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Crime rates continue to decline in St. Louis City

City of St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom.
(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)
City of St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom.

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.

The St. Louis County police department announced in a report today that serious crimes such as rape and murder hit a 41-year-low in 2011. Now, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department says so-called Part I crimes, as defined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, are at a 44-year-low in the city of St. Louis. The report shows significant drops in violent crimes, arson and stolen property.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Dan Isom said deeper crime analysis and targeting hotspots have helped drive the numbers down.

"We do have more work to do," he said. "We've got to get it to a point where we don't see these spurts of violence that make it seem as if the city is completely out of control."

Here's how the 2011 numbers from the SLMPD break down:

  • There were 31,811 Part I crimes committed in St. Louis in 2011, a 5.8 percent drop from 2010 (33,782 total Part I crimes)

Violent crimes (those committed against people) dropped 4.1 percent between 2010 and 2011;

  • Homicides dropped almost 22 percent, from 144 in 2010 to 113 in 2011.
  • The number of forcible rapes stayed the same (188).
  • Aggravated assaults were down by 6 percent.
  • Burglaries countered last year's downward trend, increasing from 2010 by 6.5 percent.

Property crimes were down 6.2 percent from 2010 to 2011;

  • Vehicle thefts dropped 21 percent in 2011, bringing the number of cars stolen in the city to its lowest point since 1961 1952. (Year corrected in later release from Police Department).
  • The city saw a 4.6 percent spike in burglaries, though most of that increase occurred in the first eight months of 2011. The department says between September and December, burglaries dropped compared to 2010.
  • Larcenies dropped 6.5 percent, thought the department changed the way it counts car break-ins in 2010.
  • Arsons dropped 24.5 percent.



Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.