Crime Statistics | St. Louis Public Radio

Crime Statistics

St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden says the strategy of directing more police attention and resources to specific areas is working to curb violence in the city.

Thursday on St. Louis on the Air, St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden defended his crime-fighting strategy in the north St. Louis area known as “Hayden’s Rectangle.”

Lt. Col. Ronnie Robinson (left) is with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, and Richard Rosenfeld is a professor emeritus of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Missouri St. Louis.

Former St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson first introduced the idea of the “Ferguson effect” in a 2014 column for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, when he wrote that the unrest in Ferguson following the death of Michael Brown had left officers afraid to enforce the law. 

“The criminal element is feeling empowered,” he wrote.

National pundits soon picked up on the idea. They claimed that police feeling demoralized had led to a spike in crime.

St. Louis police commanders listen as Chief John Hayden presents the 2018 crime statistics at a town hall on December 19, 2018.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis’ police chief says his strategy of focusing more resources on violent areas of the city has led to a nearly six-percent drop in crime compared to this time last year.

Chief John Hayden presented the 2018 crime statistics Wednesday night at a town hall at Forest Park Community College. Every category except rape and vehicle thefts has dropped compared to November of 2017.

St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden (right) listens on October 11, 2018 along with public safety director Jimmie Edwards and Mayor Lyda Krewson as researchers outline their findings on enforcement rates in St. Louis.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

The number of African-Americans arrested or facing a summons in St. Louis for all types of crime dropped significantly between 2002 and 2017, according to research released Thursday by criminologists at the University of Missouri - St. Louis.

The data show that about 11,300 black individuals faced some kind of enforcement action in 2017, compared to about 38,000 in 2002. Enforcement is defined as an arrest for a felony, misdemeanor, municipal offense or because the person has a bench warrant, or being issued a criminal summons

Mayor Francis Slay and Police Chief Sam Dotson at a press conference on January 15, 2015, discussing six homicides in 13 hours.
File photo | Bill Greenblatt | UPI

St. Louis' homicide level remained unchanged in 2016 compared with the previous year — 188. At the same time, aggravated assaults and other violent crimes were up and property crime was down, according to the latest crime statistics.

St. Louis' mayor and police chief on Tuesday touted an overall crime reduction of 4.1 percent, or 1,072 fewer incidents, in the last year. Compared to the peak crime year of 1993 when the city experienced 173 crimes per 1,000 people, last year saw 79 crimes per 1,000 residents.

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said stolen guns are part of what's causing an uptick in crime in the city.
Courtesy of St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Facebook

As of August, homicides in St. Louis are up 60 percent compared with last year, according to recently released statistics from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. 

More than double the number of black drivers than white drivers were stopped in St. Louis in 2018.
St. Louis Public Radio

The 2013 crime statistics for the city of St. Louis were released last week, with mostly positive results. The city continued its five-year downward trend in both violent crime and property crime, but there was a 6 percent increase in homicides. And, a jump in the number of rapes is attributed to a change in classification of what constitutes rape.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: A regional plan to attack youth violence by paying more attention to perpetrators and improving the safety and well-being of children and families was announced this morning by area political and community leaders.

“This violence is not just an East St. Louis issue or a city issue or county issue," said St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. "We know this is a regional economy and that poverty, mental-health issues, health issues and other things that impact youth violence and stability in families and children in our community really are regional issues.”

 This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 20, 2013 - “I never put two and two together, that it was my father…

I mean, it’s St. Louis  There’s shootings all the time.”

--Yusuf Dirir, explaining his initial reaction to reports that his father murdered three employees before killing himself.

St. Louis Public Radio

It was a crowded agenda for the five members of the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners today. Here's a recap of some of the main agenda items:


B0th police chief Sam Dotson and Mayor Francis Slay are downplaying a jump in the crime numbers in January.

The report released today shows total crime was up 23 percent last month compared to January 2012. There were 11 murders last January, and 15 this year.

St. Louis Area Police Release 2012 Crime Statistics

Jan 16, 2013
(via Flickr/davidsonscott15)

The City of St. Louis released its annual crime statistics on Wednesday.

The numbers show a 12.4 percent decrease in so-called “Part One” crimes, such as murders, rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults and vehicle thefts.

The total number of murders committed in 2012 was 113 (the same as the previous year)

2013 will also be the first year for a new definition of rape, which has been broadened to include victims of same-sex assault.

Police Chief Sam Dotson says the new definition will create a more accurate picture of sex crimes in our city.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 20, 2012  - One winter afternoon in 2010, the lives of Keairrah Johnson, 23, and a companion were snuffed out by gunfire from a passing vehicle in the 4200 block of Dr. Martin Luther King Drive. More than two years later, the murders remain unsolved.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 21, 2012 - Earlier this month, Sarah Billingsley-Walker — 18, a Vashon High School honors student, homecoming queen and co-valedictorian — was murdered, strangled to death allegedly by her “sometimes boyfriend,” 17-year-old Leonard Johnson.

One promising young life brought to an abrupt end. Another permanently altered because murder was an ill-chosen option. Two more statistics in a city widely considered the deadliest in the country. Another indictment on us all.

(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated at 5:43 p.m. to include comments from Chief Isom and correction in data.

There's more good news on crime today in the St. Louis area.

St. Louis County Police: number of "serious crimes" at 41-year low

Jan 18, 2012
(via Flickr/davidsonscott15)

1971: that was the last time the number of serious crimes was as low as it was in 2011 in St. Louis County, a report from the St. Louis County Police Department says.

Here are some of the statistics from the 2011 index crime report:

  • St. Louis County police said Wednesday that crime dropped 2.4 percent in 2011 compared to 2010
  • The county, with a population of about 1 million, had 17 homicides in 2011, matching the number in 2010.
  • Rapes declined 10 percent, vehicle theft dropped by 20.7 percent, arson was down 3.5 percent.


When the economy goes down, crime goes up - or does it?

Jul 10, 2009

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 10, 2009 - St. Louis' crime numbers are down in the first five months of 2009 compared to the same months in 2008, despite the economic downturn. Major declines in burglary, larceny and auto theft contributed to the decrease. There were also three fewer rapes and 15 fewer murders in the first five months of 2009.

Analysis: Crime in St. Louis has been worse

Jun 11, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 11, 2008 - Recent reports of an increase in crime in St. Louis bring back memories of a time, not so long ago, when crime rates were at an all-time high. Historical perspective may be cold comfort to today's crime victims, but it helps to know that crime rates do not always rise; they also fall, sometimes dramatically.

Knowing why crime declined in the past can help us to figure out why it is increasing now and how to avoid a return to a far worse period in recent history.