By Dana Rieck
Originally published on STL Today
Homicides in the city this year remain down by about 20% from last year, keeping the city on pace for its biggest year-over-year decrease in about 90 years.
Since 2015, St. Louis has seen about 200 homicides per year, excluding a substantial spike in 2020 when it saw 263. But the city is on pace to remain far below that benchmark this year.
The decrease marks a continuation of the trend St. Louis has seen throughout this year. The city hasn’t seen a year-over-year decrease like this since the 1930s, said Richard Rosenfeld, a longtime criminologist at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, in an August interview.
Other reported crimes remain down this year, too: Aggravated assaults were down almost 11% through the end of October. Robberies were down 8%, and burglaries were down more than 10%.
“Many of our efforts this year have revolved around implementing a range of proven crime strategies,” police Chief Robert Tracy wrote in a public message posted to the department’s website in September. ”There of course remains much work to be done, but I am confident that our layered crime strategies will continue to bring about promising results.”
The Post Dispatch file
The vast majority of killings in St. Louis are done with guns, and about half of this year’s homicides were in the northern part of the city, according to a monthly police report.
Trends this year in St. Louis mirror what’s happening in cities across the country. National homicide numbers are down about 12%, according to AH Datalytics, a consulting firm that tracks homicide data for more than 100 cities.
There are some key outlier cities, including a 37% increase in homicides in Memphis, an almost 33% increase in Washington, D.C., and a 12% increase in Dallas.