Violent Crime Down Nationally, in St. Louis, FBI Stats Show

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Violent crime in St. Louis dropped 15 percent in the last year -- a steeper decline than the national average.
Violent crime in St. Louis dropped 15 percent in the last year -- a steeper decline than the national average.

Violent crime continued to plummet last year across the nation, according to newly released statistics from the FBI -- and St. Louis was no exception.

The number of violent crimes known to law enforcement in the city of St. Louis dropped 15.6 percent from 2009 to 2010, the statistics show. That's even though the numbers of murder held steady -- with 144 murders last year, just topping the 143 recorded in St. Louis in 2009.

And that's because, other than murder, all categories of violent crime dropped last year here. Forcible rape was down nearly 25 percent. Robberies were down nearly 22 percent, while the number of reported aggravated assaults -- the most common crime in the four categories surveyed by the FBI -- dropped 11.5 percent.

The drop in violent crime in St. Louis is significantly higher than the drop nationwide. The FBI reports that violent crime dropped six percent from 2009 to 2010 across the United States -- making our fifteen percent decline pretty impressive indeed.

So we know the next thing you're wondering: Does this mean we're no longer America's Most Dangerous City (TM)? Beyond the standard warning from the FBI warning us not to compare statistics across jurisdictions, etcetera etcetera, it really is just too soon to tell. The report they released today is massive, and because they don't like people comparing various jurisdictions, they themselves haven't done so. Give the statisticians a little time, and we'll surely get some answers.

But don't get too excited. After years of declining crime, the violent crime rate nationally stands at 403 offenses per 100,000 residents. Here in St. Louis, despite that really nice decline, by our analysis, we're still at 1,747 offenses per 100,000 residents -- four times higher than the national average.

In the mean time, though, isn't it nice to know that things are getting a bit safer?

About The Author

Sarah Fenske

Sarah Fenske is the executive editor of Euclid Media Group, overseeing publications in eight cities. She is the former host of St. Louis on the Air and was previously editor-in-chief of the RFT and the LA Weekly. She lives in St. Louis.
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