(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The latest numbers on crime in St. Joseph show a mostly downward trend, while that’s good news to city police chief Chris Connally, he said the work to lower crime numbers never stops.
"To us, [crime is] never down enough," Connally said.
The city’s index crimes include general categories like robbery, burglary and motor vehicle theft among other things, all three of these categories saw a drop in comparison to last year.
Car thefts were down 14% and robberies and burglaries were the lowest they’ve been in about 20 years.
"I was a little surprised to see us continue to see those decreases," Connally said.
Though the news wasn’t all good, arson saw the biggest increase last year, the number nearly tripled from 11 in 2019 to 30 in 2020.
"There were a number of vehicle arsons that contributed to that number jumping up," Connally said.
While the number of reported rapes were down last year, Connally said it’s always a tough issue and Covid-19 may not have helped.
"Probably this year with the pandemic, I’m sure that contributed to it as well," Conally said. "People are more reluctant to go to the emergency room or seek medical attention."
Then there’s perception, a Google search shows the city to be a hotbed for crime, however Connaly said these numbers should not be taken at face value.
"Those number comparisons don’t tell you very much," He said.
Connally said he’s most concerned about keeping community connections strong in the city, which he feels will also help to bring crime numbers further down.
"We have some great opportunities to come together as a community to really address and improve the livability in our city." He said.
Connally said aggravated assaults also saw a brief uptick last month making that total higher for 2020. His department plans to have the report available online to view sometime next month.