Report reveals increase in murder and rape rates in Missouri

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COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Highway Patrol's 2014 Crime in Missouri data shows a decrease in overall crime, but an increase in murder and rape rates.

The data, released Friday, reveals an 8 percent overall crime decrease in 2014 from 2013 and a 19.4 percent decrease since 2010.

Although overall crime rates decreased in 2014, violent crime in Missouri saw a slight decrease (0.15 percent), but an increase in murder and rape rates.

Murder rates in Missouri increased 6 percent in 2014 from 2013. However, the 2014 murder rate decreased 17.1 percent from 2010.

There was an 8 percent increase in rape rates during 2014 from 2013. The report credits this increase to a change in the definition of rape for 2014.

"The FBI’s definition of rape changed last year to include male victims. In 2014, 2,379 rape offenses occurred in Missouri, which is an increase from the 2,138 rape offenses in 2013," the report said.

Consistent with the decrease in overall crime, there was a decrease in domestic violence and hate crime rates in 2014 compared to 2013.

Domestic violence rates decreased 1.8 percent and hate crime offense rates decreased 39.5 percent in 2014 from 2013.

This is the first year the Missouri State Highway Patrol put the crime statistics online.

"What we are doing is we are allowing everybody, you know anyone who wants to get on the website to have more access the stats as far as crime goes in Missouri," Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain John Hotz said.

Hotz said people used to have to call to request specific crime statistics. 

A break-down of crime rates by offense is provided on the Missouri State Highway Patrol website.