Crime in St. Louis

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Greater St. Louis
Crime rates (2012)
Crime type Rate*
Homicide: 7.3
Forcible rape: 27.1
Robbery: 111.5
Aggravated assault: 317.7
Total Violent crime: 463.6
Burglary: 606.9
Larceny-theft: 2,026.0
Motor vehicle theft: 248.9
Total Property crime: 2,881.8
Notes
* Number of reported crimes per 100,000 population.
Rates are calculated using population figures and crime statistics cited by the FBI. For 2012, the population of Greater St. Louis was reported as 2,798,017.
Source: FBI 2012 UCR data
("Crime by MSA, 2012" Table 6)
City of St. Louis
Crime rates (2012)
Crime type Rate*
Homicide: 35.5
Forcible rape: 62.4
Robbery: 557.9
Aggravated assault: 1,120.6
Total Violent crime: 1,776.5
Burglary: 1,564.6
Larceny-theft: 4,242.7
Motor vehicle theft: 1,094.9
Arson: 61.5
Total Property crime: 6,902.2
Notes
* Number of reported crimes per 100,000 population.
Rates are calculated using population figures and crime statistics cited by the FBI. For 2012, the population of St. Louis was reported as 318,667.
Source: FBI 2012 UCR data
("Crime by MSA, 2012" Table 6)

Crime in St. Louis includes an overview of crime both in the city of St. Louis and in the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area. Crime in the city increased from the 1960s through the early 1990s as measured by the index crime rate, followed by a decline in crime rates through 2011. Despite decreasing crime, rates of violent crime and property crime in both the city and the metropolitan area remain higher than the national metropolitan area average.[1] In addition, the city of St. Louis consistently has been ranked among the most dangerous cities in the United States.

Historical crime trends[edit]

Prior to the 1930s, only sporadic information is available regarding crime in the city and region. As early as 1894, there were 80 homicides in the city, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.[2] For the period 1901 to 1910, the city recorded 804 homicides, with a homicide rate for the period of 12 per 100,000 residents.[3] In 1915, the city police reported 74 homicides, while 103 people were recorded as having died of homicide by the medical examiner.[4] In 1921, there were 138 homicides in St. Louis according to the St. Louis city coroner, giving a rate of about 14 per 100,000 residents.[5][6] After 1934, St. Louis reported crime statistics to the FBI, which compiled and published reports of index crime and homicides in the annual Uniform Crime Reports.

Starting in the 1950s, the city of St. Louis saw increases in its index crime and homicide rates, which both peaked in the early 1990s. However, St. Louis saw its peak number of index crimes and homicides in 1969 and 1970, respectively. Although some of the reduction in the number of index crimes since the early 1990s can be attributed to St. Louis's loss of population, other factors include low inflation, the decline of open-air drug markets, and a decline in crack cocaine use.[7]

In 2009, 67 police departments in St. Louis County[8] reported 33,718 index crimes, and three departments did not report crime to the FBI (these include the departments of Wellston, Normandy, and Lakeshire).

In 2010, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (the city police department) reported 33,782 index crimes, which was the lowest total reported index crimes since 1967 (however, index crimes in 1967 did not include larceny under $50, arson, or non-negligent manslaughter).[7][9] The index crime rate fell 9.2 percent from 2009, with a 15.6 percent decline in violent crime and a 7.6 percent decline in property crime.[7] However, Chief of Police Daniel Isom noted in the report that both homicides and burglaries remain problems in the city.[7]

Recent crime[edit]

In 2011, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department reported 113 homicides to the FBI, falling 21% from 2010, and producing a rate of 35.3 per 100,000 residents.[10] In addition, the city reported 31,619 index crimes, a reduction of 5.7% from 2010, for a rate of 9,866.9 per 100,000.[10] For the metropolitan area, the FBI estimated 102,357 index crimes took place in the region in 2011, a 0.8% decline from 2010, for a rate of 3,624.3 per 100,000.[10] The FBI estimated 215 homicides took place in the region in 2011, a decline of 1.8% from 2010, for a rate of 7.6 per 100,000.[10]

For 2012, preliminary crime data released by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department showed a decline of 12.4% in crime, with the overall crime rate lower than it was in 1970.[18] St. Louis reported 113 homicides, the same as 2011, while it reported a decline in both violent and property crimes from 2011.[18] Violent crimes declined 4.9%, including a 16.5% decline in robberies to 1,777 the lowest since 1953, while property crime declined 14.2%, with a 28.9% decline in burglaries.[18] Rape was up 5.9%, and vehicle thefts were up 3.6% in 2012.[18]

Policing[edit]

Law enforcement in the metropolitan area is provided by a variety of municipal and county police departments and by federal agencies. In the city of St. Louis, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department provides police service,[19] while the city sheriff's department provides courtroom protection services, serves eviction notices, and transports prisoners between courts and jails within the city.[20] In St. Louis County, 67 police departments, including the St. Louis County Police Department, provide police services, while the county also maintains a sheriff's office for courtroom services and civil actions.[21] Nearby counties such as St. Charles County have both municipal police departments and a county-wide sheriff that provide police services. The Missouri State Highway Patrol maintains a troop servicing the region with its headquarters in St. Charles County. An FBI field office is located in the city of St. Louis, while the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives maintains a group supervisor office in the city under the direction of the Kansas City Field Division.

"Most Dangerous City" rankings[edit]

In 1994, Morgan Quitno (a private research and publishing company purchased by CQ Press in 2007) began publishing reports that named St. Louis City among the "most dangerous" cities in the United States. Although the methodology for the reports changed during the 1990s, St. Louis retained its ranking in the top ten most dangerous cities, and it was named the most dangerous city in the United States three times, most recently in 2010.

For the two years that it was ranked by CQ Press (in 2008 and 2009), the City of St. Louis alone ranked considerably more dangerous than the St. Louis metropolitan statistical area.[citation needed]

St. Louis's ranking has not been without controversy; University of Missouri–St. Louis professors and criminologists Richard Rosenfeld and Janet Lauritsen criticized the rankings for their lack of transparency and their over-reliance on Uniform Crime Reports as data sources.[25] They also argue that the rankings are not meaningful indicators of risk of victimization, as certain factors such as age, lifestyle, and neighborhood play a significant role in crime risk.[25]

Upon St. Louis's ranking as most dangerous city in 2010, the administration of Washington University in St. Louis criticized the rankings as flawed, and representatives for St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay noted that crime in the city decreased each year since 2007 and criticized the report for not including regional crime information.[26]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ FBI 2011 UCR data for Crime in the United States by Community Type
  2. ^ "Year's Crime: During 1894 There Were 80 Homicides in St. Louis". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. January 1, 1895. 
  3. ^ "Homicide Record for 1911 Appalling". New York Times. October 3, 1912. 
  4. ^ F.L. Hoffman (December 21, 1916). "The Homicide Record of American Cities for 1915". The Spectator. 
  5. ^ "Judge Mistaken as to St. Louis Murders". The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. April 13, 1922. 
  6. ^ "Libeling St. Louis". The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. June 9, 1922. 
  7. ^ a b c d Bogan, Jesse (January 20, 2011). "Police say St. Louis crime numbers lowest since 1967". St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis). 
  8. ^ The police departments that reported data included those of Arnold, Ballwin, Bella Villa, Bellefontaine Neighbors, Bellerive, Bel-Nor, Bel-Ridge, Berkeley, Beverly Hills, Breckenridge Hills, Brentwood, Bridgeton, Calverton Park, Charlack, Chesterfield, Clayton, Cool Valley, Country Club Hills, Crestwood, Creve Coeur, Dellwood, Des Peres, Edmundson, Ellisville, Eureka, Ferguson, Flordell Hills, Florissant, Frontenac (includes Huntleigh and Westwood), Glendale, Glen Echo Park, Greendale, Hazelwood, Hillsdale, Jennings, Kirkwood, Ladue, Manchester, Maplewood, Maryland Heights, (includes Champ), Moline Acres, Northwoods, Norwood, Oakland, Olivette, Overland (includes Sycamore Hills), Pacific, Pagedale, Pasadena Park, Pine Lawn, Richmond Heights, Riverview, Rock Hill, Shrewsbury (includes Mackenzie), St. Ann, St. John, Sunset Hills, Town and Country, University City, Uplands Park, Velda City, Velda Village Hills, Vinita Park, Warson Woods, Webster Groves, Woodson Terrace, and St. Louis County Police (includes unincorporated St. Louis County, Blackjack, Clarkson Valley, Fenton, Grantwood Village, Green Park, Hanley Hills, Kinloch, Marlborough, Norwood Court, Pasadena Hills, St. George, Twin Oaks, Valley Park, Vinita Terrace, Wilbur Park, Wildwood, and Winchester).
  9. ^ Index crimes for 2010 included homicide/non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, vehicle theft, and arson.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g For 1934 to 2012, data is from FBI Uniform Crime Reports for the United States (1930–2012). For 1930 to 1959, see ICPSR at the University of Michigan
  11. ^ For 1958–1959, UCR data specified that Greater St. Louis included St. Louis, St. Charles, and Jefferson counties in Missouri, and Madison and St. Clair counties in Illinois.
  12. ^ For 2009, UCR data does not include forcible rapes for Greater St. Louis
  13. ^ The population figure shown for St. Louis County is the population of St. Louis County minus that of the three municipalities did not report crime statistics to the FBI in 2009.
  14. ^ a b "Crime in the United States 2012 Preliminary Annual Crime Report". FBI Uniform Crime Reports. June 3, 2013. Retrieved June 16, 2013. 
  15. ^ Prior to 1973, larceny of property worth less than $50 was not included in index crime totals but was reported to the FBI; however, the number here includes all reported larcenies. Prior to 1979, arson was not included in index crime totals and was not reported to the FBI. Prior to 1979, non-negligent manslaughter was not included in index crime totals but was reported to the FBI; however, the number here includes all reported murders and non-negligent manslaughters.
  16. ^ For 1931 and 1932, data is from "Nation Still Leads in Homicide Record". New York Times. April 8, 1932. 
  17. ^ For 1933, data is from "Homicide Record Remains at Peak". New York Times. March 30, 1933. 
  18. ^ a b c d "St. Louis city, county police report overall crime down in 2012". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. January 17, 2013. 
  19. ^ St. Louis City Police Department
  20. ^ St. Louis City Sheriff's Office
  21. ^ St. Louis County Sheriff's Office
  22. ^ For each year, data used in the ranking is from the previous year.
  23. ^ Morgan Quitno/CQ Press (1994–2010).
  24. ^ "The most dangerous cities in America, 2013". homes.yahoo.com. June 18, 2013. 
  25. ^ a b Richard Rosenfeld; Rachel Lauritsen (2008). "The Most Dangerous Crime Rankings". Contexts 7 (1): 66–67. doi:10.1525/ctx.2008.7.1.66. Retrieved 2011-07-03. 
  26. ^ Merlin, Michelle (1 December 2010). "St. Louis ranked again as most dangerous city". Student Life (Washington University) (St. Louis).