St. Louis’ 2020 homicide rate is highest in 50 years

ST. LOUIS (AP) – St. Louis recorded the worst homicide rate in 50 years in 2020, even though the total number of murders last year was just below the city’s record.

According to police, 262 people were killed in St. Louis last year – five fewer than the record of 267 set in 1993. As the city’s population has declined since 1993, the 2020 homicide rate was much higher.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the city’s homicide rate reached 87 kills per 100,000 in 2020, the highest since 1970. The number surpasses the previous high of 69 per 100,000 in 1993.

City guides and experts said the stress caused by the coronavirus pandemic last year likely contributed to the increase in violent crime in the country’s largest cities. However, the murder rate in St. Louis was already high in 2019, making the increase there particularly fatal.

Richard Rosenfeld, professor of criminology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis said the number of violent crimes in 28 U.S. cities, which he reviewed from May last year, rose sharply – around the time many pandemic-related orders ended at home.

“St. Louis sees a similar peak that we have seen elsewhere, but what is different is that the starting level was already that high, ”said Rosenfeld.

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