How statistics were compiled

This article includes data provided by the St. Petersburg Police Department, which was analyzed further by the St. Petersburg Times.

The police provided a record of every crime they classified as a murder or aggravated assault, under the definitions of the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports system. An aggravated assault in that system is defined as "an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury." These assaults include a broad variety of other crimes, including: shooting into an occupied dwelling, throwing a deadly missile and domestic battery. The data includes crimes in which no one was ever prosecuted or, in some cases, even caught.

Using this database of crimes, the Times looked at only those in which the weapon was listed as a firearm, so only gun assaults were used in this story.

With a mapping program, the Times placed the gun assaults in neighborhoods. It should be noted that this process, while reliable, is not 100 percent accurate. For example, when a gun crime occurs on a street that divides two neighborhoods, or at an intersection, there can be some subjectivity in deciding which neighborhood it belongs to. Although the Times generally relied on official city neighborhood boundaries, in some cases the boundaries were altered slightly for this analysis, to reduce the number of gun assaults that were listed outside of official neighborhoods. And in some areas where there is no neighborhood association, the Times used a geographic description.

How statistics were compiled 04/03/10 [Last modified: Saturday, April 3, 2010 10:56pm]

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