FBI report shows violent crime in Missouri continues to rise
KANSAS CITY - The FBI released its annual Crime in the United States report Monday, and the numbers showed violent crime in Missouri continues to rise.
Violent crime, as defined by the FBI, includes homicide (murder and non-negligent manslaughter), rape, robbery and aggravated assault, and involves force or the threat of force.
Based on information submitted by more than 600 law enforcement agencies from around the state, there were an average of 530 incidents of violent crime per 100,000 people in Missouri. That's up from nearly 521 incidents per 100,000 people reported in 2016. In the last ten years, Missouri's rate was at its lowest in 2013, with just under 434 incidents per 100,000 people reported.
The FBI pointed out the definition of rape it uses to collect data changed in 2013, and explained how the change could affect some of the numbers:
"All reported rape incidents—whether collected under the revised definition or the legacy definition—are presented here. Since the rape definition changed, some state and local law enforcement agencies have continued to report incidents with the legacy definition, because they haven't been able to change their records management systems to accommodate the change."
The report includes demographic information on offenders and victims. According to the numbers, the largest percentage of offenders, by demographics, were male (by sex) and black or African-American (by race). The largest percentage of victims, by demographic, were also male (by sex) and black or African-American (by race).
Most crimes happened at a home or residence, and discounting cases where the relationship between offender and victim was unknown, most crimes were committed by people whom the victim didn't know.
At the end of the report, the FBI included the following disclaimer:
"The data found on the Crime Data Explorer represents reported crime, and is not an exhaustive report of all crime that occurs. It’s important to consider the various factors that lead to crime activity and crime reporting in a community before interpreting the data. Without these considerations the available data can be deceiving. Factors to consider include population size and density, economic conditions, employment rates, prosecutorial, judicial, and correctional policies, administrative and investigative emphases of law enforcement, citizens’ attitudes toward crime and policing, and the effective strength of the police force."