The FBI crime compilation issued this week for 2008 provide few clues about how the global recession might have influenced crime rates, criminologist Richard Rosenfeld of the University of Missouri-St. Louis tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “If one were going to see crime increases, one would have expected to see them later in the year last year and into the first part of 2009,” said Rosenfeld. “I do expect that we will begin to see increases in 2009 and believe we may have seen increases in the later part of 2008, but one can’t know because the data are not broken out by quarter.”
Reports of crime were down more than 9 percent in St. Louis in 2008 from the previous year. But the city’s murder total – 167 – was up 21 percent. Meanwhile, crime overall was up in adjoining St. Louis County last year by 3.4 percent, and its 45 murders were nearly a one-third increase over the previous year’s total.