When the yearly “most dangerous city” rankings are released, St. Louis almost invariably ranks first. It is important to analyze the technique used to compile these rankings. When they compare cities, do they take the full Metropolitan Statistical Area into account or simply the limits of St. Louis?
Our city is separated from St. Louis County, inflating violent crime statistics in comparison to other metro regions, the majority of which do not have the same city-county barrier.
While St. Louis has a higher murder rate than other cities of comparable size, it is not the city with the highest rate of all forms of violent crime. According to the 2017 FBI Crime Report, there were more rapes in Cleveland and Cincinnati, while Cleveland’s robbery rate is significantly higher than St. Louis’.
Another reason the city has such a stunning per capita rate is that though the population has decreased significantly, crime inside the city has remained relatively stable.
Additionally, the city’s per capita crime rate likely remains high due to individuals who visit the city during the day but do not contribute to the population base. Consider downtown, where the per capita rate seems inflated since a large number of people visit on a daily basis or for nighttime activities, and large crowds often result in increased crime, but those individuals do not reside downtown.
If you’re considering a vacation to St. Louis, the first thing you should know is that our city is safe and inviting to everybody. Indeed, St. Louis is as safe as any other large American city. When visiting any urban region, tourists must maintain vigilance and awareness of their surroundings by following basic, straightforward procedures to minimize their chances of being victims of crime.
Is it safe to visit St. Louis?
In general, St. Louis is no more dangerous than any other metropolitan location. Indeed, crime in St. Louis has decreased almost 50% in the last decade (see graph below). It is critical to recognize that the bulk of criminal activity happens within a few block segments, which account for the bulk of violent crime in St. Louis. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department monitors and reacts to these regions on a proactive basis, employing cutting-edge methods, tactics, and technology to ensure the safety of local residents and tourists. While attempting to make the whole city secure for tourists and residents, the police are concentrating their efforts on lowering crime in certain high-risk neighborhoods.
Why is St. Louis often ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in the United States by the media?
Because some media outlets, in the sake of ratings and readership, seek to manipulate the yearly FBI Uniform Crime Reporting in order to compare citations, resulting in skewed, distorted, and meaningless crime rankings. The FBI, the Council of Mayors, and top criminologists all caution against comparing FBI statistics to other sources because of the varied and inconsistent geographic borders of American cities. Due to St. Louis City’s limited physical limit in comparison to the much broader metro region, these rankings misinterpret the data and do not accurately portray crime in St. Louis. When population and crime figures for both the city and county of St. Louis are combined, as they are in the majority of metropolitan regions, St. Louis much outperforms the national average in these rankings. Click on the video below to learn the actual story behind St. Louis’ crime statistics.
What efforts are being made in St. Louis to combat crime?
The Mayor, Downtown STL, and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department have all taken several measures to combat crime in the downtown area. Along with additional patrols, St. Louis authorities are pursuing proactive measures to combat crime, including the following:
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department’s Real Time Crime Center was established to monitor several city locations 24 hours a day. The Center, which has access to both private and public cameras, is able to monitor, track, and support police officers during real-time replies.
Throughout downtown, a system of high-visibility cameras has been deployed. These security cameras, which have clearly visible flashing red and blue lights, give confidence and comfort in knowing that their area is being monitored. Because criminals are aware that these places are being regularly watched, these cameras operate as a powerful disincentive to crime.
Throughout the city, police have deployed license plate recognition cameras (or LPRs). Each day, 10,000 automobiles entering downtown St. Louis are scanned by these cameras. By combining images and data, authorities can follow stolen plates or even stolen automobiles, resulting in the arrest of perpetrators. Across the nation, studies have shown that when LPRs are used, they reduce crime from happening. Due to the program’s success in St. Louis, authorities are trying to grow the region’s LPR population.
Additional lighting is being placed around downtown. Not only does greater illumination demonstrate the community’s concern, but it also acts as a deterrent to criminal conduct.
The SLMPD has created a smartphone application to improve citizen interaction with the Department via the use of technology. Users may submit tips, report crimes, and seek municipal services using the app. Additionally, it enables the SLMPD to send notifications containing critical information for the public’s notice.
What precautions may tourists take to minimize their likelihood of being a victim of crime?
Personal accountability is critical to eradicating crime and decreasing your chances of being a victim. The following are some simple precautions to take to ensure your safety:Assure that the property in your automobile is hidden from view. Nothing encourages criminal behavior more than leaving valuables exposed in a parked automobile (purses, baggage, computers, mobile phones, and cameras, for example).
Secure your automobile. It may seem trivial, but merely securing your car and placing it in a designated parking location significantly reduces the likelihood of a break-in.
Park at the Downtown Preferred Parking Facility. Downtown St. Louis has 15 tourist parking lots that adhere to the highest security and service requirements.
Most essential, do not disregard your gut instincts or sentiments. If a person or an environment does not seem to be “right,” exit and seek a secure location with a large number of people, police, or security officials.
-In St. Louis, panhandling is prohibited. Kindly refrain from encouraging or rewarding panhandling.
-Avoid alleyways, gangways, and other dark, secluded locations as shortcuts.
-Walk in groups whenever possible, particularly at night.