Several criminologists dispute a new report by a private publishing company that ranks unsafe cities, saying the ranking is based on flimsy and flawed methods.

The report, by Morgan Quitno Press, ranked Washington the 14th most dangerous of 342 cities with more than 75,000 residents. Among cities with 500,000 residents, only St. Louis, Detroit, and Baltimore came in higher.

The rankings are based on 2001 data from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting program that were released in October.

Sociologist James Alan Fox says the report is not accurate because it does not take into account cities' wide variations in size, demographics, geography, and economic conditions.