This city, for the seventh year in a row, has the unenviable distinction of being the per-capita murder and rape capital of Utah, the state Department of Public Safety says.

While Salt Lake City was ranked second in the state for per capita murder and rape cases, it had far higher rates in 1988 of aggravated assault and robbery than any of the state's six major cities with populations over 50,000.The statistics are drawn from "Crime in Utah 1988," the departments annual report.

The report compiles the number of murders, rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries, larcenies, motor vehicle thefts and arsons reported by police departments and sheriff's offices to provide a statistical profile of Utah crime.

Despite Ogden's once again topping Utah's per-capita murder rankings, Police Chief Joe Ritchie said he believes that statistic says little about the city's safety or the effectiveness of its police department.

He said murder is a crime that is most often committed in the heat of passion and that the murder victims are usually acquainted with their assailant.