Crime in Your Community: Map Compares Crime Across Mid-Missouri
COLUMBIA - KOMU 8 News took a look at crime across mid-Missouri as part of its Crime in Your Community series. The table below shows how many crimes per thousand people were reported in each city.
For purposes of comparison, the digital team used seven different classifications for crime: assault/battery, burglary, auto theft, murder, theft, rape and robbery.
It is important to note the difference between theft, robbery and burglary. Theft is the taking of someone else's property with no intention of returning it. Robbery is theft with violence or the threat of violence to a person. Burglary is the unlawful entering of a building with the intent to commit a crime, including but not limited to theft.
To view the data in a geographic comparison, click on the points on the map. All of the data are compiled from the 2010 Census and with cooperation from local police departments. All data shown are per the percentage of the population of the city, so the numbers could be compared by the same standard. The statistics may seem in some areas and low in others. This methodology is noticeable by looking at the murder rate in Boonville or the number of rapes in Centralia. The statistics are also carried out to the three decimal places so that they are as accurate as possible.
Most cities in mid-Missouri have relatively high rates of theft. This is especially common in towns with universities, like Columbia and Fulton, where thefts are reported regularly among students. Vehicle theft is also a point of concern for residents in Centralia and Fulton.
The statistics show Columbia has a higher rate of violent crimes, property crimes, and crimes per square mile compared to the entire state of Missouri. The statistics show that Mexico is arguably one of the safer towns studied. When compared to Fulton, a town of similar population, Mexico has fairly low rates in most crime categories.
When Columbia is compared to cities nationwide of a similar size, it ranks in the middle of crime statistics. The comparison focuses on cities at or around a population of 108,500, the number of Columbia's population as of the 2010 census. Some of the cities, such as Miami Gardens, Fla. and Westminster, Col., are suburbs of larger cities, Miami and Denver. The comparison also includes cities that stand alone, such as Clearwater, Fla. and Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Miami Gardens has the highest total crime, violent crime and murder rate of any of the cities compared to Columbia, likely because it is near Miami and its suburbs. Columbia's murder rate sits near the bottom of the list, tied with Manchester, N.H. and just below Lowell, Mass.
Manchester, the largest city in New Hampshire, is most similar to Columbia in terms of crime. All of the major statistics including theft, burglary and assault line up.
Columbia also shows similarity with Norman, Okla., which is home to the University of Oklahoma.
Here are other statistics of note:
- Columbia has the highest rate of theft.
- Rochester, MN is one of the more peaceful towns. It came in last, or near last, when compared to the other cities. (Note: Rochester did not report the number of rapes.)
- When compared to cities of a similar size, Columbia has a considerably lower vehicle theft rate.
Lucas Geisler, Elaina O'Connell, Jake Lasofsky and Taylor Beck contributed to this report.