ST. LOUIS – St. Louis is not alone when it comes to residents worried about crime. The city is consistently listed as one of the most dangerous cities in the country.
Bobby Boxerman is a UMSL Ph.D. candidate in criminology who recently co-authored a series of reports on crime trends in major U.S. cities for the Council on Criminal Justice.
“St. Louis does persistently rank pretty high in most crime measures, especially violent crime,” he said.
Boxerman said that if you look at the St. Louis region compared to other cities, the results put St. Louis closer to the middle of the pack.
Recent crimes downtown have led to calls for more action to curb crime. FOX 2 asked Boxerman to take a closer look at crime trends in the downtown area, including the Downtown West neighborhood.
According to crime statistics from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, Boxerman said gun violence in the downtown area has steadily climbed during the past 15 years.
“There’s been a very steady increase,” he said. “There haven’t been any huge jumps, but it’s been every year, going up more and more.”
Boxerman said that the number of robberies in the downtown area has dropped. One crime that has spiked in St. Louis is auto theft. Boxerman said the number of thefts rose by 300% during the past three years. A spike in Kia and Hyundai thefts is a likely contributing factor.
Boxerman said crime trends in St. Louis appear to be consistent with other cities in recent years. He also said crime trends for the downtown area of St. Louis appear to be consistent with other areas in the city, and believe addressing crime begins with addressing poverty.