Monday, January 13, 2014

2013 Crime Statistics

In my last post, I mentioned that the official crime statistics for 2013 would be released today. Looking over the final report, St. Louis is safer now than it was 12 months ago…significantly safer.

Let's break down the numbers to get a closer look. First, total crime is down by 5.4 percent. What does that percentage mean in human terms? It means our City experienced 1,512 fewer crimes in 2013 than it did in 2012. It means that for each day last year, St. Louis had an average of four fewer crimes per day than the year before.

But not only is crime down, it's down in the right places. Our priority target for crime reduction has always been violent crime, or "person crime" as it's called in the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting guidelines.

How did we do in terms of reducing violence last year? Violent crime is down by 10.3 percent. To put it in human terms again, that means St. Louis had 583 fewer violent crimes in 2013 than in 2012   It means 583 people were saved from the pain and suffering of becoming a crime victim. 

The way I see it, the fact that violent crime went down at almost twice the rate of total crime means this Police Department has its priorities straight. We're going after the worst offenders and trying to prevent the worst offenses, and we are having success. Reducing violent crime will continue to be our focus in 2014.

Robbery is down 18 percent. Aggravated assault is down 11.3 percent. Burglary is down 13.7 percent. Homicide saw an increase of 7 more murders last year than in 2012, but even that hard-to-control category remains down by 12 percent when compared to the previous five-year historical average.

In 2012, the violent crime rate for St. Louis was 17.7 incidents per 1,000 people. In 2013, it has fallen to 15.9 incidents per 1,000 people. That's how crime numbers are usually expressed - in terms of incidents per 1,000.

Every day I continually remind myself, one crime is one too many, one victim is one too many. Even if we never get to zero, the numbers clearly show that we're moving in the right direction.

To view the complete 2013 Crime Statistics, click here.
To view the 2013 Crime Statistics press release, click here.

NOTE: The FBI recently expanded its definition of forcible rape, causing nearly every jurisdiction that participates in UCR to report an increase in 2013. We won't be able to properly compare rape statistics until the end of 2014, once the expanded definition has been in place for two full years.

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