62.2 for every 100,000 residents, the News reported. St. Louis was second with a murder rate of 49.9 per 100,000, followed by Newark, with 49, Atlanta, with 47.4, and Cleveland with 46.2.

Seven cities -- New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Detroit, Philadelphia and Cleveland -- recorded more murders than Miami last year. However, Miami's 229 murders were by far the most in proportion to population, the News said.

While conceding thereis 'an increasing amount of violence' in the city, Miami Police Chief Kenneth Harms said the Miami murder rate is misleading because 'crime statistics ... are based on the ratio of reported crimes to population and Miami's population is considerably higher than census figures reflect.'


Preliminary 1980 census figures set Miami's population as 335,000. The News said it added 33,000 -- the latest federal estimate of the number of refugees who settled in the city last year -- to those figures to arrive at its crime rate index.

Harms said Miami's population is closer to 420,000 -- 75,000 more than estimated by the census figures. However, even using Harms' estimate, Miami emerges with a nation-high murder rate of 54.5 for every 100,000 people.

Latest Headlines