Crime in the parts of St. Louis County covered by the county’s police department dropped 7.4 percent between 2012 and 2013, according to numbers released by the department today.
This is the fifth straight year for a decrease - something St. Louis County Chief of Police Tim Fitch called a "great accomplishment." The latest figures bring the total level of crime to its lowest point since 1969.
"I am very proud of our patrol officers, detectives and support personnel because this decrease emphasizes their continued dedication and commitment to the community," Fitch said in a written statement. "Our emphasis has been and will continue to be to ensure the safety of anyone within St. Louis County."
The county police investigated eight homicides last year, the same number as in 2012. As in St. Louis City, rape cases increased dramatically because of new reporting standards issued by the FBI.
St. Louis County police investigate crimes in unincorporated areas of the county, and has contracts with 16 municipalities to do the same. That covers about 40 percent of the population - cities with their own police departments report statistics directly to the FBI.
Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann