Generally, St. Louis is safe to visit, explaining why the city receives an average of 25 million visitors annually. The main attractions here are the Mississippi River and the Olympian Gateway Arch.
St. Louis is a top destination in Missouri situated along the Mississippi River. It boasts free, world-class attractions and prides itself on a second-to-none culture and arts scene.
Most people assume that St. Louis is unsafe to visit because of its perceived high crime rate. But this is expected in all major cities.
The crimes that are mainly reported in St. Louis aren’t different from those of other cities like New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles. These crimes include theft, break-ins, gun violence, assault, and homicides.
Most St. Louis locals have skewed statistics about crime in this city, painting it as unsafe. While the mentioned crimes occur in the city occasionally, the city is generally safe even to travel at night.
However, it is good to be cautious and avoid visiting areas where you will likely face criminals. Crimes like mugging can take place anywhere, at any time.
The local authorities and some residents of St. Louis believe that the bad reputation associated with the city results from imperfect FBI statistical data.
However, the St. Louis government (official) website explains that the FBI’s crime rate in St. Louis is calculated using only the city’s population, excluding the surrounding neighborhood (a metropolitan area covering the entire county).
The FBI is using a low population to calculate the crime rate, making it appear higher than it should be. When the number of criminal activities is divided by a small population, crimes appear every minute.
Taking steps to lower crime
Before the local authorities and the locals took measures to reduce the crime rate in St. Louis, this city was one of the most dangerous cities in the US and was branded a murder capital.
This was the case until 2022, when New Orleans surpassed it. But this doesn’t mean St. Louis is 100 percent safe because many violent crimes are still reported in this city.
The perceived high crime rate in St. Louis is because many people confuse it with East St. Louis town, where the crime rate is extremely high. St. Louis City and East St. Louis are two different places, even in different states – East St. Louis is in Illinois.
To be safe in St. Louis, learn to avoid bad areas. There are a few areas in the city where crimes are concentrated.
Areas to avoid
So, you need to learn which areas to avoid. Generally, the city’s northern parts are less safe than the rest.
If you are new to this city, avoid going beyond Highway 40 or Delmar Boulevard, which the locals consider as the boundary separating dangerous and safe areas.
Most of St. Louis’ crime occurs in neighborhoods like Greater Ville, Wells-Goodfellow, and Old North St. Louis, Baden. Note that some parts to the south of St. Louis are not safe.
Going by the figures reported in the US News & World Report magazine, the crime rate in St; Louis is 483.1 crimes per 1 000 people. But as already mentioned, these figures are misleading.
According to the reports, the rate of violent and property crimes in St. Louis is higher than the national average.
Neighborhood Scout reports that property crimes are the most common in St. Louis, accounting for about 77 percent of all the criminal incidences reported in the city. Of all the property crimes in the city, theft is the most common. The second in line is motor vehicle theft.
Violent crime is another concern in the city. The city reported 4387 violent crime cases in 2021, with the most common being assault.
When visiting St. Louis, it pays to have a trusted local tour guide to, at least, guarantee your safety.