Major crimes reported in St. Louis and in areas patrolled by the St. Louis County Police Department fell last year compared with 2011, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said crime fell 12.4 percent in 2012, making the overall rate lower than it was in 1970. Dotson said reports of violent crime decreased by 4.9 percent, although the number of homicides — 113 — was the same as in 2011, and reports of rape and aggravated assaults rose.
St. Louis County Chief Tim Fitch said crime fell 8.7 percent in the unincorporated areas and the 17 municipalities patrolled by his department. Dotson and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay credited the police department's recent efforts to concentrate forces in high-crime areas for reversing the trend of crime increasing. Richard Rosenfeld, a professor of criminology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, said of the high-crime effort: “I have rarely seen initiatives that generate crime reductions of that magnitude.”