Last week I posted information about using crime maps to learn about crime rates in St. Louis.
While the crime maps are very useful, they don’t tell you how much crime is committed annually in a particular area.
St. Louis City publishes crimes data for each neighborhood or region. These crime reports let you drill down to focus on what type of crime is of most concern in a particular area, and to see if crime is increasing or decreasing.
St. Louis City Crime Rates:
The St. Louis City Police Department publishes crime statistics on 88 neighborhoods and regions.
I’ve put together a snapshot of the crime statistics for 3 popular neighborhoods – Benton Park, Central West End and Lafayette Square – so you can see how the numbers vary throughout the city.
One item that is missing from these reports is factoring in the number of residents in each area so you can see the amount of crime per person. Obviously, large neighborhoods with high density housing like the Central West End will have higher raw numbers than a smaller community like Lafayette Square, but that doesn’t mean it is more dangerous on any given block.
In all 3 areas, larceny was the most common crime.
Larceny is theft, and the statistics are broken down into subcategories:
- Purse snatching
- From motor vehicle
- Motor vehicle parts
- From buildings
- From coin operated
Across St. Louis City, 1/3 of larceny crime in 2012 and 2013 fell into the From Motor Vehicle category. Another 1/3 of the larceny crime was split almost equally between Motor Vehicle Parts and From Buildings (which includes garages).
The full crime report also gives detailed information about the time of day when burglaries occurred and the type of weapon used in aggravated assaults.
As a city resident and real estate agent who spends a lot of time in many parts of the city, I appreciate that these statistics are public.
If you are thinking of buying a home in the city, I suggest you take a good look at the statistics and crime maps for the neighborhoods you are considering before making an offer.
See the Complete St. Louis City Crime Reports:
Find the most recent St. Louis City Crime Reports
Everyone wants to live in a safe community.
As a local resident, you need to know what is happening in your neighborhood so you can protect yourself and your property.
If you are thinking of moving, understanding how crime varies in different areas of the St. Louis region is probably a critical factor in where you will move.
Rather than relying on stereotypes about which areas are safe, you should check the local crime maps to see for yourself what is really happening. For more detailed information, contact the local police department.
St. Louis City:
St. Louis City is an independent city, separate from St. Louis County. Since the entire city is run by a single government and police department, the crime map has complete information about crime in the city.
St. Louis City uses CrimeReports.com to display the crime data on a map.
The crime map is easy to use. You can select the types of crime you want displayed and click on an icon to get more information.
My only complaint with this map is that you can only see crime data from the last 6 months and only a 30 day range at a time.
The city does publish detailed crime statistics every month by type of crime and neighborhood.
St. Louis County:
St. Louis County is made up of 91 municipalities and unincorporated areas throughout the county. The area is served by multiple police departments including St. Louis County Police.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a single crime map that displays all of the crime statistics for St. Louis County.
Crimes against people
The outlined gray areas (light and dark) on the map are areas served by municipal police departments which do not report statistics to the county map.
St. Louis County Police Department also publishes monthly statistics for their 7 precincts.
CrimeReports.com does include crime stats on their crime map for the St. Louis County municipalities of Creve Coeur, Hazelwood, Maryland Heights and Webster Groves, plus Arnold in Jefferson County.
St. Louis County Municipal Police Departments:
Keep in mind that much of St. Louis County is served by municipal police departments and crime statistics for these areas may not be available online if they are not listed on either the St. Louis County map or CrimeReports.com.
St. Charles County:
I wasn’t able to locate any crime maps for St. Charles County. Below are links to the local police departments.
Did I miss a local police department or crime resource?
Leave a comment below and I’ll get it added to the information above!
The St. Louis Post Dispatch recently published a map showing the murders in the St. Louis area since the beginning of 2013.
The map excludes police officer-involved shootings and justifiable homicides. Click on a marker for more details and links to the Post-Dispatch’s coverage of the incident.
View 2013 ST. LOUIS-AREA MURDER MAP in a larger map
Crime maps like this one really help home buyers and area residents understand if they will feel safe in a particular part of St. Louis.
I’m thrilled the Post Dispatch put this map together. It would be even better if they would add other violent crimes to the map such as rape, burglary and shootings. By using different colored pins on the map, it would be very easy to identify the type of violent crime and which parts of town residents want to avoid.
St. Louis gets a bad rap in national news on crime rate rankings due to the city – county split.
Most of the national crime rankings sites admit that they only use the data from St. Louis City since our area has 91 municipalities plus unincorporated areas in St. Louis County, plus the region includes several other Missouri counties or portions of southwestern Illinois. The result is that the national crime ranking sites look at just the urban core of the city for St. Louis, while the other cities it is compared to include the urban areas and the suburbs.
The St. Louis Post Dispatch murder map is a start in demonstrating that violent crime is focused in a few parts of town, and rarely occurs in the rest of the St. Louis region.
One of my pet peeves is that St. Louis gets a unjustified bad rap every time the Morgan Quitno Press publishes their annual crime rate rankings.
Each year when the reports come out stating that St. Louis has one of the highest crime rates in the country, the local media reminds everyone that the statistics simply don’t accurately capture the St. Louis region. Unfortunately, only local residents are listening to the local media reports. Anyone outside of the region that is considering a move to St. Louis and searches on “crime rates in St. Louis” will only hear the bad news.
The problem is the St. Louis City-St. Louis County distinction. St. Louis City is a single municipality with one police department and includes many of the lowest income areas in the region. In contrast, St. Louis County is made up of 91 municipalities plus unincorporated land that is scattered throughout the entire county. In addition, St. Charles County is really an extension of the St. Louis metro area and includes most of the outer ring suburbs and new construction.
When questioned, the authors of the annual report admit that it is too hard to obtain information from the 91 municipalities in St. Louis County, so they simply exclude those areas and report on just St. Louis City!
- St. Louis City – 348,189
- St. Louis County – 1,016,315
- St. Charles County – 283,883
If every other city in the country had their middle-class and affluent suburban communities excluded from the analysis, St. Louis would look a whole lot better in the rankings.
The best way to change the perception that St. Louis has a high crime rate is through transparency.
St. Louis City publishes every crime that occurs in the city on an interactive crime map. Simply type in an address, note the type of crimes to be displayed on the map, and you have instant information.
It’s time that St. Louis County joined St. Louis City by providing crime data to the public in an easy to digest map format.
Thanks to Jay Thompson’s post at The Phoenix Real Estate Guy, I discovered a new website that makes it easy for every city to provide transparent crime data to the public without having to create their own mapping solution.
CrimeReports. com allows police departments to easily publish their crime data on an interactive map that improves communication with the public and provides transparency on crime related issues.
St. Louis County Crime Reports:
So far, only 8 Missouri cities have signed up. Four of the cities are located in St. Louis County:
- Maryland Heights
But, when you actually go into the maps for these cities, Kirkwood and Oakland have not provided any crime data to the site. Hopefully it is coming soon.
The site is really easy to use. I ran a search for both Maryland Heights and Hazelwood for violent crimes committed so far in 2009 for both cities.
Maryland Heights Crime Map:
Hazelwood Crime Map:
Legend: H = Homicide, R = Robbery, A = Assault, , B = Breaking & Entering, S = Sexual Assault
(Since Hazelwood appears not to classify any crimes as Assaults, I added Breaking & Entering on the map to better demonstrate the map)
It’s time for every city to make their crime data available to the public.
One of the biggest challenges for people relocating to a new area is selecting a safe area to live. Since real estate agents are bound by fair housing laws and are taught to carefully protect themselves from lawsuits, they are typically reluctant to offer recommendations of neighborhoods based on safety.
Instead, agents are encouraged to refer their clients to the local police department for answers about the safety of a community.
When my clients express concerns about safety or community demographics, I also suggest that they talk to neighbors and visit nearby grocery stores so they can make an informed decision on how they feel about an area for themselves.
Still, understanding differences among communities in rates of property crimes & crimes against people is important information buyers need before making a decision about a home purchase.
Crime Rates for Popular St. Louis County Municipalities:
See my Market Report pages for housing market reports on the above communities.
Information on St. Louis County cities & towns not listed above, plus detailed demographic information on all St. Louis County municipalities is available at city-data.com.